Taking Heed: Working on Hallowed Grounds
Getting renovation work completed on holy grounds can be tricky at times…
…you never know how your actions as a workman, might be perceived by others, making working on a religious site potentially a great deal more hazardous than your average construction site.
Us workmen can often be a coarse bunch. We don’t care too much whether we offend others, we can be loud and (sometimes) a little insensitive. In a usual construction site environment these qualities would not necessarily be an issue. However, as soon as we step into a religious environment, the smallest of off-hand comments has the potential to cause a huge amount of offence and even create an impassable rift between the client (the church and congregation) and your own outfit.
With this in mind, we’ve collected together a few of the pitfalls that have the potential of causing such interpersonal problems between workmen and religious folk. Some of these issues are easily avoidable, whereas others might require a bit of careful training with your men:
Paying respect to the worshippers
This may seem like a pretty basic rule, but you’d be surprised how many workmen make this mistake, often on the first day on-site. Now, we’re certainly not trying to suggest here that religious people are more easily offended than non-religious people, however it doesn’t take a rocket-scientist to figure out that those with a more regimented moral system are more likely to be offended by a demographic of people that (sometimes) pride themselves on their lack of political correctness.
Completing work quickly and effectively
It goes without saying that a good construction outfit will finish their work in a timely and orderly fashion, however the need for haste is even greater when working in a religious setting because of the level of demand that the building is under. Just think of all the events that take place in a church: christenings, weddings, regular services and we’re not even considering community activities. In order to minimise disruption to the community, it’s imperative that work is completed as quickly as possible.
Retaining the spirit of the building
When making important, irrevocable changes to a religious building it’s really important to consider the overall spirit of the building. Many churches exist unchanged for decades, or sometimes even centuries, making a radical aesthetic change might well create problems with the congregation, so it’s always a good idea to sound out your ideas with the priest as well as members of the Church committee. This group of people will have the best interests of the congregation at heart and should have an understanding of what the congregation would appreciate and what they would dislike.
Areas that are off-limits
Finally, rules concerning where members of the public (including work men) are allowed to go to will vary from church to church. Before you start any work on a new religious site it’s a good idea to have a sit-down discussion with the church elders as to where you and your men will be allowed to go and where is strictly off-limits. By doing this at the start of the process you can find a way of avoiding any embarrassing situations later on and you’ll also have the opportunity to raise potential logistical issues which may cause trouble down the line.