Traditionally we have been taught that there are two ways of growing spirituality and this has been through either the teaching of holy men who would mediate our ritual practice, the expansion and glory of the church building, and our own sense of connection to God; or through a sacred space that could facilitate the ritual practice, house the holy men, and increase our awareness and inspiration of a higher power. The arrival of Jesus marked the beginning of something new; a breaking away from the temple model. No more sacred people and sacred spaces. 613 laws reduced to one single verb—love. This love was to be expressed in our relational living with God and each other. I propose to re-frame the view of the church. I want to show how the word church has been branded by negative connotations associated with organised religion. The building can seek to inspire and encourage a spiritual connection, but the building is not an answer, it is simply a placeholder. The success of our connection with God (our vertical relationship) would now be measured by the sincerity of our connection with each other (our horizontal relationships). The present-day church can no longer be defined by the constraints of a building, but rather as an assembly of people gathered together in unity for the purposes of teaching, fellowship, communion, and prayer. This foundation of the Charismatic Christian church has stagnated in its spatial interrogation as the ritual practice of gathering became the priority. My proposal will seek to interrogate the Charismatic church typology and allow it to take the form most appropriate to facilitating relational living. Removing the object in favour of the person. This new typology will embody the teachings of Jesus Christ focusing on the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, and how these aspects have translated into current-day practice. These truths would reflect a desire to inspire ourselves and, more importantly, each other as we continue our spiritual walk with God.
This document is submitted in partial fulfillment for the degree: Master of Architecture (Professional) at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, in the year 2018