Table-top Sanctuary: Creating a Model of your Worship Space for Planning

If you're visiting this site, then I'm betting you're a visual thinker. So why not have a visual way to plan the use of worship space?  

Recently, at a worship space workshop with Carol Marples from Soul Marks, a group of us made this model of Church of the Pilgrims' sanctuary.  We added some elements we're experimenting with for Lent.  It was quite fun!

It was a great exercise to make us really think about how the space is used.  We became more aware of spaces that are no longer used - ever - and allowed us to start dreaming of how we could repurpose that space.  

Being able to add yarn, popsicle sticks, crepe paper, and fabric also helped us envision ideas as they sprang up.  We were thinking of a river bed flowing from the font to the cross with stones representing barriers along the way.  

We left that model, made in a large cardboard box, at the workshop, but decided to make another for the church.

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I started with a sketch on copy paper. The next version scaled up onto two sheets of 11" x 17" paper.  I outlined the permanent items with sharpie.  Anything that moves is cut from Post-It note labels, so that they stick on, but can move. Green represents rugs and large areas like the kids' corners.  Pink represents objects like tables, the lectern, and chairs.

I also added in the entryway and narthex (lobby) on this version.  We want to begin thinking of that space as a part of the worship experience - a place to prepare and to start anticipating what is inside.

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Part of the reason for doing a larger scale rough version was to find out what the moveable pieces are and how they interact with each other on paper.

We used the map for our Lent worship planning meeting at Pilgrims.  It proved to be really helpful in illustrating where people envisioned placing the cross, the communion table, and the font.

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My next step is to make a digital version that will be printed.  I'll share more about that process and some of the supplies I'll be using later. 

What would you include on your map?

Dreaming of a layout for Lent in the Pilgrims' sanctuary. (Some pews got flooded after I knocked over the paper cup turned font. The cup overfloweth!)

My first draft of a map of the sanctuary (sketched during a presbytery meeting, shhh!).

Version 2 of the map, including the Narthex and moveable pieces. 

A list of non-permanant items and the Post-It labels used to represent the items.