Man Spends Four Years Building Living Church

In New Zealand, a man spent the better part of four years creating a project near and dear to his heart. His project was to create a living and breathing church. To be able to achieve this he had to use living trees as part of the walls and ceiling of the church. After nearly 50 months of hard work, the living church project was was completed. The broad trunks provide the foundation, while the thick leaves and branches make up the roof. The church has a seating capacity of 100 people.


The living church or “Tree Church” was designed and built by Barry Cox. Cox said he wanted to make a living and breathing structure. He said he wanted the structure to be a place of interest and contemplation. The building was made in three acres of unique gardens in New Zealand. The design of the structure was inspired by Cox’s love of architecture. He was also particularly interested in the design and construction of churches.


The garden where the structure currently stands was originally created to be a private garden. But Cox was persuaded to open the gardens to the public so that people could appreciate his work and enjoy the fruits of his labor. The gardens officially opened in 2015. Cox descries the Tree Church as a “welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life”. Cox designed the gardens, especially the Labyrinth Walk, as a calm environment where people could visit and think and reflect in peace.


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