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Give us this day our daily shed! Congregation complete Scandanavian FLATPACK church after spending 90 years worshipping in hut
The 150-year-old Lapland wood is expected to last up to 200 yearsAssembly took just over three months thanks to team of up to 15 builders
17:58 GMT, 4 December 2012
19:22 GMT, 4 December 2012
Worshippers have beaten Santa to it and imported their own gift from Lapland – this flatpack church – just in time for Christmas.
For the past 90 years, the congregation of St Michael’s and All Angels Church, in Daws Heath, Essex, have had to make do with a First World War army hut.
But with the hut falling into a state of disrepair, the Anglican congregation decided it was time to replace their old church with a brand new 560,000 building.
Wood you believe it: The new flatpack St Michael's and All Saints Church, Exxex, made from 150-year-old pine from Lapland, Finland. It took just over three months to assemble
Outdated: The old St Michael's and All Angels Church, Daws Heath, dated back to the First World War, held only 70 parishioners and lacked decent insulation
A 'Buy-a-Log appeal' was set up and donors were invited to buy a metre of wood or more, costing a minimum of 5.
And now, thanks to a mammoth three-year fundraising drive and various grants, a brand new church has been built from a flatpack made of 150-year-old pine logs.
The Essex church was cut to size in Finland before being shipped to the UK with the inside of the building finished by a team of up to 15builders, including carpenters, plumbers and electricians.
The new church boasts a life expectancy of up to 200 years and took just over three months to build.
It has twice the capacity of the old church and comfortably seats 150 worshippers on new furniture.
Last weekend more than 200 churhgoers packed it out to witness it being sanctified by the Bishop of Bradwell, the Right Reverend John Wraw.
Mr Wraw said: 'This is such a lovely building and I think people will rapidly grow to love it and treasure it.
'Those who have been involved in the project already love it.'
Inside: The Lapland pine used to build the church is particulalry hardy, having endured freezing weather in Lapland. The structure is expected to last for 200 years
High and mighty: The Anglican church's new capacity is 150 parishioners – double what it was before. And it's better insulated
Light touch: The stained glass window was designed by churchgoer Nikki Saunders. It is triple glazed with lead lighting
St Michael’s and All Angels Church vicar, Rev Marian Sturrock, said: 'I am just absolutely over the moon with this beautiful new building.
'It’s not very often a congregation gets a lovely new church like this, so we are extremely grateful and pleased to worship here.
'It was a lovely service, and I would like to thank everyone for coming along to help us celebrate.'
Since pulling the old church down last December and moving into the new one, the congregation celebrated mass in the nearby church hall.
Ken Jones, who supervised the project, said worshippers had reported back to say they felt warm thanks to the good insulation, with quite a few remarking on the incredible smell thanks to the pine wood.
'Our church has always been on the edge of the woods, in the shadow of oak trees so we wanted to build something that was compatible.
'We are extremely pleased to move into our beautiful new church'.
Handmade: The wooden altar was crafted by Rob Symonds, the church warden, who counts woodcraft as one of his hobbies