Michael Powell


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is what we do in designing, constructing adapting and maintaining all types of building and similar structures.

Such work may be carried out by public bodies, private organizations, trades, professions or private individuals. It may be of a ‘green-field’ nature in which a building or whole city is built on virgin ground, or brown field in which old sites are reused.  

is what we bring about when we place buildings and other structures in their natural environment settings.

A built environment can be any area, from a densely built city to sparsely built countryside incorporating buildings and other structures, particularly those for human shelter, occupation or other purpose. Such areas may be lived in, worked in or otherwise occupied by some people, while, at the same time, being seen or visited by other people. The interaction between a built environment and human beings can be short­lived or extend over centuries.    

is what we do to serve the community and the world through our professions, including those concerned with building, and in other ways.

Vocation is a closely associated concept.

Churches have various designated ministries for people undertaking particular roles in their liturgies or as their representatives

is what we find we want to say about God in relation to, in this case, building, built environment and ministry. 

This is determined in part by our reading and interpretation of the Bible, having regard to both historical and contemporary contexts.

Other key concepts


The main built environment professions include

Environmental / Urban / Town Planning, Architecture, Civil / Structural Engineering, Building / Quantity Surveying and Building / Construction Management

Universities are seen as communities and places where all human knowledge and experience can be shared and evaluated both within and across diverse disciplines.

Secular and Sacred,
Material and Spiritual,
Sacramental and Intellectual

Each of these pairs is seen as part and parcel of the other, integral with it

Spirituality is seen as ‘the depth of all things’, whether secular or sacred, material or spiritual, sacramental or intellectual.

Christianity is interpreted in a broad, inclusive and flexible way, open to the insights of all other faiths and ways of life and thought.

Church – Reformed and Ecumenical Churches which take their particular origins from Reformation times but which are fully open to the insights of other streams and of the ecumenical movement itself.  

All is summed up here:  

 '........ an artist, a writer, a scientist, a doctor. a plumber. a pilot, a builder, a lawyer, a mother, a grandparent. a teacher, a botanist, a gardener..........

Each of these activities, if it is a genuine calling, will have its own truth, its own perspective, its own language, its own relationships; each will therefore have a significance for theological enquiry that it is our task to celebrate, to confirm and to draw on for the benefit of all.

Each of them, since it offers something that the community needs, is valued by God who therefore gives himself to it: each of them must be valued by us.

Our creativity finds expression in the formation of the world of hope and joy in which the community of faith, and through it, that wider community of humanity, is confirmed.'

Frances Young and Kenneth Wilson

Focus on God (pp l0l-2)  


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