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DIY Church, 99% Recycled Answered

I just saw this video on the BBC News site:

A man in Spain has spent almost 50 years building a church entirely from scrap, after he was expelled from a monastery after he contracted tuberculosis.

Justo Gallego, 85, says the construction in Mejorada del Campo is an "act of faith" but others warn it's a huge folly - and say that the building, which has never had planning permission, could be pulled down.

It is an incredible undertaking.  This chap has had a bit of help - mainly from art students, by the sound of things - but most of the work is his alone, and he has taken some clever short-cuts.

Who would have thought of building columns by casting concrete in stacked oil drums?  Or of covering a roof by splitting open the drums you carried the materials up in?

(Images are screen-grabs from BBC video)


A grand undertaking no doubt but unproven structural design is inherent in this. For a public space, I don't think you would be able to guarantee the structural integrity. Concrete is cast in "sonotubes" cardboard forms but the diameter needed is determined by the load and other factors that the architect has to consider. Those plastic buckets degrade in weather and would not be a fireproof roofing material. Built on faith, but none in the eyes of the city inspectors.

I wonder why it took those inspectors fifty years to get around to checking his work...

Separation of Church and State. Politicians and government agencies know better not to delve in gray areas.

I don't think there is such a separation in Spain.

More likely it's a case of official mañana...