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All The Madmen

The Church at Rockaway Park

The Chapel of Unrest

Mark's thoughts on the Church...

The Church - or 'The Chapel of Unrest' to give it its full title - is what is known as a Quonset building. These buildings arrive in sections no larger than 8 feet x 2 feet, which are then bolted together with thousands of bolts. We were lucky enough to buy this one second-hand from an old acquaintance of mine. It's unfinished and, as it turns out, that's been one of its most useful attributes.

Ultimately, we intend to turn it into a monument to protest, or the loss of the right to protest, alongside acknowledging what we, as a people, have been through these last few years... and here are some of my reasons why.

Some years back, we were visited by the business rates department at the local authority. They were of the opinion that this building at Rockaway (The Church) was an industrial unit and subject to business rates. I replied that it was a church, because at that point, we'd only ever used it for a wedding, and thus it was almost certainly exempt from business rates. They then said that in order to be a church, you must first have a recognised religion. This, in short, is how many of my conversations with authority have gone over the years, and I accepted the challenge.

As usual in these situations, I consulted our old friend Google and the first thing I discovered was that a recognised religion needed to have at least 60,000 followers. Subsequent investigation revealed that this was not in fact true, which suited me because when did facts ever get in the way of religion?

I liked the 60,000 figure. I realised that if I found 60,000 potential followers and each of them donated £10 to the church, we would soon have £600,000. If we created a church membership with a unique t-shirt, screen printed here using ethically sourced materials, and charged £20, we would raise over a million. We would then be in a position to create an incredible church, adorned with beautiful things, made by amazing artists and creatives - many of whom we already know and work with. People could call in from time to time and commune with 'the congregation of agitation.'

It's a no brainer, I thought - let's build a church! A living, breathing monument to the things we've lost, or the people we may have lost. A statement that we haven't given up on our dreams of a better world, in spite of the relentless attacks from our leaders. It says that we don't agree with your analysis and we want life to be good for people everywhere because we're capable of so much more. A 'Chapel of Unrest.'

Read more here: About the Church