It’s all about be-leaf – Man creates massive church made from trees
They say religion is all about be-LEAF and this man seems to have proved it by making a church entirely from TREES.
Former dairy farmer Barry Cox, 64, has built – or grown – the amazing building near Hamilton on New Zealand’s North Island.
For the past 10 years Barry has run a business relocating large trees and decided to combine his faith with his work.
Now couples are queueing up to get married at the magical site and so far six have tied the knott at the tree church.
Barry said: “I have no idea how much the church cost to build really, when you start a project like this you just have a vision and you complete it.
“Most of the trees came from my nursery or I bought them using the tree spade which is capable of moving specimens up to six metres tall.
“I am an OAP next year but I’m not planning on getting ordained to carry out any ceremonies myself.”
Barry officially opened the Tree Church and grounds to the public in January this year,
He told Stuff.co.nz: “I walked out my back door one day and thought, ‘That space needs a church’ – and so it began.
“I cleared the area in April 2011 and made the iron frame, drawing on all the research I had done over the years of studying churches.
“I wanted the roof and the walls to be distinctly different, to highlight the proportions, just like masonry churches.”
Alnus glutinosa ‘Laciniata’, or cut-leaf alder, was chosen for the roof because it’s flexible enough to be trained over the temporary iron frame. In a few years the main branches of the alder will become the frame itself.
The altar comes from Barry’s family church in Shannon, and is made of marble from Lake Como in Italy, from where Barry said his ancestors are from.
Barry trims the church every six weeks and the walls are Leptospermum macrocarpum ‘Copper Sheen’, an Australian tea tree whose foliage is thick and textured, with a colour that resembles stone.