About

The After Church Atlas is an interdisciplinary and collaborative research project led by Dr. Barry Stephenson (Religious Studies) and Dr. Nicholas Lynch (Geography), of Memorial University, St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Churches and other ritual and sacred sites may be imagined as having life histories. After they are conceived, they grow, develop, and change; sometimes the buildings eventually die, or parts of them are recycled, or converted for new uses. We are studying church buildings and other sacred sites that have been variously re-purposed, transformed, or abandoned, alongside the complex processes and meanings occasioned by changes in the use of sacred places.

The After Church Atlas launched in July of 2019, serving as an online portal and resource for the study of church closure and transformation. The objective is to make publicly available the experiences, stories, and research concerning spaces of worship that are closing, closed, or repurposed, serving as a comprehensive archive and repository for social, cultural, political and geographic analyses on the subject.

This Atlas will be of interest to researchers, policy-makers, entrepreneurs, educators and the general public. If you are interested in contributing to or using the 'backend' search features of the Atlas, or becoming a partner, send us an email.