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As the de-churching of the U.S. and Canada continues apace, Christian real estate is often literally abandoned: left to vandals, vermin, weather, rot, and fire.

You don’t have to be morbid or funereal to find beauty in physical decay, and that’s what Dave (no last name given) from does all the time. An urban-explorer-type photographer, he scouts for abandoned places (including churches), gets inside with his camera gear, and documents how time and neglect interact to produce decomposing interiors that are often oddly attractive, or at least fascinating.

The images have an aching quality, I guess because they remind us of things once loved, now jilted and discarded, irrevocably on their way to dilapidation, debris, and ultimately, dust. (It’s the same reason why Tom Waits‘ song “Broken Bicycles” always gets to me.)

This abandoned church in an undisclosed spot in rural Ontario was still in decent shape when Dave visited it for the first time in 2012, accessing it through an open window (he takes care not to break-and-enter, he says). There was an orderliness, almost a crispness to the scene that time and rain and mold would soon erase. Dave went back frequently, cameras and all, to observe the process. Eventually, the ivory began to separate itself from the piano keys, rot poked holes in the floor and ceiling, the leather-clad Bible near the altar started disintegrating beyond repair, and the cross fell off the wall. (Insert your own metaphor here.)

You can explore the place virtually by clicking on the 360-degree image below:

Dave says he’ll keep going back to take more photos, but supposes that he’ll have to stop by 2025 or thereabouts; he expects that the church will be just a pile of rubble by then.

For more of his images, see here.


P.S.: It should go without saying that this type of photography almost always means trespassing, which we don’t advise or condone. It also comes with serious physical dangers including but not limited to serious falls and crashes; getting crushed; receiving punctures and lacerations from rusty nails and broken glass; developing pulmonary issues from black mold, asbestos, or other toxins; and of course, being attacked by the ghost of a murdered young girl. Proceed at your own risk, or better yet, don’t.

(via and Images used with permission.)