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Forty motorway churches in Germany: “A 24-hour space of peace”

Most drivers who enter these worship places built in service stations across the country are over 50 and stay around fifteen minutes.

AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus BERLIN 05 DE JUNIO DE 2023 12:01 h
The church in a service station of the A45 motorway between Dortmund and Frankfurt, known as Siegerland Authobahnkirche. / Photo: [link]Frank Behnsen[/link], Wikipedia, CC BY SA.

In Germany, at least 44 service stations of the motorway network do not only offer fuel and food but spiritual rest as well.



Among the known as motorway churches is the futuristic Autobhankirche Siegerland, in an exit of the A45 motorway between Dortmund and Frankfurt. Built as a worship place in 2013, the promoters of the “white spot on the road map” celebrated its first decade in a special event on Sunday, 4 June.



The aim of the church building, which is next to a Burger King fast food restaurant, is to offer “a 24-hour space of peace”. On its information leaflet, Psalm 91:11 stands out: “He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways”.





[photo_footer] A sign pointing to a motorway church in Germany.  [/photo_footer] 


Every Friday on 6pm, an end of week worship service is held, led alternatively by a Protestant pastor, a free evangelical pastor or a Catholic priest.



The church stands out for its modernistic design, a creation of of architects Schneider + Schumacher.



 



All shapes and sizes



Many others such motorway churches can be found by drivers crossing Germany.



There are very small chapels but also buildings with room for dozens of worshippers, which are filled in special celebrations such as choir concerts.





[photo_footer]Other motorway churches. / Photo: Schneider+Schumacher. [/photo_footer] 


According to data collected by German newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau, of the 44 motorway church buildings in the country, 19 are Protestant, 9 Catholic and other 17 are led by ecumenical teams.



Most visitors are men aged 50 or more, and “they appreciate peace, anonymity, and non-commitment”. Many are truck drivers who “often have at best a loose relationship with one of the two large Christian churches”. They “stay on average about 15 to 20 minutes” in the worship place.



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