Fastenopfer churches

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St. Titus Church Zurich-Altstetten
Church Brother Klaus Volketswil
Church of St. Franziskus Bassersdorf
Interior view of Bassersdorf church, design until 2016
Church of the Holy Spirit Wetzikon
Interior view of the Wetzikon church
Special feature of the new type 1973 : Struts made of concrete

The Fastenopfer Church is a type of emergency church that was designed in Switzerland in the 1960s on behalf of the Fastenopfer aid organization and then built 17 times up to the 1970s.


After the Second World War , a building boom set in in various regions of Switzerland, which resulted in a considerable increase in population. The appropriate infrastructure had to be provided for the newly created residential areas, including Catholic churches. The Swiss aid organization Fastenopfer recognized the problem and decided to help the financially weaker parishes by not only making money available, but also by designing a new type of emergency church. The Fastenopfer Foundation Board commissioned the architect Hanns Anton Brütsch to design a new type of emergency church for this purpose.

Requirements for the emergency church

The Fastenopfer stipulated the following requirements, which the type of the Fastenopfer church had to meet: The building should only be a temporary , but not a permanent church. The Fastenopfer Church should be able to be built on different terrain. The building should consist of prefabricated parts, which should be dismantled again without great effort when building a definitive church and put up again at another location. As a guideline for the worship room, 350 places were given. The design of the Fastenopfer Church should represent "a worthy space for worship and pastoral care at the price of a comfortable single-family home". The draft drawn up by Hanns Anton Brütsch was approved by the Fastenopfer's Board of Trustees on March 24, 1966. In the period that followed, parishes from all over Switzerland were able to apply to the aid organization for the construction of such a Fastenopfer church. The parishes were free to buy or rent the Fastenopfer Church. In the event of a sale, the contract stipulated a right of first refusal for the Fastenopfers to buy back the church.

Building description

The church, designed by Hanns Anton Brütsch, consisted of a structure with a tent roof at a 45-degree angle. This roof extended to the ground, which meant that side walls could be dispensed with. Both the roof and the front of the church were covered with Eternit panels, which were considered weatherproof and solid, but also easy to dismantle and reusable. The entrance to the church was set back, which made expensive porches unnecessary and at the same time protected the outside doors of the building from the weather. Inside there was a niche for a baptismal font at the back of the church entrance , above a singing or organ gallery , which was reached by stairs. The furniture of the church (chancel and benches) was also supplied on request, either permanently mounted or mobile. Various group rooms and offices were designed in the back of the building. The construction was completed by a roof turret that offered space for a bell. The bell foundry H. Rüetschi , Aarau recommended either a 130 kg bell in tone f '' with a diameter of 60 cm or a larger, approx. 300 kg bell with a diameter of 80 cm and a striking tone c for this type of emergency church ''.

Criticism and subsequent adjustments

In 1965, even before the construction of the first Fastenopfer Church, the St. Lukas Society as an association of artists active in church building, expressed concerns that the realization of prefabricated churches could result in “spiritual and cultural impoverishment”. In a lecture on October 28, 1965, the architect Hanns Anton Brütsch faced the concerns in a panel discussion of the St. Lukas Society and emphasized that the Fastenopfer churches cannot replace a full-fledged church and that the congregations are free, even in an emergency church to realize artistically designed elements.

Structural problems arose due to the vibrations of the ringing bell. As a result, the church construction had to be reinforced. The company Wey Elementbau AG in Villmergen , which had built most of the Fastenopfer churches that had been realized, proposed two variants, either a reinforcement of the wooden structure or a variant with concrete parts. The cantonal building insurance of Zurich also requested further structural adjustments to the four Fastenopfer churches built in the canton of Zurich. The stairs to the singing gallery had to be made wider and plastered, and ventilation blades had to be installed. Fastenopfer named this variant of the Church New Type in 1973 . In the 1980s, the Fastenopfer churches that had not been dismantled resulted in further structural problems, as the construction of the church was not intended for long-term use.

The idea that the Fastenopfer Church was only a temporary solution and that it should be rebuilt in a different location after a new church was built was only able to prevail in isolated cases. Of the 17 Fastenopfer churches that have been completed, 15 are still in their original location today (as of 2014), one was demolished and one rebuilt at another location.

Realized Fastenopfer churches

  • 1966: Catholic Church Center Paulus Birrfeld : This was the first Fastenopfer Church to be realized. Compared to the prototype, it is reversed. It was created without any financial support from Fastenopfer.
  • 1967: Heiliggeist Belp : This church was the prototype of the Fastenopfer churches. However, due to a delay in the planning application, it was only completed after the one in Birr. The inauguration took place on 17./18. December 1967.
  • 1967: Friedenskirche Beringen : This Fastenopfer church was consecrated on September 23, 1967. Compared to the prototype, it is reversed.
  • 1968: St. Mauritius Bern-Bethlehem : This church was demolished in 1987 because it was not worth renovating and no buyer could be found. This church was replaced by the parish center St. Mauritius . The bell of the old St. Mauritius Church has been repaired and now sounds in the tower of the newly built St. Mauritius Church.
  • 1968: St. Jean Vevey : This Fastenopfer church was consecrated on December 22, 1968.
  • 1968: St. Pierre Bussigny
  • 1969: Brother Klaus Altdorf : It was renovated in 2001 and expanded with a church center.
  • 1969: St. Marc Geneva-Onex
  • 1969: Brother Klaus Church in Tägerwilen : This Fastenopfer Church was consecrated on November 16 by Bishop Anton Hänggi. In 2011 the church center was renovated and expanded.
  • 1971 Courtelary : This church was demolished in 1987. A community center with apartments is planned as a replacement.
  • 1971: St. Thomas Inwil near Baar : This Fastenopfer church was consecrated on July 3, 1971 by Abbot Georg Holzherr from Einsiedeln.
  • 1972: Le Sentier
  • 1973: St. Franziskus Bassersdorf : This church was built without financial support from Fastenopfer. On December 15, 1973 St. Franziskus Bassersdorf was consecrated by Diocesan Bishop Johannes Vonderach. In 1978 the church was supplemented by a neighboring old farmhouse, which was converted into a rectory, and in 1988 a parish center was added. A preliminary study for the renovation of the Fastenopfer Church and the construction of a new parish center has been running since 2012.
  • 1975: Heilig-Geist-Kirche Wetzikon : was built by Fastenopfer without financial support. Inaugurated on September 21, 1975 by Diocesan Bishop Johannes Vonderach. Modified Fastenopfer Church based on plans by the architect Richard P. Krieg. Extended by a further sloping roof on each of the front sides. This created the largest of the Fastenopfer churches, and a parish center was added in 1994.
  • 1977: Tituskirche Zürich-Altstetten : During the new construction of the Heilig Kreuz church on Saumackerstrasse, a Fastenopfer church stood in the west of the quarter in the Suteracher, which was built without financial help from Fastenopfer. This church was replaced in 1981 by the church Im Suteracher, which was used ecumenically but was built by the Reformed parish Altstetten. Sold to the Free Evangelical Community of Wallisellen, which built the church on Spitzackerstrasse.

Web link

Individual evidence

  1. ^ State Archives of the Canton of Lucerne, PA 1202.
  2. ^ Newspaper Vaterland Luzern from March 25, 1966
  3. ^ Newspaper Vaterland Luzern from March 25, 1966.
  4. ^ State Archives of the Canton of Lucerne, PA 1202.
  5. ^ Neue Zürcher Nachrichten of October 29, 1965.
  6. ^ State Archives of the Canton of Lucerne, PA 1202.
  7. ^ Website of the parish.  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved March 5, 2014.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  8. ^ Website of the parish. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  9. ^ Website of the parish. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  10. ^ Website of the parish. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  11. Entry on Wetzipedia. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  12. ^ Website of the FEG Wallisellen. Retrieved March 5, 2014.