By Kenfrey Kiberenge
When Mombasa businessman John William Kameta converted a disco to a modern gospel discotheque many people thought it was a unique idea while others found it outrageous.
Both the young and old now converge at the Mamba premises for a shot of gospel music. This however is not the case in Britain.
O’Neill’s pub in Muswell Hill was a former church. [Photos: Kenfrey Kiberenge/Standard]
They were once holy shrines where unbelievers were converted to the Christian faith.
But now the proverbial tables have turned and the hunter has become the hunted. One after another, they have been converted into places of secular merriment, apartments or shops –and the future looks bleak.
Chalices that reverends used to administer Holy Communion have been replaced by beer taps and wine bottles.
Altars have become dance floors while the aisles where shy brides walked down in dazzling gowns are now gangways for drunken revellers.
This is the bizarre story of British churches where innumerable are being turned into night clubs, restaurants, and apartments, as clerics contend with the chilling reality of failing numbers of worshippers.
Observers attribute this to a phenomenon where paganism and atheism are increasingly becoming attractive to most Britons, leaving clerics with halls accruing huge bills, on the one hand, and shrinking offerings, on the other.
A survey conducted by Christian Research group, an organisation that tracks religious trends in Britain, established that at least 18,000 churches and chapels had been sold across England by between 1960 and 2005.