Bielefeld – Former Catholic Church

Even though we’ve got our hands full with our own church conversion, I still think it’s fun to look at other redundant churches that are on the market. Exercising the imagination by considering the possibilities these other buildings offer is inspiring for our own project.

Here’s one in near Bielefeld in north-central Germany. It is the former Catholic church in Altenhagen. It seems that the building was deconsecrated a couple of years ago, and all the contents shipped off to L’viv. It’s my impression that the Catholics are a bit picky about what they’ll allow in their former churches. In this case conversion to living space seems to be ok with them, but any kind of commercial use is not.

Main entrance to former church. Cool rose window, tower, and mature tree! Facade needs a refresh, though.

Former church near Bielefeld. Carport and entrance into sacristy.

The outside is really quite sweet. It’s surrounded by peaceful fields, bordered by a stream, and has some nice old trees, and at the same time is situated fairly near a large-ish city.

Inside the church toward where the altar used to be. The red door leads to the former sacristy.

The biggest challenge would probably be sorting out heating and water/sewage. There doesn’t seem to be existing provision for that. The interior would need to be brightened up a bit – the windows are unusually small for a church, so it’s a bit dark. I wonder how feasible it would be to enlarge them? Since the interior is fairly sparse and relatively undivided, there’s lots of flexibility for imposing a layout.

Floor plans.

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  1. Troy Rosenberg says:


    wow great site, I’m currently converting a former church into a home, would like to have a chat about the difficulties we face


    1. TheHighPriestess says:

      Hi there! Thanks for the compliment. It’s always nice to talk to other church converters. I took a look at your blog – your church is so sweet! Sounds like you had some headaches with change of use. For us, so far (knock on wood), one problem has been the awkward height of the 4.5 m ceiling. It seems to fall in between standard scaffolding heights!

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