What is it?

Dor Kemmyn, Cornish for ‘Common Ground’ is a visionary proposal to create a premises for use by all of Cornwall’s spiritual communities: Buddhists, Bahais, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Pagans, Sikhs etc.

The Cob Brick Building Project

In May we will begin the construction of Dor Kemmyn with our cob brick building project.  The aim over the Summer is to make 3,000 bricks.  We will be erecting a polytunnel at Penmount site and groups of 8 people are being invited to spend a day or a morning or afternoon discovering the joy of cob building.  The project will be running on Sundays and Mondays from June.  You will be under expert supervision and by taking part you will discover why the building is to be called Common Ground.

To sign up as an individual or to bring a group to participate please contact Matt Robinson

mat@carvallack.F9.co.uk or tel 01326 221130 or Rosey Sanders 01872 274351 rosey.sanders@truro.anglican.org  to find out which dates are still available.  There will be an opportunity to make a donation for this unique experience or if you are not able to take part practically then please consider making a donation to the project by contacting our Treasurer – Karen Harris – via Diocesan House 01872 274351 kharrisiom@aol.com

What Will it Provide?

  • A place of peace
  • A spiritual/sacred place where individuals and groups can worship
  • Facilities to celebrate religious and cultural festivals
  • An educational resource for children, young people and adults where they can learn about the different religions as well as the contribution religion has made to Cornish culture
  • A point of contact for people of faith moving to or visiting Cornwall
  • A positive example of people working and living together in harmony
  • A place to be together and to do things together as a community
  • A place of dialogue and discussion
  • A place of engagement
  • Activities that support greater community cohesion and therefore reduce the potential of marginalisation and radicalisation

The centre will need a number of different rooms to accommodate various civil & Bureaucratic functions – Kitchen , Library, Offices, Toilets & secure storage for the different artefacts of the different faiths. Such rooms will all be rectangular in shape and will be easily adaptable from an existing building.

What won’t be present in any redundant building will be a holy space utilisable as the place for spiritual worship. One of the principle common characteristics of Dor Kemmyn’s different faith communities is a shared belief in the importance of the spiritual and the necessity of worship. An essential part of the Dor Kemmyn vision is therefore a holy prayer space that could be temporarily utilised by any one of the faith communities to sustain their particular celebration.

The Elliptical Prayer Space is such a holy building: an iconic piece of architecture that has spiritual gravitas, accommodates up to 80 worshipers, is acceptable to all different faiths but is nevertheless clearly a religious building.

The model above of the Elliptical Prayer space is 1:50 scale with dimensions 15m x 10m with 4m high walls. This building will hold 80 people.

Construction

The power contained in this geometric building will not be limited to the finished article: rather we expect the process of constructing the walls to be hugely significant in bonding together the different faith communities.

We anticipate that many of the end users – from children to octogenarians of all religious denominations – will be able to make the cob (earth) bricks for this walls. Members of Dor Kemmyn’s different faiths will have a literally made parts of this building. It will have Buddhist, Jewish or Muslim bricks in it. We will not just be building metaphorical bridges between Faiths, but we will be literally building a shared prayer space on common ground using the Cornish earth.

This elliptical prayer space will physically embody a visionary concept of spiritual multi-culturalism.

First to be built will be the timber walls and elegant contemporary roof will , made from Cornish grown timbers – Oak, Larch , Douglas Fir and Sweet chestnut with stainless steel tension wires completing the rigid structure. It will be a combination of ancient techniques and natural locally sourced materials with a sprinkling of contemporary stainless steel . The roof will be manufactured in a Cornish workshop.

The masonry walls will be built of hand made cob bricks built onto a stone plinth 750mm high. Cob is the indigenous Cornish method of building walls from clayey subsoil, small stones, aggregate and straw. Cob is a local low-embodied energy material that has “Spiritual Mass” that talks of the right things: finite fragile Earth, Landscape, respect.

The final roof will be made from Delabole slates, diminishing in size from the eaves to the celestory – such a slating system is capable of coping with the conical form of the roof.

Internally, the cob brick walls will be plastered white with hooks and pegs for hanging Religious fabrics and artefacts from.

All images are courtesy and copyright by Matt Robinson