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Two-month move allows Seoul church to avoid destruction

SEOUL, Feb 3, 2017–A historic parish church in Seoul, which was doomed to be demolished, survived after it was moved to a nearby site.

Gusan Church in Hanam, southeast of Seoul, was moved some 220 meters over two months using a craning technique. The technique is usually used to move traditional wooden houses intact, but this time it was applied to the 60-year-old concrete building.

Gusan Church in Suwon Diocese was constructed in 1956. Catholic villages willingly worked to help build it. With its splendid beauty, the church building has been used in TV dramas and films.

However, the church site was included in a redevelopment project to build apartment complexes in 2009 and it was earmarked for destruction until parishioners reinforced the structure with steel beams, put the building on rails and moved it 12 meters a day.

Just as the church building remains intact so too will the memories parishioners have of their church, said parish priest, Father Matthew Kim Bong-gi.

Worship will recommence in April. (UCAN)