Barry Cox’s life has mostly revolved around two things; trees and churches. He grew up in New Zealand and later on traveled throughout America and Europe while studying all kinds of churches and came back to New Zealand to start Treelocations, a business that is about moving trees.
He Loves trees and the business allows him to move trees along with their roots to a new location. He has even re-located trees onto his own property saving them from being cut down.
Once Treelocations became stable, his new project took shape. The idea struck him all of a sudden back in 2011. In his own words, “I walked out my back door one day and thought, ‘That space needs a church’ — and so it began.” He built an iron frame and based the design on the churches he has spent a couple of years studying.
He then began planting trees.
The walls have been created using Australian tea tree varietal using lush and thick foliage. He trims it every 6 weeks to keep it in shape. The roof has been constructed using cut-lead alder. It is a deciduous tree that can be trained up along the iron frame thanks to its flexibility. Since it has sparser foliage, light can travel inside. The alders will become capable of supporting themselves without the need of the iron frame in a few years.
The church was opened as Tree Church in January 2015 and after his nephew’s wedding, a number of marriages have taken place here. According to one bride, “We are not religious at all, but felt that the Tree Church gave our wedding a sense of venerability in a natural, relaxed, and non-denominational way.”
Here’s the entrance.
There’s a labyrinth in the front, with a layout taken from the ancient city of Jericho.
Tree Church requires quite a maintenance to keep it up, however, Cox enjoys it and calls it labor of love.
To get everything right for an event, it can take up to 8 hours. Cox has further plans for the church and shall be building a European garden behind the church and also a natural amphitheater that will be used for outdoor events.