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Belgium: Church gets new lease of life as a temple of beer

February 16, 2024

With church attendance falling, many Belgian churches are being given a new lease of life instead of being closed down. In one church in Mechelen, visitors now raise a glass instead of raising a prayer.


Due to a drop in church attendance and the financial challenges facing the Catholic Church, many places of worship in Belgium are being repurposed. 

While over 80% of the population was nominally Catholic in the 1950s, this figure was estimated to be about 50% in 2022. As a result, a growing number of churches are no longer needed for worship. 

The Sint Jozef church in Mechelen, near Brussels, is one striking example of a transformation that has gone down a storm with locals and tourists alike. It now houses a microbrewery serving Belgian beer that is brewed in house.