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Kleszczyna: church of Christ the King

Date of construction: 1876

The construction of the church in Kleszczyna is an interesting example of human solidarity and faith, and also legal insubordination. What were the atypical circumstances for the erection of the building?

The church is built by a means of timber frame construction where wood and bricks were used. What was the technique of building?

 

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Wooden monuments
Kleszczyna: church of Christ the King

Churches in Kleszczyna and Batorowo were erected by the Evangelicals who lived in great numbers in the area of the former Prussia. Both churches were later transformed and given to the Catholics. In Protestantism the proclamation of the word of God is extremely important. It is reflected in the design of the churches’ interior. In the central place there is a platform – the pulpit which resulted in the construction of altar-pulpit. Many benches and galleries where the faithful sat surrounded it.

The history of the church of Christ the King in Kleszczyna is linked with a lawless initiative of the locals. Until the second half of the 19th century the local Evangelicals, mostly Germans, had to go to Złotów for church service or gather in a school’s classroom. After some time, the authorities forbade from conducting the service in the school and claimed that it was an unworthy place. Then the locals from Kleszczyna decided to build a church by themselves. Wilhelm Fischer gave his land and a large sum of money. His actions were supported by the teacher Rosenow and the clerk Dobberstein and also other locals of the village. They got wood for free from price Hohenzollern and they also tended to the decoration of the church’s interior. It was calculated that the erection of the church cost 12,000 marks but unfortunately it was an unauthorised construction. The reverend from Złotowo wrote that “the church had full installations but didn’t have a shepherd”. However, he greatly admired the citizens of Kleszczyna who worked day and night without any additional help. The reverend took the position of the parish priest and procured the regulation of official permissions. The church was consecrated on May 5th, 1879. Since 1945 until today it has been used by the Catholics.

The church has been built by the means of skeleton construction. It uses a combination of wood and brick.

The building process begins with wood conditioning (oak for sole plates and pine, fir or spruce for walls). Wood should be conditioned which means that it should lie after having been chopped through all four seasons. During this period it undergoes the processes of expansion and contraction influenced by atmospheric conditions: precipitation and temperature. After conditioning, wood is hewed and polished with axes. The thickest beams were used for sole plates and walls, and other for construction elements of the timber roof truss (e.g. rafters, collar beams and battens).

The preparation period before the building of a church could last a few months (sometimes even years), and the erection of the church a couple of weeks on average. First, sole plates were put on the foundations made of stones and bound only with sand. In the corners the biggest boulders were placed, so called foundation stones which wall nodes rest on. Then walls were erected and a wooden skeleton was fixed, which consisted of lintels, studs, rails reinforced with braces. The rest of free panels were filled with bricks. When the wall construction was finished, the interior of the church was covered with a roof. Next, a timber roof truss was built and roof slopes were laid with tiles.

Photo gallery
Kleszczyna: church of Christ the King

Useful information

Kleszczyna: church of Christ the King

www.slawianowo.pl

Address

Sławianowo 3, 77-400 Złotów
tel.: 67 263 11 93

Masses

Sundays:
10.00 am Kleszczyna,
11.15 am Sławianowo

Indulgence date

St. Jacob’s day: July 25th
Christ the King’s day: the last Sunday of the liturgical year

The project is co-financed by European Union subsidy as a part of European Regional Development Fund