Talking bricks will tell ‘a million stories of answered prayers’

Talking bricks will tell ‘a million stories of answered prayers’ May 23, 2019
Visual courtesy of Snug Architects

WHAT you’re seeing above is a visual of a giant Christian monument due to be completed in the UK city of Birmingham by 2022 – and the mobius strip-shaped structure will be made up of bricks that will ‘tell visitors ‘a million stories of answered prayers’.

Image via YouTube

Pray, how how on earth will this happen?

This video explains:

The structure will be erected by UK design firm Snug Architects which won a competition run by the Royal Institute of British Architects. The contest attracted entries from more than 130 architecture practices in 28 countries, who were challenged to come up with a concept that “creates intrigue from afar and interaction up close.”

Snug’s “Wall of Answered Prayer” will use a million bricks, each one “telling a unique story of how Jesus has intervened in someone’s life and answered their prayer.”

Visitors will be able to point their smartphones at a brick to be told the story relating to it.

Or maybe not. On occasions the the bricks may say “no”, or “not yet”.

The strip will be 50m high and will occupy a site donated by the Edmiston family at Coleshill Manor on the edge of Birmingham, between the M6, M42 and the planned High Speed 2 rail line.

How will people be able to get answers from bricks at the top of the structure, short of being taken aloft on the wings of angels or using drones.

According to the wall’s FAQ:

For the higher bricks, there will be tourist style binoculars available on site with which visitors can zoom into a brick and the answered prayer will be shown on screen.

There will also be touch screens on site where the database of answered prayers will be accessible. By entering a keyword, visitors will be able to read all related testimonies.

How much will the thing cost, and who will be paying for it. The FAQ says:

All the funding for The Wall will be from private investment. The project does not want to take any money from the public purse. Some of this funding will come from major donors and some will be crowdfunded from individual donors. When someone sends in their answered prayer there is an option to donate to the project if they wish.

Paul Bulkeley, Design Director at Snug Architects, said:

We are excited by the vision behind this ground-breaking project and are looking forward to working with the team to see it become a reality. At Snug Architects we believe this will be a structure that both inspires and engages visitors for many years to come.

Richard Gamble, Chief Executive of “The Wall of Answered Prayer”, said:

This 15-year-old vision is now becoming reality. I’m chuffed to bits with the design which handled perfectly the challenge of creating intrigue when being seen from afar, yet provides a truly interactive journey for those who visit. We want to create an iconic structure the nation will not only be proud of but find inspirational – it will be a landmark of hope.


Image via YouTube

“The Wall of Answered Prayer” website says that 500,000 journeys will made past the monument every week, and up to 200,000 people will visit the site annually. And it makes this ridiculous claim:

God has faithfully and powerfully moved throughout the history of the UK, whether by answering the prayers of St Augustine in the 6th Century, to the millions of people who queued up outside churches to pray for the men on the beaches of Dunkirk. We want to celebrate and remember all the prayers God has answered throughout our nation’s history.

We hope that as people interrogate the answered prayers and comprehend the colossal nature of what they are witnessing, they will personally encounter the God who answers.

The organisation hopes to have the Wall built before the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

According to this report, Gamble says the structure has been designed as a legacy of the Christian faith and with the hope of inspiring the nation to pray.

The idea is that people when they come to this monument will be able to type in their circumstance or situation and find a story that is similar to what they’re going through and they’ll be able to read how another Christian has coped with that situation, how they pray, and how God has answered.

This country has a Christian heritage and we want to preserve it with all those stories and answer prayers that have happened not only in this generation, but through the whole history of this country.

It is time for the church in this country to be bold and I think it’s time for us to say what we believe.

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  • Götterdämmerung

    What a waste of money, money that could be better spent on the poor or homeless; I hope is vandalised. And exactly who is paying for this revolting so called art, some Yankee fundies no doubt.

  • wannabe

    The most frequently-answered prayers involve recovery from illness or injury while under medical care, lost keys, and found parking spaces.

  • Neal Allen Stone

    Is this a joke?

  • Brummie

    Another monument to your imaginary friend.

  • Freethinker

    They should just erect two giant letters C and B next to each other….for “Confirmation Bias”

  • Freethinker

    The joke is that people still believe in an invisible Daddy in the sky who can be apparently verbally or telepathically instructed on how to put things right because he has arranged matters all wrong for the petitioner in the first place.

  • Jennny

    What a stupendously crazy idea. But x-tians will be as deluded as they always are and believe this monument is ‘The One’, the means by which secular Britain will return to god. Just like every other idea for evangelism before it that was declared to be the ‘The One’…but clearly failed completely. Sorry, but most folk here are wise about religion and want no part in it. And anyway, if some poor person gets convinced by someone else’s wondrous answer to prayer, I’m sure they’ll soon work out, by the non-answers to their future prayers that x-tianity is a fiction and a load of baloney! British cynicism is alive and well fortunately. And we have a reputation for grand schemes that don’t go as planned, I will laugh if, as I suspect may well happen, the edifice, once erected, malfunctions from the start and its engineers will have to run round like headless chickens to try to solve the problems.

  • WallofSleep

    “… you can go and learn what Christians believe about Jesus…”

    What an awesome idea, and an excellent learning opportunity, I must travel there soon. As a life long citizen of the U.S., I haven’t the faintest idea what xtians believe about Jesus.

  • barriejohn

    Believe me, they’re trying to convince themselves that it’s true. That’s what it’s all about.

  • larry parker

    Who’s this Jesus fella people keep talking about?

  • WallofSleep

    I don’t have the slightest clue; must be some sort of British custom.

  • larry parker

    Can I get a brick? I prayed for my local sports team to beat the point spread and they did.

  • larry parker

    The name does have a ‘u’ in it.

  • Milo C

    If I bought a brick I would try to slip one past the censors:
    ‘My big guy S helped me out when I prayed real hard.’ That sort of thing.

  • Wisdom, Justice, Love

    What’s the process for confirming prayers answered?

    If it’s the same “scrutiny” applied to the church “authority”, I’m going to start with a blanket “I don’t believe you.”

  • Raymond Metcalfe

    what a waste of time and money a tribute to stupidity and delusion. the comment about the thousands praying for the troops landing on the beaches at D Day I suppose he would call those answered prayers at least for the ones who came home. I expect the families of the germans who where defending those beaches against the onslaught prayed for there sons some of whom did come home where those answered prayers and the ones for the allied troops who didn’t come home unanswered. Typical religious logic

  • Broga

    Anything about the unanswered prayers? How many amputated limbs were regrown? What are the limits of God’s power?

  • I’d rather see a wall where each brick recites a page from Lord of the Rings – at least that has some grounding in fact (Tolkien was inspired by real languages).

  • TheBookOfDavid

    If current demographic trends in the UK are any indication, it’s more like a distress signal.

  • TheBookOfDavid

    How will people be able to get answers from bricks at the top of the structure, short of being taken aloft on the wings of angels or using drones

    Don’t be silly. Angels are used to bring you down. It takes Satan to lift you up (source: MT 4:5-6)!

  • TheBookOfDavid

    I hope Smug Architects dedicates a brick to Voltaire. His prayer is truly inspirational, and never fails!

  • guerillasurgeon

    If it’s using private money and on private land, I don’t give a shit. Particularly as it doesn’t look especially Christian.

  • Jimmy Malate

    Quick question: Will the prayers of the 3,000 children who die every day from starvation. disease and war be in the unanswered or the unanswered yet section?

  • Elizabeth A. Root

    If it’s built on private land with private funds, I don’t have a problem with it per se, if the neighbors are happy with this gigantic thing. However, living in Prince George’s County, where we are still waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on the Bladensburg Peace Cross (it’s in Wikipedia) even if they get it built, maintenance is likely to be punishing. Is it really going to be the enormous tourist attraction they’re hoping for. The Peace Cross was originally private, too.

    They are probably going to have a tough time maintaining it, let alone do all the charitable work they’re talking about. Is the technology they’re talking about currently available, in creation, or just speculative?

    I like the design, so if it they can’t swing it, and it becomes a beloved local landmark, I suppose they can just take away the technology, since the bricks aren’t inscribed, and make it public. This is quite an undertaking, but I suppose if they at least get the bottom finished, it can be used as a skating ramp in a park.

  • Robert McLean

    Surely, hiring one of those biblical talking snakes, failing that a chatty donkey or even a verbose combusting bush of some kind, would be a more respectful way of telling the sincerely gullible, of their “answered” prayers? Bricks are probably better known as being rather quiet, that they be chosen as the communicating medium is perhaps, as expected, quite peculiar.

  • Thanks4AllTheFish

    Oh, I don’t know. Every time I try to use reason, evidence or logic on the devout, I find it is very similar to communicating with a brick.

  • Nocturnal

    God has faithfully and powerfully moved throughout the history of the UK, whether by answering the prayers of St Augustine in the 6th Century, to the millions of people who queued up outside churches to pray for the men on the beaches of Dunkirk. We want to celebrate and remember all the prayers God has answered throughout our nation’s history.

    Ah yes, it was surely God surely moved to save all those men in Dunkirik. A shame He didn’t lift a finger to keep people from dying in the Blitz…not to mention all the millions of Jews and others who were slaughtered wholesale during that same time. But hey, ’em bricks, ya know?

  • Nocturnal

    Silly you, those don’t count as they weren’t answered. This is for those prayers that do get answered! Like when you can’t find your car keys, you pray, and then you find them. Yeah!

    It truly boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

  • Nocturnal

    I met an American in Cambridge who asked me, in all seriousness, ‘have you heard about Jesus?’. With my 15 years of Catholic upbringing, and my being a native of a country that was killing people for Jesus long before his was even dreamed of, I couldn’t keep myself from bursting out laughing.

    He took offense.

  • WallofSleep

    Oh, poor him. How clueless does one have to be to even ask that question of someone born and raised in a modern, Western nation?

    I have a number of responses for “Have you found The Lord/Jesus?”, but one of my favorites is “Yeah, but the wily bastard escaped again! Next time I catch him, I’m cutting off one of his feet!”

  • Nocturnal

    It took me so completely by surprise that I couldn’t even react properly. I’d encountered that line before but only online. In real life, though, it was an absolute first- and thus far unique- experience.

    I was genuinely at a loss for words. Part of me thought he was joking, surely it couldn’t be for real? But no, he was in earnest.

    After huffing and puffing some more he up and asked me if I’d heard about C.S Lewis. Upon hearing that yes, I had, in fact, I had read his theology stuff and found it profoundly unimpressive.

    He then muttered some more, angrily.

  • WallofSleep

    “Silly you, those don’t count as they weren’t answered.”

    Of course they were, with a resounding “NO!”

  • Freethinker

    You missed the code words. Of course he didn’t actually think you did not hear about Jesus. If he was a JW or a hard core Evangy, than that was just a standard pick up line.

    Except that instead of a movie and dinner date culminating in coitus, you were being offered an opening into an evening of proselytization, philosophical fallacies culminating in a conversion.
    He just wanted to score…….a new soul for Jesus.

  • rubaxter

    I’m sure ole Prince Charley is soiling hisself over this, but I’m not sure of the actual reason.

    What a pointless attempt for some Christer/s to buy their way into heaven. But at least their money won’t be spent on any Heathen or Heretics, as in endowing a scholarship at a medical school or building a library to hold the stories in a way that prolly one lightening bolt WON’T erase them.

    There should be a 1000% tax on such worthless erections.

  • gedediah

    Are there enough Christians left to get anwhere near the projected visitor numbers? I predict it will experience the same problems as Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter theme park – underwhelming launch figures and downhill from there.

  • zenlike

    Cool. An entire monument dedicated to selection bias (and some other fallacies thrown into the mix). Can I add my own (*) prayer?

    (* Actually, Voltaire’s one, one of the few prayers with quite a high “hit”-rate.)

  • Martin Penwald

    Yeah, it never happened to me, but one of the funniest answer possible would be : “Yes. What do you want to know?”

  • Martin Penwald

    to the millions of people who queued up outside churches to pray for the men on the beaches of Dunkirk.

    The U.K forces were able to cowardly flee Dunkerque thanks to the Belgian and French troops that contained the Wehrmacht long enough for the “miracle” to happen.Does that means that Belgian army is god?

  • barriejohn

    Not “cowardly”; I can’t let you get away with that! War is brutal, and it was a tactical decision. The British lost their equipment, which was replaceable, but many of the men were saved to fight another day. If the entire BEF had been lost, Europe might have been fascist for many years to come, as the Americans would not have become involved on this side of the Atlantic.

  • Arthur F. Meincke

    Talking bricks for all the blockheads!

  • Martin Penwald

    Because the Belgians and the Frenchs didn’t need men? The lack of support by the U.K forces to the troops who fighted was a great point of tension between allies at the beginning of the war. The U.K army headquarters even ordered to only embark British soldiers, fortunately, officers on the field had more sense than their superiors.

    That’s why i wrote ”cowardly”: anglo-saxon history, along with related media, have a tendancy to overlook details that don’t make them look good. Yes, other countries do that too, but when was last time we saw a world-wide blockbuster not coming from an anglo-saxon country?

  • barriejohn

    Rightly or wrongly, the British considered Europe a lost cause, but, whatever the case, the use of the word cowardly under the circumstances is disgraceful. Today marks the 78th anniversary of the loss of HMS Hood. Had my father joined up a week later, he would almost certainly have perished on her alongside his best friend, who was only 21 years of age at the time. What an appalling waste of life!

  • Bob Pattinson

    A colossal waste of money. I’m a Brummie and there are plenty of churches in the city dedicated to peddling their particular version of the Christian myth. People with money to spare should donate to respectable charities.

  • Cozmo the Magician

    Dear God,
    Please let Trump decide THIS is the wall he really needs.

    In Faith,

    Yo Cozmo,
    Do you REALLY think I AM the one who tells him what to do?

    Ambiguously yours,

  • Cozmo the Magician

    I have been saying for YEARS that christhumpers ‘mobius strip mine’ the bible… I guess somebody stole my idea and made it a reality. ‘(a) prayer works because I prayed that(b)” twist and connect (a) to (b) add tape.

  • Nocturnal

    You know, I think you’re on the money and perhaps even more than you think.

    I told about my interaction with this fellow to an American friend and according to her, his behavior matches up with a kind of very awkward flirting common in certain American circles, in particular the Evangelical ones.

    It did not cross my mind at the time as the mixture of condescension and aggression with which he’d interrupt my conversations with others, persist in talking to me when I very obviously did not want him to and the way in which he’d angrily throw out ‘jokes’ only to get upset when I did not laugh, all this made me think that he had taken an immediate dislike to me.

    It was only when I thought more about it and in conjugation with my friend’s insight that I came to see her point. This guy routinely ignored everyone at the table to zero in on me. Perhaps converting an European girl is a greater achievement in his church- odds are that played a role but the flirting angle only made it all the cringier.

    I mean, he asked me to visit C.S Lewis’s grave with him.

  • otrame

    Sure they should. But this is the real world. It’s not unattractive from a distance and is paid for by donation, not by taxes. I don’t have a problem with it.

    I do wonder who is going to pay to have all the bird shit cleaned off it on a regular basis.

    ETA: My daughter-in-law is a Brummie. My son has lived there for the past 12 years. When he visits here he quickly regains his Texas accent but maintains a distinctly Brummie lilt. It’s pretty cool.

  • Jim Jones

    > to the millions of people who queued up outside churches to pray for the men on the beaches of Dunkirk.

    God favors the side with the bigger battalions.

  • Jim Jones

    You need to apply the brick upside the head!

  • Michael Neville

    I’m always very leery when people throw “cowardly” around, especially people who have never been in combat.

  • Martin Penwald

    Yes, I should have written “English troops heroically fled while Belgian and French armies cowardly faced Germans troops”.

    For the Belgians and Frenchs, there wasn’t any ”miracle”, due to shitty behaviour of the English headquarters. Remember, field officers were told to leave non U.K troops on the beach.

    Secondly, i used “cowardly” specifically to show the contempt i have for the North American tendancies to glorify its military (yes, i’m trolling here). There is nothing heroic to be in the military. It’s a job like another, facing a far lower risk of death than construction workers or truck drivers. There is nothing heroic to go to war, especially seeing the poor records of various military corps in term of human rights violation. There is nothing heroic to seize the ressources of a country on the behalf of greedy corporations.

    So, why is it heroic to have been in combat, as opposed to the cowards who haven’t been?

  • Martin Penwald

    What an appalling waste of life!

    Whose fault? Not the poor private brainwashed to believe he had to give his life for his country. Let’s look on the side of the fancy salons and the wealthy mansions.

  • Michael Neville

    I see my point flew right over your head. Never mind, I won’t bother to respond further on this point except to say one last thing: Fuck you!

    –YNCS(SS), USN (Ret)

  • barriejohn

    So you would have allowed Hitler to impose fascism upon Europe by force, exterminating and enslaving even more millions? (What a good thing that Britain didn’t sue for peace after Dunkirk, when we didn’t realise the full extent of his plans.) I don’t think you have the faintest idea what you’re talking about, but as you admit to trolling yourself, I, too, will not dignify your comments with any further response.

  • Martin Penwald

    So you would have allowed Hitler to impose fascism upon Europe by force, exterminating and enslaving even more millions?

    That’s what happened when U.K stopped fighting.

  • Crudely Wrott

    They are going to build the pictured structure out of bricks!?
    Hah!! Good luck with that. The scaffolding required to support it during construction
    would likely be equal in cost to the structure itself, not to mention that finding riggers willing to remove those supports post build would be nigh on impossible.
    At best it will be a steel structure clad in a light, molded shell with thin,
    brick sized rectangles made of plastic glued onto it that would soon begin to peel away.
    That is, a faux front. Which would be wholly appropriate.

  • Vanity Unfair