The Episcopal Church welcomes you … to use the bathroom

Does your church offer a bathroom ministry? You may have never thought of it as such, but in New York City, this is a much appreciated outreach at Trinity Wall Street and St. Paul’s Chapel. The New York Times reports:

Tourist numbers are exploding downtown — 11.5 million tourists visited in 2012 alone — but public facilities have not kept pace. The memorial plaza at the trade center site, for example, has no public restrooms. So Trinity Episcopal Church, at the foot of Wall Street, and its nearby satellite chapel, St. Paul’s, have found themselves de facto rest stops for many of the three million to four million guests they welcome through their doors each year.

The crush has resulted in the storied churches’ most unexpected mission: its bathroom ministry. And though it means tour groups traipsing through the sanctuary to the restrooms, never-ending rolls of toilet paper and constant cleaning, it is a ministry the church says it counts as among its most important daily services to the public — even though the church, overwhelmed, sometimes ponders if the access should be reined in.

“We believe God imbues everything, so there is a spiritual component to a building, a door, a bathroom, because of the way our bodies are constructed,” said David Jette, Trinity’s head verger, who coordinates worship services. “So anything we can do to assist that — to relieve a need — is good.”

Read full story here.

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