Man Spends 4 Years Building Church From Living, Breathing Trees – Take A Look Inside, It’s Magical

Barry Cox from New Zealand spent four years of his life carefully growing trees to form a living, breathing, natural church. The end result is absolutely enchanting.

Cox spent several years of his life traveling the world and developed a love and appreciation for church architecture. Once aspiring to be the Pope, Cox later became a tree specialist; he decided to combine his love of trees with his love of churches.

“I walked out my back door one day and thought, ‘That space needs a church’ – and so it began. I cleared the area in April 2011 and made the iron frame, drawing on all the research I had done over the years of studying churches,” Cox told

Cox used a special tree-moving machine to relocate numerous varieties of trees to help create the structure.

The roof was created using Cut Leaf Alder. Cox specifically chose this tree because it has very sparse foliage and will allow plenty of natural light to flow into the church during every season of the year.

The walls of the church are made from Copper Sheen. This particular Australian tree has textured, thick greenery that are perfect for creating the main part of the structure.

The 100-seat space is currently being supported by a temporary iron frame. In a few years, it will be replaced by branches growing from the roof.

When first beginning the project, Cox intended to have the church as a personal sanctuary. However, given the magical element of the natural church and surrounding grounds, Cox was encouraged to open the property to the public.

With couples lining up to say their vows in the beautiful church, Cox now hosts events on his property twice a week. He told Stuff that he spends about eight hours grooming the grounds before every event.

“It takes me five hours to mow the lawns and at least three hours of final primping to get the gardens and Tree Church to the standard I need to be happy for an event,” he said.

The expansive 200-acre grounds features a detailed Labyrinth walk and an outdoor canopy for receptions and parties.

Cox has devoted much of his life to giving condemned trees a second life. Many of the trees used for the church were saved from the surrounding areas. Since the trees were already a few years old, Cox’s garden looks like it’s been growing for decades, when in reality — it had only been four years.

Take a virtual walk through Cox’s beautiful gardens and peek inside the church that looks straight out of a fairy tale by watching the video below.

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