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The worlds first Park and Pray chapel in Austria

The world’s first "Park and Pray" chapel is to open in Rassach in Austria this year.  Worshippers from around the world are now being given the opportunity to stop whilst on the go and take some time out for prayer in a worldwide network of chapels.

The Marxen chapel in Styria is the first of many places of worship to open their doors to the "Park and Pray" scheme. Regardless of ones Christian confession, the organisation encourages believers on the move to look for the distinctive sign which indicates a chapel, church or prayer room open to the public. For just 18 Euros a year, the "Park and Pray" title is available to anyone responsible for such a place of worship on a road or highway.

Mayor of Rassach, Gernot Becwar, is very excited about the project. "We estimate that over 1,000 visitors will come here this year. It is an idea that was born in Rassach and will go all over the world. An idea, a vision and I am convinced that it will work," said Becwar.

The 19th century chapel in Rassach has been in desperate need of renovation for some time. As such it was decided that the place of worship should be turned into a "Park and Pray" chapel and has now become a pioneer of the scheme.

The project was initially to be funded entirely through sponsorship and volunteer work. The response from the community however has been very positive with the population of the town making a contribution themselves. "In the next few days we will go to houses in the area and ask for a donation," explained the Mayor.

In August of this year, the first "Park and Pray" chapel will be available to motorised pilgrims in Rassach. The local community now hope that in turn they will increase the popularity of the area with some worshippers making their stop in the town a bit longer.

For more information visit: http://www.parkandpray.org/parkandpray/about_eng.html

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