The Italian Almanac

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inflatable church

Inflatable Church

Catholic clergy in Molise are bringing religion to the beach this summer with an enormous inflatable church. The church, which measures 30 metres by 15 metres, will be inflated on the shore of the Campomarino Lido in an effort to target young people who spend their evenings partying on the sands.

Don Stefano Rossi, head of pastoral youth activities for the local diocese, said people would be invited to come to the church to pray under the stars. ''This church has been created for a very serious purpose: the celebration of the eucharist for the very many young people who crowd the Molise coast,'' he said.

The southern region of Molise has coastline on the Adriatic coast between Abruzzo and Puglia. The inflatable church is one of a number of initiatives by the Catholic Church to target holiday-makers. In the beach town of Mondragone in Campania nuns have set up an altar in two tents on the sand where sunbathers can go to pray.