The Church is made up of Christians from a myriad of different professions, and yet their ordinary tales of God at work rarely get told. In this series, we bring you stories of faith on the frontline 


My name is Raphael Arthur and I’m an architect. I work with local authorities, developers, charities and social impact businesses to develop new buildings, design neighbourhoods and help regenerate areas.

My twin sister suggested that architecture would be a good fit for my skills and interests. It allows me to be creative and physically contribute to the community. At school, I did a week’s work experience with an architect through a contact at church, and then went on to study it at university. 

I love the fact that I get to imagine, dream, think, research and talk with people – and then a couple of years later something in the physical space has drastically changed. It’s amazing to take ideas and, through effort and energy, turn them into a new building or a community space. 

Working in this industry, it can be challenging to navigate the tension between my view of what constitutes value and contributes to human flourishing and other people’s opinions on commercial matters. When I’m working with a developer, what I believe to be the good life for people created in the image of God doesn’t always equate to the numbers they think should be on the profit-and-loss sheet. But God is a God of renewal, and that includes renewal in us as people. That vison is something I can apply to my work. 

People can see that the way I live is inspired by what I believe to be true about God. People sometimes put their whole life, body and soul into architecture, but I have wider commitments to God, including my family. That means when it’s time to leave at 5.30pm, I’m straight out of the door. That’s a very different way to live. 

I’d love prayer for courage to be open about my faith and speak up for the value of every person. There are lots of changes happening in the industry since the Grenfell Tower fire. Please pray for wisdom as we navigate these.