Repairs have often been made to many older churches. Some have withstood weather, invasion and the test of time for centuries. Over the years, the foundation may have withstood many floods. The church building itself might have been through a fire or had a roof torn off by strong winds. Eventually, many churches can no longer be repaired. They must be completely torn down and a new church is generally built in their place.
Building costs have skyrocketed over the past few centuries. New church buildings are often too expensive for small congregations. They do not replace their church as it was originally built. Instead, they may opt for a smaller church made with modern building materials. Rather than trying to restack the original stones, wood is used for the frame and walls. Floors are not always rebuilt with hardwood planks. There are less expensive options like engineered hardwood available. These materials have a long wear life and cost a fraction of the price.
Church windows have long been made with stained glass. For many centuries, these windows have been a mainstay of churches. They illustrated important religious events and helped the congregation to visualize scenes from Bible stories. Replacing stained glass windows is often too expensive for modern churches. Instead, they purchase clear windows and use glass decals or glass transfers on them. The decals can be printed with the same scenes as the original stained glass. This makes them look the same as the original windows.
There are very few congregations that can bear the cost of replacing a church exactly as it stood for centuries. It takes years of collecting donations for them to achieve their financial goal of rebuilding or building new. Using modern materials and methods is the best way to cut costs and get their church up and running again.