“You don’t build a church for Easter Sunday” is an idiom that often does not involve architecture. Easter Sunday is when a church usually has the most people; on any other Sunday, church attendance might be half of that number. The expression means that actions should reflect what normally occurs, not the most abnormal event.
“You don’t build a church for the Easter Sunday crowd” was cited in print in 1969. “It’s not practical to build a church just for the Easter crowd” was cited in 1977 and “You can’t build a church for Easter Sunday” in 1978. It’s not known where the saying originated.
3 July 1969, Billings (MT) Gazette, “Water Rates,” pg. 6, col. 2:
“But like the mayor says, you don’t build a church for the Easter Sunday crowd.”
6 March 1977, Abilene (TX) Reporter-News, “Storage Program Helps Firm Meet Gas Needs,” pg. 23-F, col. 1:
In other words, it’s not practical to build a church just for the Easter crowd.
9 April 1978, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “hertz quietly moves in” by Cheryl Hall, pg. H1, col. 2:
But Bailey, who is fond of saying, “You can’t build a church for Easter Sunday,” admits that during some peak rent car times, rent car companies may have to turn down business.
(Robert J. Bailey of Hertz car rental company.—ed.)
1 September 1979, Greensboro (NC) Daily News, “High Point To Build Convention Center” by Lindsey Gruson and Charles Babington, pg. A8, col. 4:
“You don’t build a church just for Easter Sunday, Peet said.
(David Peet, president of High Point’s Economic Development Corporation.—ed.)
16 August 1992, Del Rio (TX) News-Herald, “Megamall attracting big crowds” (AP), pg. 9A, col. 6:
“One of the people in our office has an expression: ‘You don’t build a church for Easter Sunday, you build it for a regular Sunday,’” she said.
Google News Archive
5 October 1992, Milwaukee (WI) Journal, “Hotels,” Waukesha, pg. C, col. 1:
“You can’t build a church just for Easter Sunday, and the same applies to a hotel,” he said.
Google News Archive
28 February 2007, Ocala (FL) Star-Banner, “Overflow of ideas from Rees Jones” by Gregory Broome, pg. 3D, col. 1:
On the redesign: “I redesigned it for the residents, for the members. You don’t build a church for Easter Sunday. You build it for every day.”
Dream It! Do It!:
My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms
By Martin Sklar
Glendale, CA: Disney Editions
Gary Wilson, making the ultimate statement about meeting capacity demands when designing attractions and facilities for Disney parks and resorts: “You can’t build a church for Easter Sunday!” (11/20/86)
“you don’t build a church for Easter…you don’t buy a plane just for dec 23” @UPS earnings call #smartquips
8:22 AM - 30 Jan 2014
Contact Center 411
April 24, 2014
You Don’t Build a Church for Easter Sunday: A Good Lesson for Contact Center Capacity Planning
At the time of the Easter holiday, I happen to be working on forecasting and workforce planning and site planning for a new contact center operation and am reminded of a favorite quote from a former client. We were going through an exercise similar to my current project at the time and some of the client’s own staff felt that we were planning on building too small to accommodate their peak season, which is a very short annual window. “You don’t build a church for Easter Sunday,” she told them. While I had never heard that before, it fit the situation perfectly. Just because you have overflowing church parking lots and standing room only Easter services, you don’t overbuild the size of your church. Likewise, you don’t always build your contact center to accommodate your periods of peak volume over time.
Beloit (WI) Daily News
EDITORIAL: Fire training: Go regional
Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 4:00 pm
THERE’S AN OLD SAYING: “Don’t build a church for Easter.” Meaning, obviously, it’s wise to be cautious and not over-build the real needs.