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Cathédrale de Reims
The Post Office at St James' church in West Hampstead, England, that has been put into good use for the local community; (c) GraingePhotography

FRH Newsletter

August 2017

Dear Friends,
Welcome to August’s newsletter. This edition showcases the work of British fine art photographer James Kerwin whose photos illustrate the importance of encouraging people to explore Europe's rich religious heritage. In an article by the National Churches Trust in the UK, we extract a five-point plan making recommendations to help rescue the future of religious heritage buildings. We also look at the forthcoming European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. FRH is a selected Stakeholder of the European Commission to show religious heritage is a vital part of Europe's future. Why not bring your own input through events and activities that matter to you. 
The forgotten churches of Europe

In his series, British fine art photographer James Kerwin, showcases a small handful of the forgotten and derelict churches, chapels and religious buildings across Europe, including some in Wales, England, France, Portugal, Italy and Poland. Click here to access the full collection.

At FRH we all have one common goal: the preservation of our religious heritage. We aim to raise awareness of the issues that threaten to turn places of worship into a state of ruin. Future for Religious Heritage wants to use every opportunity to draw attention, safeguard the future of our religious heritage and offer sustainable alternatives.
 Eglise en désintégration | after two failed attempts in 2014 & 2015, james finally made it inside this former church in Belgium
Golden rainbow: The colour and detail of a former school chapel in France
How to secure the future of religious heritage

A five point plan to secure the future of the UK’s church buildings has been set out by the National Churches Trust. Can the rest of Europe benefit from the recommendations of the Trust’s plan? We are finding out by highlighting the key findings of the review:  

1. Prioritise the maintenance of church buildings.
It is often more cost-effective to look after historic churches through regular maintenance rather than having to undertake often expensive structural repairs because the condition of a building has been allowed to deteriorate.

 2. Make more churches centres for the community.
More churches need modern facilities, such as toilets, kitchens and heating. Modern facilities mean that church buildings can be used as venues for the arts, leisure, social action and other community activities and can host facilities such as post offices and libraries. (Main photo shows the Post Office at St James' church, West Hampstead (c) GraingePhotography)

 3. Put churches firmly on the visitor and tourist map.
Churches, chapels and meeting houses are treasure houses of heritage and history and much more should be done to help churches attract visitors. As well as bringing new people through the doors, attracting visitors brings with it additional income through donations and gift purchases.

4. Create a one-stop shop for churches applying for funding for repairs and maintenance.
The UK’s churches will always require funding from a variety of sources to pay for repairs, maintenance and new facilities. But churches seeking funding have to navigate a complex web of grant-giving trusts, foundations and heritage organisations to access the money they need.

5. Open church buildings every day.
Church buildings need to be open every day so the public can enjoy their beauty, history and sense of prayerfulness. There is still a widespread view that churches need to be kept locked to prevent theft or vandalism. But an open church can often be safer as the local community then becomes more engaged with the building.
All Eyes on Europe's Cultural Heritage in 2018
The European Year of Cultural Heritage will officially be launched during the European Culture Forum, to be held in Milan, Italy, on 7-8 December 2017
Being selected as a Stakeholder representing an important sector, FRH has been asked by the European Commission to gather projects and activities from its members to contribute to the success of the EYCH 2018. Together our reach will be broader!
Objectives of the Year

The European Year of Cultural Heritage aims to:
  • encourage people to explore Europe's rich and diverse cultural heritage
  • celebrate, understand and protect its unique value
  • reflect on the place that cultural heritage occupies in all our lives
European cultural heritage allows us to understand the past and to look to our future. By highlighting cultural heritage in 2018, we will emphasise:
  • how it builds stronger societies
  • how it creates jobs and prosperity
  • its importance for our relations with the rest of the world
  • what can be done to protect it

EU funding to boost family-owned heritage houses

The European Commission is launching new funding opportunities for Open micro-business models in European family-owned heritage houses. The initiative will map the existing business models used by family-owned heritage houses in the EU and boost potential innovations.

The action will contribute to the objectives of the European Year of Cultural Heritage through dissemination and awareness raising of European value of heritage. You can submit your project proposals by 13th September 2017.
Find out what the European Union is doing to protect cultural heritage in Europe

International Congress on Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage
FRH co-organised the 2016 International Congress on religious heritage and tourism held in Utrecht. This year’s Congress will take place in Fatima, Portugal, on 22 – 23 November.
Following the success of previous Congress, which was attended from 200 participants and speakers from 17 countries, this year’s event is jointly organised by UNWTO and the Ministry of Economy of Portugal. The summit will reflect on the potential and the role of religious tourism as a tool for socio-economic and cultural development of destinations. You can register here
FRH News
The next FRH Annual General Meeting will be held in Leuven on 26th October 2017.

The Paris Conference, organised jointly with la Sauvegarde, will take place in October 2018. Stay tuned on this announcement for more developments to follow.

Get involved
If you would like to contribute to the next issue, we’d love to hear from you! Let us know what you’ve been up to and what your ongoing projects are. You can also send us your photos at Pictures will be published on our official gallery.

With best wishes and regards,

Milko Hadzhigenov
FRH Communication Officer
 Promoting access to culture via digital means

Technology is changing faster than ever and impacts not only on what we do but how we think about what we do. This document addresses the fact that institutions and arts organisations (public and private), set up to carry out a public purpose, now find that through the impact of digitisation and internet tools, they are, in many cases, lagging behind. Read the full report or download your free copy
Church in Kilkenny, Ireland, restored and redesigned for adaptive reuse

From the architect. St Mary’s Hall, formerly St Mary’s Church, High Street, Kilkenny was founded in the thirteenth century as the parish church of the City. In use as a Parish and Masonic Hall since the mid-20th century, it was purchased by Kilkenny Borough Council in 2010 with assistance from Kilkenny County Council and the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government. Continue reading
Future for Religious Heritage is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.
Copyright © 2017 Future for Religious Heritage, All rights reserved.

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