Number 6: Places of Worship
Historic places of worship can be found in every city, town and village across the country. They contribute hugely to our historic environment and our communities. They are often the centres of our spiritual lives, the hubs around which communities revolve and the landmarks we enjoy.
The people who value and care for these buildings recognise that there is always more to discover. They also understand the ever-present need to explain to an increasingly agnostic society why these buildings matter, how they benefit people and what enjoyment they can bring even to those not wishing to use them for worship.
This edition of Heritage Online Debate explores three particular areas central to the understanding of historic places of worship and their importance:
The big picture
Several articles explore the broad aspects of tourism and places of worship at risk. Sarah Crossland discusses the National Churches Trust’s new ExploreChurches resource promoting church tourism. Michael Mail explains initiatives saving Jewish heritage at risk across Europe. Christopher Wakeling’s blog focuses on five unique non-conformist buildings.
Maintenance and support
Articles from Fran Bell and Matthew Godfrey, and Peter Aiers, focus on the importance of maintenance and the support networks which help places of worship to stay open and connected to their communities.
Guidance and learning
The final two articles showcase opportunities for learning through new research, advice and conferences. Robyn Pender highlights new Historic England guidance and a conference on Environmental Protective Glazing, while Joseph Elders explores research and a conference on 20th century churches later in 2018.
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Saving Jewish History
By Michael Mail, Chief Executive, Foundation for Jewish Heritage
Maintenance Project with Quakers in Norfolk
By Peter Aiers, Chief Executive, The Churches Conservation Trust
Keeping Churches Standing and Open
By Dr Matthew Godfrey Historic Churches Support Officer and Frances Bell Church Development Officer, Diocese of Lincoln
20th Century Churches
By Dr Joseph Elders, Major Projects Officer, Cathedral and Church Buildings Division, Church of England
Dealing with Environmental Deterioration of Stained Glass
By Robyn Pender, Senior Architectural Conservator, Historic England
Discover the Wonder of the UK’s Religious Heritage
By Sarah Crossland, Church Tourism Manager, National Churches Trust
Building a Sustainable Future
By Kate Guest, Projects Officer, Historic England