Europa Nostra award application deadline coming up!

Each year, Europa Nostra and the European Union reward the best of cultural heritage achievements. Through our European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, we celebrate excellence and dedication by architects, craftsmen, volunteers, schools, local communities, heritage owners and media. Through the power of their example we stimulate creativity and innovation.

Deadline 9 September 2013

via Europa Nostra.

UK – The Best Rescue or Repair of a Historic Place of Worship

The English Heritage Angel Awards were founded by Andrew Lloyd Webber to reward the efforts of local people in saving their heritage. Having received lots of fantastic entries for the 2013 awards, the judges have sifted through them and you can now see the shortlist for this year. The winners will be revealed at a glittering awards ceremony in London on 21 October.

The Best Rescue or Repair of a Historic Place of Worship | English Heritage.

UK – New competition to find the UK’s best modern church architecture

The search is on to find the Top 10 churches built in the United Kingdom since 1953 in a new architecture competition launched by the National Churches Trust, the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association and the Twentieth Century Society.

Any new church building or significant extension to an existing building from any Christian denomination in the United Kingdom which opened for worship after 1st January 1953 and which is still open for worship today can be nominated for the competition. Judges will be looking for creative architecture which imaginatively expresses Christian religious belief and practice of the past 60 years.

via New competition to find the UK’s best modern church architecture | National Churches Trust Blog.

ESTONIA – Seminar: Extended Use of Churches

TIME: 7 October 2013, 9.00-17.30
PLACE: Niguliste Museum, Tallinn, Estonia

For centuries churches have been the central pillars of the communities around them – congregations’ manifestations of pride and wealth. In these days the status of a church building has undergone considerable change. Secularisation and urbanisation processes have shrunk congregations, especially in the countryside. Financial challenges and under-use are the key factors which put historical churches under threat of redundancy. The focus of the seminar is extended use of churches. The aim is to introduce the present situation and trends in Europe and boost the discussion on that matter.  Our target groups are congregations and the clergy as well as the professionals working in the field of heritage protection.

via Seminar Extended Use of Churches | SMC.

IRELAND – Cathedrals Lady Chapel reopened also for culture

Built in the 1270s, the Lady Chapel at the rear of the Dublin landmark has gone through a 700,000 euro conservation project over the last six months.Dean Victor Stacey said: “Although just complete, we can already see how the restoration of this unique space has rejuvenated interest in the cathedral as a whole. From an aesthetic point of view, it demonstrated how careful restoration can illuminate the architecture and craftsmanship that makes the cathedral one of the most beautiful in this part of Europe.”The Lady Chapel will be part of the tour from now and will also be available for cultural events. The chapel followed the style of churches across northern Europe in the 13th and 14th centuries, being built behind the cathedrals high altar and dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

via Cathedrals Lady Chapel reopened –

Mikulska, Jana and Baiba Ekere, “Religious heritage in danger in Latvia, Gaiku Lutheran Church”

Gaiku Lutheran Church, Kurland, Latvia

This year Gaiku Church celebrates 355 years of existence. The church was built on a natural hill in 1658. That kind of elongated building with a narrowed apse and sacristy attached is the traditional example of the sacred architecture of 17th century in Kurland, Latvia. Masonry construction of the church was organized by local German feudal G. von Hoerner (buried in the crypt beneath the church), who commanded to build a church with 210 seats. In 1684 a tower was added to the building’s main façade, its pyramidal roof was concluded by a sphere, a tower cock and a cross.

The particular value of the church lies in its interior and equipment: it is the exclusive church in Latvia with rare altar composition and the organ loft, painted richly, and symbolic and emblematic paintings selected for the benches as well. One of the most original and artistically most valuable monument of the era of the Latvian Baroque, created during 1684, are 26 tempera paintings on panels of the church benches and small doors of the benches. The paintings depict the German church pastor Nicolaus Wittenburg’s theological sermon based on the compiled badge collection “Symbolorum et Emblematum” of the natural scientist and philologist Joachim Camerarius (1534-1598).

In the 2nd half of the 17th century a luxurious organ loft barrier was made, influenced by the Renaissance, with 16 paneled paintings of the apostles, Christ and the Evangelists. It is believed that the two-storey altar retable (the end of the 17th century) was made by Tallinn’s (Reval) master Kristian Akkerman’s workshop. The composition of retable represents a rare example in Latvia: two-story building put on the base with a wide central part with columns, but the figures are placed on consoles on both sides of the retable.

Drawings on the panels of the pulpit of the 17th century depict texts of the Gospel of St. John covering the pieces of text in German.

In a longer perspective we would like to see the Gaiku church well maintained, protected and highly valued in the public mind. To achieve this, the Gaiku church, which is an architectural monument of State protection, was included in the list of “100 most endangered cultural monuments in Latvia” at European Heritage Days 2004. The church is still performing its traditional functions, but as the years go by, it is losing its original brilliance.

The wooden roof construction is damaged, the tower is in a state of emergency, the tower cock is restored, but now placed inside the church, in turn, the unique paintings are in poor condition.

The research of the church’s facilities, performed in 2005, revealed that the retable’s original color was black, accentuating the wooden carvings in reddish brown and golden tone.

The congregation is very small, in spite of it, the work and enthusiasm of the church members is huge, but it is not enough for this small rural church to continue to stay for future generations.

By Jana Mikulska, B.hist.,
Baiba Ekere, M.phil.


UK – Course: Managing major building projects in places of worship

BOOKING NOW OPEN: Managing Major Buildings Projects in Places of Worship on 8 October 2013 in the New Room, in Bristol

The purpose of the day is to help with the management of all stages of a building project in a place of worship, from start up through to making sure benefits are achieved over the long term. It is aimed at those concerned with places of worship of all sizes, types and location, and will be relevant both to new build, alterations and repairs. Although focusing on projects of a significant size, many of the principles apply in simplified form to smaller projects, and the day should be useful whatever the size of project being considered. It will be useful both to those who are directly responsible for a single project in a single building, and those who have an oversight role for a number of religious buildings.

Invitation leaflet