UK – Bradford Muslims Rally To Save Synagogue From Closure

With only just over thirty members and an extravagant Grade II listed Moorish building, the tiny Jewish community of Bradford have for many years been in despair about their finances – until the local Muslim community stepped in to help.The grand-looking Reform synagogue, is on an unassuming street, between the Yorkshire Tandoori, Al-Hijaab Islamic Clothing and the Jamia Shan-E-Islam Educational Centre.Built in 1880, it has long been under threat of closure, but several Muslim organisations in the city have pledged to stop it falling into ruin, with donors giving £2,000 to save the synagogues roof.

via Bradford Muslims Rally To Save Synagogue From Closure.

FRANCE – Are the 45 000 churches in France heritage in danger?

Can French communes still afford to maintain their churches? The recent demolition of five buildings causes worry in France. Will the steeples disapear from the landscape? Is the image of Epinal French villages at risk? A series of demolitions of churches in recent months causes concern. Since the beginning of the year, five places of worship have disappeared.

Les communes françaises ont-elles encore les moyens financiers d’entretenir leurs églises ? La démolition récente de cinq édifices commence à inquiéter.Les clochers de nos campagnes vont-ils disparaître du paysage ? L’image d’Épinal des villages français est-elle en péril ? Une série de démolitions d’églises constatée ces derniers mois inquiète. Depuis le début de l’année, cinq lieux de culte ont disparu sous l’effet des pelleteuses.

via France-Monde | Les 45 000 églises de France sont-elles un patrimoine en danger ?.

BULGARIA – Religious tourism on the rise in Sozopol

Religious tourism has been registering growth in the seaside municipality of Sozopol since the relics of Saint John the Baptist were unearthed, deputy mayor Petya Chapevova told FOCUS Radio.

August is the busiest month for hoteliers in the municipality of Sozopol and this year is no exception, she added.

The relics of Saint John the Baptist which were discovered here on an island to which you can travel by ship stir keen interest among religious tourists from Ukraine, Russia and, of course, Bulgaria. They come to respect the relics and see our churches and monasteries which have unique icons and iconostases. This is not absolutely religious tourism – it is a family holiday, a combination between the opportunity to see the relics and the opportunity to relish the wonderful seaside, she said further.

via Religious tourism on the rise in Bulgaria’s Sozopol: deputy mayor – FOCUS Information Agency.

Have you seen the stolen panels from Devon, UK?

We are saddened to report the damage and theft of panels from a 15th-century oak screen at Holy Trinity Church, Torbryan in deepest Devon countryside.

CCT is appealing to the public to help find and recover the panels. The oak screen with panels is one of the most important examples of its kind in the country. Its mid-15th-century painted panels represent a variety of saints and church dignitaries. The artistry is of a very high status, suggesting that the artist was specially commissioned to produce the panels for the screen. Even though some of the panels have been missing for many years the Torbryan screen represents an exceptionally complete survival from the late medieval period that escaped the worst excesses of the iconoclasts who took down most of the screens in the country during the reformation, especially those that included representations of saints. The loss of two of the panels of St Victor of Marseilles and St Margaret of Antioch and the damage to the third of a female saint is a great blow to the church.

Crispin Truman, Chief Executive of the Churches Conservation Trust says ‘I was shocked to learn of the theft of these panels and the damage done to this significant art work. Holy Trinity is a beautiful public building much admired around the country and beyond, this crime will deprive all visitors and researchers of an important part of Devon heritage and is essentially a theft of public property. We hope that by publicising the loss we might be able to recover the panels.

The theft has been reported to the police. If you have any information to help the search, please contact the CCT.

Latest update on the panels and media attention for the loss.

Campaign to raise awareness and funds in support of the religious heritage objects in the care of the CCT History for the Future: Protecting England’s Treasures


UK – Training day: Managing major building projects in places of worship

The day deals 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. Anyone involved in such an undertaking, of whatever size, will find it invaluable.

8th October 2013
9:30am Coffee & registration
10am Seminar begins

The New Room
36 The Horsefair

Fee £45. Discounts for multiple ticket purchases are available. Numbers are limited. For further information and booking details please go to the websites listed below. You can also phone Georgia

Ropek on 020 7397 7171 or reserve your place by email at
The deadline for booking is 20th September 2013.

Flyer invite PDF