UK – Ideas sought as St Margaret’s Church, Bentham, shuts for good

An alternative use is being sought for a Craven church which has officially closed its doors.

A consultation will be held in High Bentham following the permanent closure of St Margaret’s Parish Church, which was shut temporarily two years ago on the grounds of health and safety.

“It is a real shame,” said the Rev Stephen Dawson.

“But hopefully people will realise they need to become involved if they want their local church to stay open.”

via Ideas sought as St Margaret’s Church, Bentham, shuts for good (From Craven Herald).

NETHERLANDS – Maintenance of the Utrecht Dom cathedral is funded by crowdfunding

The upcoming restoration of the arches of the cathedral in Utrecht is funded entirely through crowdfunding. The project is thus the first crowdfunded project for religious buildings by ABN AMRO MeesPierson. The private bank ABN AMRO will include the online platform where investors and church meet.

Maintenance Dom in Utrecht is funded by crowdfunding – Utrecht – – Utrecht and Leyden-Rhine.

NETHERLANDS – Event: ” (Re)shaping the (Re)presentation of Jewish Culture: The Future of Jewish Museums in the 21st century”

The Rothschild Foundation Europe and Paideia present a new program for supporting European Jewish Museums: Reshaping the Representation of Jewish Culture: The Future of Jewish Museums in the 21st century.

Amsterdam, March 05 – 09, 2014

To apply, please go to the bottom of the page. Deadline for applications is January 1st. Please make sure to read the guide lines before filling in your application.

A dynamic opportunity for museum professionals to consider the future of their institutions and to rethink the mission of Jewish museums in a changing environment. In a unique collaboration, the seminar will be led by experienced museum managers and Jewish educators, facilitating and encouraging collaborative work, networking, sharing of practices and the development of a learning community of common interests.

via RFE/Paideia Museum Program | Paideia.

FRANCE – Analyse : Mosquées, un patrimoine en devenir ? — Observatoire du Patrimoine Religieux

While Ramadan comes to an end, the Observatiore du Patrimoine Religieux shines a light on some 2300 mosques in France. While most of it has no “heritage value”, some, increasingly numerous, rival cathedrals. Portrait of a heritage building together.

Alors que le ramadan vient de prendre fin, l’OPR s’intéresse aux quelques 2300 mosquées de France. Si la plupart d’entre-elle n’ont aucun “intérêt patrimonial”, certaines, de plus en plus nombreuses, concurrence les cathédrales. Portrait d’un ensemble patrimonial en construction.

via Analyse : Mosquées, un patrimoine en devenir ? — Observatoire du Patrimoine Religieux.

HUNGARY/ROMANIA – Cross-border project renovates synagogues for religious tourism

Thanks to a more than €1.41 million grant from the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), two historic synagogues — the Kapolnas street synagogue in Debrecen, eastern Hungary and the Zion synagogue across the border in Oradea (Nagyvarad in Hungarian), Romania — are being restored and will be promoted as part of religious tourism itineraries and cultural and educational programs.

via Cross-border project renovates synagogues in Debrecen, HU and Oradea, RO | Jewish Heritage Europe.

FRANCE – Evaluation form for objects in churches


Le document peut être utilisé par le maire ou le curé, mais aussi par toute autre personne déléguée par eux connaissant bien l’église, les objets mobiliers qu’elle renferme et les pratiques qui l’entourent: conseiller municipal, membre du clergé, paroissien, membre d’une association culturelle, employé municipal, personne en charge de l’entretien et de la surveillance de l’édifice…

Deux ou trois personnes peuvent y travailler ensemble sans inconvénient, à condition de respecter l’ordre des différents chapitres.

Les résultats gagneront à être analysés et discutés avec le Conservateur des Antiquités et Objets d’Art de façon à dégager les priorités et envisager ensemble les améliorations nécessaires. Pour ce qui touche au bâtiment lui-même, le Service Départemental de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine pourra également être consulté.

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Yuceer, Hulya, “The Future of Religious Heritage in Conflict Areas: The case of abandoned churches in Northern Cyprus”

Religious buildings generally represent a community’s common spiritual values. In the case of armed conflict between people of different religious affiliations, their places of worship can become targets of destruction or, in the case of displacement of communities due to conflict, they can eventually become abandoned. In the case of the Cyprus conflict however, there are some differences. Although there was no deliberate destruction of heritage sites, the nature of the conflict resulted in community displacement and subsequent neglect of religious buildings, many of which are now in ruin.

The Cyprus conflict has its roots in the inter-communal dispute between Greek and Turkish Cypriots; affiliated to Christian and Muslim religions. The conflict led to the displacement of the communities in 1974 and has not yet been resolved. Thus, the places of worship not used by the other community became obsolete as the community that previously used them were relocated. Currently there is little indication of a solution that would allow them to re-settle in their original villages. Thirty-eight years have led to the oblivion of memories and have given rise to a new generation who have not witnessed these events. The religious heritage sites in the absence of their original owners or communities were affected by the conflict either by being left to deteriorate and falling into ruin or by being appropriated for another purpose. Today, on both sides, there are many churches and mosques that are examples of this (Figure 1 and 2).

In view of the problematic economic situation of Northern Cyprus, and the number of churches, monasteries and chapels, the conservation of heritage sites is not at the top of the priority list regardless of ethnic affiliations. The conservation projects chosen to be supported by international organizations are mostly those which are seen as «significant» heritage sites which can attract more attention and form part of a larger agenda. In the case of Cyprus, the community has been seen to play an important role in heritage protection as has been proved by the churches that have been assigned new uses such as cultural centres, handcraft ateliers for women and folkloric dance centres (Figure 3,4,5). With the mandate of the community, a maintenance process with minor alterations has been undertaken, thus showing their sensitivity towards the churches, even though the community is well aware that these churches may be returned to their rightful owners, should there be a unification in future, and that they are merely acting as custodians of these churches until that time.

Rather than allowing them to deteriorate, these modest adaptive re-use projects offer a temporary but pragmatic solution for their maintenance and safeguarding.

Hülya Yüceer
Architect PhD-Conservation Specialist
Department of Architecture
Adana Science and Technology University, Turkey

For further information please see:
ß Yüceer, H. (2012) “Protection of abandoned churches in Northern Cyprus: challenges for reuse”. In S. Lambert, & C. Rockwell (Eds.) Protecting Cultural Heritage in Times of Conflict (pp.60-66). Rome: ICCROM.
ß Saifi Y., Yüceer H. (2012). “Maintaining the absent other: the re-use of religious
heritage sites in conflicts”, International Journal of Heritage Studies, (Available online since 27 July 2012)
ß Yüceer H. (2012). “The effects of conflict on religious heritage sites in Northern
Cyprus”, Economia della Cultura, Vol. 22, No. 3, pp. 279-286.


NETHERLANDS – Doomsday scenarios on church demolitions

Yes, many Dutch churches are empty. And yes, more places of worship will close their doors the coming years. But it will not come to a massive church demolition, suspects architectural historian Herman Wesselink. The future is brighter than many might think.

Ja, veel Nederlandse kerken lopen leeg. En ja, de komende jaren zullen steeds meer godshuizen hun deuren sluiten. Maar het zal niet komen tot een massale kerksloop, vermoedt architectuurhistoricus Herman Wesselink. De toekomst is misschien zonniger dan velen denken.

via ‘Doemscenario’s over kerksloop vallen reuze mee’ – Christendom – TROUW.