Europe’s religious heritage – the 500,000 buildings themselves, churches, chapels, synagogues, mosques, cathedrals, monasteries, convents: their contents, furnishings, monuments, sculptures, paintings, frescos, silver, vestments, libraries: the architects, artists & musicians they have inspired over the centuries: their record of national, local and individual history dating back well over a 1,000 years – represents a unique and essential part of Europe’s cultural identity.
Important structural changes are required if this heritage, under serious threat due to declining congregations and reduced government spending, is to adapt successfully to the needs of the 21st century.
The EU currently has no policy on religious heritage and provides no money to encourage structural change in the sector.
FRH maintains that an explicit case must now be made for religious buildings, which, until recently, benefitted from implicit support in most European countries.
FRH has been concentrating its recent efforts on promoting the place of religious heritage in:
- ‘Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe’.
A paper that was voted by a large majority in the European parliament on 7th September 2015.
- Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe: Towards a European Index for Cultural Heritage.
A two-year project, funded by the EU Culture Programme, whose findings were published on 16th September 2015.
FRH’s aim is now to obtain sufficient backing from the European Parliament to demand that the EU Commission prepare a policy on religious heritage and to assist in the formulation of such a policy.