Future for Religious Heritage (FRH) was founded in 2011 as an organisation dedicated to the safeguarding of Europe’s diverse and unique religious heritage. It is the only independent, non-faith, and non-profit network of charities and conservation departments of governmental, religious and university institutions, and other professionals working to protect religious heritage buildings across Europe, with over 200 members in 52 countries.



FRH works to ensure the promotion and safeguarding of Europe’s religious heritage, by bringing together organisations and individuals in a Europe-wide network and participating in forums and advocacy networks in order to bring the voice of religious heritage to relevant stakeholders and policymakers.


  • Unite – FRH consists of over 200 members coming from 52 countries, seeking to promote and enhance good practice sharing, project-building and professional collaboration with all those interested in safeguarding Europe’s rich historic places of worship as well as intangible religious heritage.
  • Promote – FRH promotes the value of religious heritage by raising public interest and encouraging community engagement in the conservation and safeguarding of Europe’s religious heritage.
  • Protect – FRH works closely with EU policymakers and relevant cultural heritage stakeholder forums, sharing relevant information and recommendations regarding the implementation of legislation that promotes community engagement, sustainability, cultural preservation, and innovation around religious heritage. This includes finding creative ways of preserving historic places of worship including extended use and reuse, to avoid demolition or abandonment.


  • Engagement – reaching out to relevant communities, professionals, policymakers, and the public.
  • Sustainability – working towards the sustainability of religious heritage to ensure it can be passed on to future generations.
  • Protection – safeguarding Europe’s tangible and intangible religious heritage; avoiding the abandonment and destruction of this invaluable European heritage.
  • Innovation – finding new and innovative ways to protect historic places of worship.

Our achievements

In November 2010, leading representatives from over 50 organisations that care for historic places of worship in 24 countries met for the first time in Canterbury, UK to discuss the establishment of a European network dedicated to the safeguarding of religious heritage. In 2011, this network was officially established in Brussels, Belgium, and became a member of the European Heritage Alliance.

Over the past twelve years, FRH has worked hard to grow its network, take part in projects to work toward its goal, and participate in studies and expert groups in order to ensure that European policymakers are informed on the situation of religious heritage in Europe.


Founding of FRH – FRH is officially established in Brussels, Belgium and opens its office amongst the European Institutions. FRH also becomes a founding member of the European Heritage Alliance.


1st FRH Biennial Conference – “Extended Use of Religious Heritage Buildings” (Venice, Italy)


ALTERheritage – FRH launches its first European project, ALTERheritage, which aims to make materials for vocational learning about religious heritage conservation and management more widely available.

1st Joint Conference– “Moveable Religious Heritage – Values and Protection” (Utrecht, the Netherlands).


2nd FRH Biennial Conference – “Sustaining Europe’s Rural Religious Heritage” (Halle, Germany).

Presentation to EU Parliament – FRH is invited to the EU Parliament to speak on the question “what is religious heritage’s future in Europe?” The presentation is hosted by Peter van Dalen (MEP).

Europe-wide Poll shows that people support Religious Heritage – FRH, in partnership with Sociovision and Toluna, revealed that 84% of Europeans ages 18+ agree that European shared religious heritage represents a unique and essential part of Europe’s cultural heritage and is key element of European identity. Furthermore, 79% of people polled also believe that they have a crucial part to play in the future survival of their communities.


2nd Joint Conference – “Heritage Counts” (Leuven, Belgium).

Religious Heritage Achieves Recognition  – Through successful lobbying, FRH is able to get the importance of religious heritage officially recognized by the European Committee of the Regions and Parliament.

Europetour – Along with a Europewide consortium, FRH launches the Europetour project with the goal of mapping and enhancing local tourism in rural areas of Europe. As a result of this project, eight comprehensive training modules in seven different languages were published.


3rd FRH Biennial Conference – “Tourists, Travellers & Pilgrims” (Vicenza, Italy)

3rd Joint Conference“Religious Heritage and Tourism” (Utrecht, Netherlands)


ReligianaReligiana, a website that aims to encourage people to explore Europe’s religious heritage, is launched.

FRH Inform – FRH Inform is the first comprehensive database concerning the status of religious heritage in Europe in order to advise policymakers on how to better protect it.

FRH receives the Creative Networks Grant – FRH officially becomes one of the 28 organisations under the European Commission’s Creative Europe programme, signifying the importance of religious heritage protection being recognized at a European level.


FRH Torch of Heritage and Culture – In honour of the 2018 year of Cultural Heritage, this project saw a “torch” that travelled between different heritage related events across Europe and gathered letters of memories from their participants.

4th FRH Biennial Conference  – “Religious Heritage – Europe’s Legacy for the Future” (Unesco, Paris, FR)

SKIVRE – FRH along with other European organisations, begins this project which aims at helping monastic communities gain sustainable marketing skills. As a result, 10 training modules as well as videos, good practice examples, and a comprehensive implementation guide are published and certified.

Voices of Culture – FRH becomes one of the 36 members of the “Voices of Culture”, a structured dialogue between the European Commission and the cultural sector.


Torch Book publication – FRH releases its first publication the “FRH Torch Book” which documents the route of the FRH Torch initiative as well as the letters received during this journey.

Reflection Group “Heritage and the EU” FRH is selected to be part of this group along with representatives from all EU Member States, the EU Commission, the Council of Europe, and other European networks

4th Joint Conference – “Religious Heritage in a Diverse Europe” (Groningen, the Netherlands)

European Year of Cultural Heritage Expert Group – As part of the legacy of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, FRH is selected as one of the members of the European Expert Group on Cultural Heritage.


#JUMPFORHERITAGE – FRH launches #jumpforheritage to carry on the legacy of the FRH Torch. The goal of this campaign is to encourage people all over Europe to get out and share a moment of joy while sharing their religious heritage.

Climate Heritage Network – FRH joins the Climate Heritage Network, a network of heritage organisations dedicated to empowering communities to reach the goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement.


5th Biennial Conference  – The FRH 5th Biennial Conference “Europe’s Living Religious Heritage” takes place in four separate hybrid events throughout the year in different locations across Europe. The first event took place in May in Barcelona, Spain. The second event took place in September in Bologna, Italy. The third event took place in October in Michaelstein Abbey, Blankenburg, Germany. The final event took place in November in Brussels, Belgium.

Run for Heritage – Run for Heritage is an initiative that encourages young people to be active while learning about their religious heritage. Eleven Run for Heritage events have taken place between 2021 and 2023. These events featured students from various schools across Spain and Italy who ran among their local religious heritage sites.


Religious Heritage Innovator of the Year prize – The Innovator of the Year competition was launched for the first time in 2022 to find the best examples of innovation in the religious heritage field across Europe.


6th FRH Biennial Conference  – “European Sustainable Religious Heritage” (Lund, Sweden).