The FRH Torch initiative: an Olympic contribution to Culture and Heritage

The FRH Torch initiative: an Olympic contribution to Culture and Heritage

The European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH) 2018 will offer a unique chance to showcase that religious heritage is not only a legacy from the past but also a resource for the future.

The Year will feature cultural events in thousands of cities and towns across Europe, being the largest public arts and cultural manifestation of European history.

As part of its contribution to EYCH 2018, and inspired by the Olympic Flame in Athens, FRH is thrilled to launch the Torch of Culture and Heritage, an initiative that will offer a unique chance to celebrate the diverse elements of our European identity.

We would be delighted that you join FRH’s call for action to light the Torch of Culture and Heritage with your favourite story, memory or experience in the context of cultural heritage.

Future for Religious Heritage believes that articulating the value of our heritage will give more strength to recognise the wider significance of Europe.

Europe’s legacy through the lens of heritage and culture
Our heritage is a living tradition of Europe and we need your contribution to help raise awareness amongst Europeans of the rich heritage in their own environment, and encourage them to think about how society could benefit from the legacy faith and culture have left behind.

Masterpieces from Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Johann Sebastian Bach signify that religious heritage has always been close to European identity. Art and culture travel beyond time. The people of Europe have generated a culture, a set of ideas and ways of life, practices, and artefacts that have been handed down from generation to generation.

A recent EU-wide survey showed that 4 out of 5 Europeans regard religious heritage buildings essential for community life, and want to promote them to a secular audience. 79% of Europeans believe that they have a crucial part to play in the survival of their communities in the future.

While statistics provide mounting evidence that heritage and culture are having a tremendous impact on individuals and communities across Europe, nothing communicates this more succinctly than listening to these stories first hand.

Join us in the revival of our shared heritage and become part of building a bright future for Europe.

About the torch of culture and heritage
The history of Europe had a profound effect on our communities for centuries, and continues to play an integral part in community life today. In the run-up to the EYCH 2018, FRH has the pleasure, inspired by the Olympic Torch in Athens, to launch the “Torch Initiative”, to raise awareness and safeguard the importance of Europe’s rich religious heritage and culture.

The initiative will bring together diverse community groups with different cultures, traditions and languages in a unified and coordinated action to foster unity while celebrating Europe’s diversity.

The Torch will offer visibility and carry the messages of famous artists, musicians, politicians and European citizens who will help rediscover the value of our shared heritage as a symbol of unity on which Europe was built.

Ministers of Culture from each EU member state will be invited to take part in the initiative, along the countries’ scientists, artists, refugees/immigrants, civilians.

The movement of the Torch across Europe will be traced on a LIVE interactive map that will provide a record of all countries and cities through which it has travelled. The Torch will be lit in Leeuwarden on Monday 8th January, carried around Europe and finish in Paris in October 2018 when it will be presented to the European Commissioner of Culture and FRH’s 4th International Conference – Religious Heritage: Europe’s Legacy for the Future.

What is next
Please send your input, memory, story or experience, preferably in a digital or handwritten letter, to Your participation will be reviewed and published accordingly.

About FRH
Future for Religious Heritage (FRH) brings together those who work to protect religious heritage across Europe. FRH is a non-profit, non-religious organisation founded in 2008 and based in Brussels. As the only European Network for Historic Places of Worship, FRH is a leading voice for the active and engaged cultural life of all Europeans. FRH has 154 members in 38 countries, including NGOs, charities, government, religious and university departments. Since 2017 FRH is one of the 28 European networks supported through the Creative Europe Networks programme.

FRH is dedicated to building a Pan European Network of heritage connections devoted to providing European citizens with opportunities to participate in, and appreciate, all forms of religious heritage and culture throughout Europe. FRH is committed to reaching the goal of engaging Europeans from every community in the heritage and culture of Europe.

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