CALL FOR PAPERS for FRH conference 29 Oct – 1 Nov

CALL FOR PAPERS for FRH conference 29 Oct – 1 Nov


“Sustaining Europe’s rural religious heritage”

29 October – 1 November 2014
Deadline: 22 June 2014
Please send an abstract of maximally one page (A4) in English to

Future for Religious Heritage’s third international conference takes place in Halle this autumn. It will bring together practitioners and policymakers working to save and promote religious heritage across Europe. The aim will be to develop and share new thinking on sustaining historic religious buildings and recognising value in a rural context.

The vast majority of Europe’s religious heritage is in the countryside. It is often hard to access physically as well as intellectually and suffers from underuse and high maintenance and conservation needs.

This conference will take a number of different viewpoints with the aim to better understand the values of rural religious heritage, both social and economic, as well as give inspiration to practitioners across Europe by promoting innovative models and ideas.

It will consider issues of demographic and geographic contexts of the heritage in larger society and smaller communities, audience development and accessibility to the public, fundraising and management of the buildings.

We call for poster-abstracts on the following topic:

– “Help me help them” – presenting a specific “problem”-building, that is looking for a solution. The session will take the form of a forum for brainstorming ideas around the posters.

We call for papers on the following topics:

– Experiences of how extended community, arts and tourism use can benefit religious heritage in the rural context.

– What types of events can be responsive to the religious and secular communities’ needs, and the heritage fabric of the building and interior.

– Civil society – the importance of rural religious buildings to the sustaining and strengthening of the wider rural community. How initiatives to strengthen rural civil society and protect rural religious heritage can be mutually beneficial.

– Examples of how to engage the local countryside community, excite and empower them to look after the heritage?

– Storytelling! How do we engage people in telling the story of their church, synagogue or mosque? Personal stories that also present the more recent history, use and importance for the community .

– New ways of enjoying and appreciating the heritage! Can opening the senses help find new routes to interpreting the heritage? What role does technology play in this?

– Innovative models for fundraising! What can crowd-funding do for religious heritage, and how can available funding be shared over a number of buildings? What can this do to help engage people who are not part of the building’s local community?

– How to meet the challenges of merging parishes and closing down churches. How to find which to use and which to close? Does the decision-making process behind closing one or a group of churches fully take into account wider community and cultural needs?

– How to secure the place of worship and its contents against both human and natural threats, whilst also ensuring accessibility and the privacy of the visitors?

– Examples of good rural maintenance practice with minimal resources.


Logo, Future for Religious Heritage (FRH) - The European network for historic places of worship


This conference is organised in collaboration with:

FAK Berlin-Brandenburg
FAK Marburg
Katholische Akademie des Bistums Magdeburg
Stiftung “Entschlossene Kirchen”
Landesheimatbund Sachsen-Anhalt
Verband der Kirchbauvereine Sachsen-Anhalt

Logo-FAK                    Kirchen Stiftung logoLandesheimatbunt logo





Go to the FRH conference 2014 main page

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