Why Join #JUMPFORHERITAGE? – An Interview with Patty Wageman, Director of Stichting Oude Groninger Kerken

Why Join #JUMPFORHERITAGE? – An Interview with Patty Wageman, Director of Stichting Oude Groninger Kerken

#JUMPFORHERITAGE is a campaign of joy to encourage people to get out and explore their religious heritage by linking sports and heritage. We’re encouraging everyone across Europe to participate in this campaign after a particularly difficult year. Several people across Europe as well as heritage and sports organisations have joined the campaign. In order to encourage people to help spread the campaign, we’ve interviewed Patty Wageman, Director of Stichting Oude Groninger Kerken in the Netherlands, who has supported the campaign by taking several photos, writing a press release, and submitting it to her local news. We’ve asked Patty why she thinks #JUMPFORHERITAGE is a good initiative and what she has to say about joining.


-What do you find interesting and unique about #JUMPFORHERITAGE?

The interesting part of #JUMPFORHERITAGE for the Historic Groningen Churches Foundation is that we can share and show the support for our heritage on a European platform. That we demonstrate in a playful way how important this heritage is for young and old people, while at the same time the diversity of our heritage is made visible. The fact that it is a playful campaign with a serious undertone is what makes it unique too. It links all our heritage sites as well despite their diversity and shows that heritage is not bound by borders, not now nor in the past. By sharing these pictures on social media where borders do also not apply, they indicate that our organizations are united in the same cause: to keep our heritage alive by not only maintaining it but also by using it in different ways.

-What inspired you to participate in the campaign?

We participated because this is a relatively simple way to connect people and heritage in a joyful manner while most of the world is still in lockdown. In the same context, it is an alternative outdoor activity.

-Do you think linking sports and heritage is a good way to encourage people to learn more about their religious heritage? Why?

I don’t know if linking sports and heritage works is a definite way to encourage people to learn more about their religious heritage. Normally they are two separate worlds unless a national heritage site has become a gym or something like that. Then people become interested in the place they go to every day or every week if they are not already interested in heritage. However, if walking or cycling as a means of leisure is a sport, then, yes, it would probably work as this enables people to stop, look at and experience our heritage.

SOGK 08-02-2021 jumpforheritage kerk hornhuizen

-Do you think #JUMPFORHERITAGE is a positive initiative in times of COVID? Why?

Yes, I do think #JUMPFORHERITAGE is a positive initiative. The threshold to participate is low, it is fun and to be shared on social media. It takes your mind off COVID-19 and makes you realize there is all this beautiful heritage, probably close-by, to enjoy now and later when life turns back to normal.

-How does jumping for your religious heritage bring you joy?

If you mean metaphorically, then I think it brings us joy because it shows what our monuments mean to people that they want to share it with us. It connects the object with the person, and therefore history with emotion, life, society.


-What message do you have to encourage people to participate in #JUMPFORHERITAGE?

If you #JUMPFORHERITAGE, you help us to visualize what our heritage means to you, what it means to where you live. With #JUMPFORHERITAGE you do not only support us locally but at the same time also internationally. You help to create awareness of our heritage with other people near and far and how important it is to keep this alive.

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