In_Bo (2017-07-01)

Inspired by the Past – Engaging the Present – Securing the Future

  • Matthew Mckeague

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 7, no. 10
pp. 133 – 145


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This is a challenging time for historic churches, but one with many new opportunities. Once-secure funding streams are drying up, and there is little prospect of them ever coming back. For religious heritage organisations this is particularly problematic, as the move to a secular society has meant younger generations simply do not have the same connection to church buildings as their parents and grandparents. There is a real danger that our rich religious heritage, and with it the histories of local communities nationwide, may be completely forgotten about, and lost forever. Yet churches have adapted to changing times throughout history. Pre-reformation they were the first community centres; meeting places and marketplaces. They successfully adapted first to Puritan stern, silent places exclusively for worship, then to the more relaxed religious culture of Anglicanism. They can adapt to a changing society today. This paper looks at the work of the Churches Conservation Trust in developing new and extended uses for its collection of historic churches.