Learning Tools for Europe's religious heritage

The Churches Conservation Trust is a founder member of Future for Religious Heritage (FRH), a European network of organisations that work with religious heritage buildings.

ALTERheritage was a programme of exchange led by the FRH, funded by the EU and aiming to encourage the sharing vocational tools for evaluation and planning of historic religious sites. Partners have visited organisations in five European countries, attended seminars and had opportunities to discuss the topic in an informal way. 

At the beginning of ALTERheritage the differences in dealing with religious buildings and sites across European countries were obvious, having resulted from differences in legal systems, financial support, heritage policies and cultural variations. After 24 months of close co-operation and intense exchange, the group were able to indentify similar issues and common challenges much more clearly. European societies as a whole are facing a far-reaching generational shift in the perception and use of religious buildings. Fewer people are attending church for worship, but these people still feel connected to a religious building as part of their cultural identity.

The partners looked in detail at various tools produced by partner organisations to manage religious heritage sites – from the Swedish ‘Evaluation of Churches facing Redundancy’, to ‘Guidelines of Ways of Dealing with Religious Objects’ in Holland, as well as our own ‘Business Planning Toolkit’. 

All the tools are linked from the project’s final report in order to share them with others and encourage their Europe-wide application.

The ALTERheritage programme has been made possible by funding from the EU through the Leonardo da Vinci programme and EST - European Shared Treasure

Final report

Read our final report (July 2015) and access the project tools below.