Forum explores future of historic places of worship
The future of historic places of worship will be under the spotlight in a free digital event next week.
The Faith In The Future webinar will look at how faith communities are working together to ensure our buildings survive the challenges brough about by the Covid pandemic.
The webinar, on October 22, is being run by the Historic Places of Worship Forum and hosted by the Church in Wales. Speakers include two Church in Wales clerics – the Revd Canon Edwin Counsell, who will talk about the experience of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast Benefice, where he is Rector, and the Revd Nia Morris, who will discuss how the Mission Area of Cedewain is re-thinking ministry.
Alex Glanville, Head of Property Services for the Church in Wales, says, “The Forum acts as voice for the historic places of worship sector, communicating closely with Government. It is hoped that this webinar will be the first of many that enables people involved in caring for places of worship to express their views. We warmly welcome everyone to join in.”
Describing the event, a spokesperson for the Forum said the event aimed to capture inspirational stories and share experiences and learning from across faith communities.
“The future of our buildings appears more uncertain than ever as lockdown restrictions are re-imposed in much of Wales. Yet, while causing untold disruption in all of our lives, innovation born of necessity has been one of the unexpected consequences of the global pandemic. As Welsh congregations adapt to the post COVID-19 world we see an opportunity to reflect on how places of worship have responded – and will continue to respond – to the ‘new normal’.
“Strange as it may sound, congregations have reacted to the crisis in extraordinary and exciting ways. At this event we intend to capture everyday stories of innovation and inspiration that have been the hallmark of community responses in these unprecedented times. All of us have experienced new ways of communicating and working over recent months. It is only natural, therefore, that we also consider the future of our historic sites at this time of transition.”
The Historic Places of Worship Forum welcomes the opportunity to hear what people need to secure the future for their place of worship. The programme is designed to be of practical value to congregations facing difficult questions, by hearing the experience of others from different denominations and faiths facing similar challenges.
The day will combine micro-presentations sharing local examples and question and answer sessions exploring three themes:
- Digital Places of Worship – from streaming acts of worship to online giving, how have places of worship engaged with new technologies?
- Community Places of Worship – from pop-up foodbanks to new night shelters, how do we adapt community response measures in the post-pandemic world?
- Physical Places of Worship – while community spaces are needed more than ever, what are the practical implications for places of worship when reopening?
Faith in the Future webinar takes place on October 22, 9.15am - 12.15pm