Church Monuments Society


Spiritual tourism and reuse of churches: two conferences

By CMS in Events, Heritage

Two forthcoming conferences.


Spiritual Tourism Symposium

The aim of this symposium is to identify ways to attract more people to Wales as a spiritual destination. Participants will learn about the many faith tourism projects already in existence or under development, share information and discuss objectives, funding, co-ordination and infrastructure. They will be encouraged to discuss any problems they have encountered in creating spiritual tourism experiences, how they overcame them and what measures are needed if spiritual tourism in Wales is to fulfil its undoubted potential.

Visit Wales, the Welsh Government’s tourism agency, will present its ‘Chapels Toolkit’ at the symposium, with its advice on how to open places of worship to the public and provide a welcome to visitors. The symposium will include discussion of how we can engage with Welsh Government’s ‘Faith Tourism Action Plan’ (2015) and the newly launched Visit Wales tourism strategy ‘Welcome to Wales: priorities for the visitor economy 2020 – 2025’.

We hope that the symposium will lead to the formulation of a new action plan and the creation of a permanent Pilgrimage Forum for Wales that will act as a co-ordination and information body, providing a flexible and supportive network for everyone involved in spiritual tourism.

The University of South Wales is hosting the seminar, in association with Cadw, Visit Wales, the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, the Welsh Historic Places of Worship Forum and the National Churches Trust. The agenda for the day is still in preparation; once you have signed up for the symposium, we will send you a copy of the agenda and ask you for your language, dietary and access preferences.

Date: 6 April 2020

Time: 10:00 to 16:30

Location: University of South Wales Conference Centre, Llantwit Road, Treforest, Pontypridd, CF37 1DL

Free admission by ticket – go to


Reusing Churches. New Perspectives in a European Comparison //
Kirchenumnutzung. Neue Perspektiven im Europäischen Vergleich
Herrenhausen Palace, Hannover, Germany

Church buildings are important testimonies of cultural heritage that shape the image of our cities and villages. As a result of current social changes, many church buildings in Europe can no longer be operated and maintained by church institutions: They are being sold, rented, and repurposed. Despite the complexity of the topic, it has so far been discussed mainly on a local and regional level. For the first time, the Herrenhausen Symposium brings together experts from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The goal is to share experiences, to expand the field of vision and to develop new perspectives in a European comparison. In the conviction that churches are public buildings that ultimately belong to the public, the symposium addresses the wider community. Early career researchers and young professionals as well as civil society stakeholders will also participate with poster presentations and lightning talks. The conference languages are English (E) and German (D). All presentations will be translated, from English to German and from German to English.

Kirchen sind bedeutende Zeugnisse des kulturellen Erbes, die das Bild von Städten und Dörfern prägen. Infolge der aktuellen gesellschaftlichen Veränderungen können heute in Europa viele Kirchengebäude von den kirchlichen Institutionen nicht mehr betrieben und unterhalten werden. Sie werden verkauft, vermietet, umgenutzt. Das Thema ist komplex und wurde bislang vorwiegend auf lokaler und regionaler Ebene diskutiert. Das Herrenhäuser Symposium führt erstmals Expertinnen und Experten aus Deutschland, den Niederlanden, Belgien, der Schweiz und Großbritannien zusammen, mit dem Ziel, Erfahrungen auszutauschen, das Blickfeld zu erweitern und im europäischen Vergleich neue Perspektiven zu entwickeln. Das Symposium richtet sich an eine erweiterte Öffentlichkeit, in der Überzeugung, dass Kirchen öffentliche Gebäude sind, die letztlich der Allgemeinheit gehören. An der Tagung beteiligen sich mit Postern und Kurzvorträgen auch junge Wissenschaftler und junge Fachleute sowie Akteure der Zivilgesellschaft aus weiteren Ländern. Tagungssprachen sind Englisch (E) und Deutsch (D). Alle Vorträge werden simultan übersetzt, von Englisch in Deutsch und von Deutsch in Englisch.

More details at

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