Catholic World News

British prelate laments changes to government program for church preservation

July 14, 2017

The chairman of the Patrimony Committee of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales lamented the loss of a dedicated stream of funds for church preservation from lottery proceeds.

Churches will now have to compete for funds with museums and other tourist attractions—“a truly David and Goliath scenario,” according to a press release from the bishops’ conference.

The press release also noted that grant criteria of “numbers, visitors, and beneficiaries” favor Anglican churches that have removed their pews to become multiuse facilities.

“There is a need for sacred spaces, that is, spaces dedicated solely to worship, not commerce, food service, or entertainment,” said Archbishop George Stack of Cardiff. “People of any faith and none can enter a Catholic church and appreciate its calm, serenity and beauty. This in itself is a public benefit that is being forgotten.”

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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Jul. 15, 2017 1:29 AM ET USA

    One dividing line between true Churches and the ecclesial communities is just this: God is present in His "physical reality" inside a Church where the altar lamp burns before the tabernacle (cf. Blessed Pope Paul VI's "Mysterium fidei"). This physical presence is what makes Church space sacred. It is safe to conduct commerce, food service, or entertainment in spaces where God is not physically present, but not in a space that is within view and earshot of an occupied tabernacle.