The Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd Alan Harper, has given his support to the 'Save Our Churches' campaign run by the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.
The campaign calls on government to plan more effectively for practical measures to support and maintain church buildings as a key component of active, engaged communities throughout the United Kingdom.
Those who want to support the campaign may sign a petition and can promote the campaign with posters and letters from the Sunday Telegraph (details below). Download a pdf of the poster and letter.
Archbishop Harper is a strong advocate of the architectural assets and heritage of the church being used in a dynamic way to support the spiritual life of the wider community.
He says: "In town and country throughout the length and breadth of the land church buildings are amongst the most important components of the built environment because of their architectural quality and distinctiveness. That alone should be sufficient to command support for their care and maintenance.
"However there are other equally important reasons for assuring such support.
"Church buildings represent the collective memory of untold generations, they represent the spiritual and not merely the economic aspiration of people, they are the private property of none but the heritage of all and they symbolize enduring rather than fleeting aspects of community life and identity. Thus they are of importance to everyone and not merely the people who use them for worship.
“However, the continuing use of church buildings for worship is absolutely central to their importance within the wider community because they remain buildings with a living function, not sad museum pieces bereft of a contemporary beating heart. I strongly support this important campaign spearheaded by the Sunday Telegraph."
A petition supporting the campaign maybe found at www.telegraph.co.uk.
Links to relevant Sunday Telegraph articles: