Church of England guidance on “contested heritage”

The Church of England’s Church Buildings Council and Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England have published guidance on Contested Heritage in Cathedrals and Churches. The guidance “addresses issues of contested heritage in the Church of England’s cathedral and church buildings, their settings and their historic interiors”. According to the Introduction:

“It is written primarily for parishes and cathedral chapters who need to address their contested heritage, and for the advisory and decision-making committees and individuals that support them within the Church and in the heritage sector. This is a complex subject that requires a thorough discussion of the issues and this guidance is necessarily long. A shorter guide, intended as an introduction for those considering this subject for the first time, is available on our website.

The guidance does not attempt to address every type of contested heritage in church buildings: it focuses on the issue of the memorialisation in tangible form of people or events connected with racism and slavery. It is hoped, however, that it may establish a methodology with which other forms of contested heritage in our cathedral and church buildings may also be addressed.”

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