Swiss Religious Heritage Day

Swiss Religious Heritage Day 2021

Friday, August 27, 2021, 9.15 to 17.00 in Bern

Flexible churches. Current redesigns of the interior

Many parishes are now expressing the wish to be able to use their churches in a more diverse way. This requires adjustments in terms of room design, seating arrangements, lighting, acoustics and technology. However, existing churches do set limits. The fourth Swiss Religious Heritage Day will analyse the context of demand and explore the possibilities that exist for more flexible interiors. Concrete examples will be used to discuss the questions and problems that arise and the solutions that have been found. The results of the day will be summarised in the form of recommendations for the attention of church officials and the responsible persons of monument protection.

The theme of the conference is not the reuse of churches. As far as the reformed churches are concerned, it is about topics such as: lectern in addition to the pulpit, moving the baptismal font and communion table out of the choir, measures to allow the choir and the front part of the nave to be used for concerts and other events, a place for celebrations in smaller circles, removal of the pews in the front part of the nave to create space for new forms of celebration, reduction of the number of seats, chairs instead of pews, baptismal tree, place for individual contemplation (candle table, book of concerns), use of the space under the gallery, place for children during the service, new or additional organ, light, acoustics, projection, others. As far as the Catholic churches are concerned, the issues at stake are the following: New place for the altar and ambo, new design of the altar and ambo, place for celebrations in small circles, new place for the baptismal font, new place for the confession instead of the confessional, reduction in the number of seats, chairs instead of pews, new use of the choir when the altar and ambo are no longer in the choir, baptismal tree, new or additional organ, light, acoustics, projection, other.

Further information (programme, speakers) will be available here from spring 2021