Open churches, closed churches

I am referring to the reader’s letter published on September 21 (to be read below). It is said that the religious heritage “From our beautiful and sweet country of France” East “Left in bad condition for too long since it was deprived of the income relating to the confiscation of Church property”. Perhaps this is due to the special regime applied in the department of Bas-Rhin. But I would like to emphasize that in all the French departments which are not subject to this regime, the ownership of parish churches has been devolved since 1905 to the municipalities, which, in any case in my region, ensure full maintenance, including in the cases – unfortunately more and more frequent – where it is used less and less. To have, within my parish, been responsible for the maintenance of a church built after 1905, and therefore not falling under this system, I can assure the importance of the load thus borne by the municipalities – and by the ‘State for cathedrals.
It does not seem abnormal to me that the little maintenance – cleaning and other tidying up – is done by the users, that is to say the faithful volunteers, which leads in most cases to a completely acceptable result.

Francois Le Miere

That the religious heritage is expensive to maintain, we can only agree, so in our beautiful and sweet country of France it is rich and diverse. And left for too long in a bad state since it was deprived of the related income by the confiscation of Church property.

There are projects in progress and we can only be happy about it.

But there are so many places where it is the building site, and where one has more the impression of wandering in a storage room or a garage sale.

We are looking for courageous volunteers to do the housework: disemboweled chairs and prie-dieu, faded panels, ephemeral decorations that have become perpetual, old tables with flowers, out of use candle holders, green plants that are too bulky at home and placed there, bouquets of gladioli of August 15, well past, decaying tablecloths and lace hanging down with their plastic protection, several generations of superimposed signage, display not updated, deposit of old magazines or rather old paper, watering can and other material lying around … All these objects have made their use. The intention of the donors was respected. They must now be removed. And be careful not to add more.

How many places, if they were tidy, would be more welcoming and even more secure, restored to the harmony of their architecture and the beauty of the place, and a sign of a living community that “Do not put new wine in old wineskins” (Lk 5,33-39).

Thomas Brunagel


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