Germany: Historic Places of Worship Angus Fowler, Förderkreis Alte Kirchen e.V., Marburg/Lahn 16th August 2010, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com In a way resulting from its territorial history Germany is a federal country with federal states based to a certain extent on former territorial states. After the division in 1945 into the military zones of the occupying powers, the western zones became the Federal Republic in 1949, the Russian zone the German Democratic Republic. After the changes in 1989 they united in 1990 and the eastern federal states which had existed until 1952 were reestablished. The former territories, as existing up to 1918, are in most cases the territorial basis of the Protestant Churches, the Catholic archdioceses and dioceses mostly a result of 19th century reorganization. The federal states are sovereign in matters of culture, education and heritage. The federal states also conclude agreements (Staatskirchenverträge) with the official Protestant and Roman Catholic Church authorities (Protestant Landeskirchen and the RC hierarchy/concordats with Rome). The Federal Government – through its State Ministry for Culture and Media (attached to the Federal Chancellery) has given special funds for major national landmark or “lighthouse” buildings and - for a limited period - funds especially for repairing church roofs in eastern Germany. At a national level exists the “Deutsches Nationalkomitee für Denkmalschutz” (German National Committee for Preservation of Historic Monuments) which unites representatives of the federal states and major institutions (including representatives of the Protestant and Roman Catholic Churches in Germany), founded in the lack of any national institution at the time in preparation of Germany’s contribution to the European Architectural Heritage Year 1975. The state conservation authorities have their own national organization the “Vereinigung der Landesdenkmalpfleger Deutschlands” (Union of State Conservators in Germany) with links to conservation authorities and experts in other German-speaking countries. At a national level exists since 1985 as a funding and lobby organization, mobilizing the population generally, the foundation “Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz” (DSD) (German Foundation for the Preservation of Historic Monuments). “Triconfessionality” (Roman-Catholic, Lutheran and Calvinist-Reformed) was established by the Treaty of Westphalia (Münster/Osnabrück) in 1648 bringing peace after the long Thirty Years’ War, which had been partly caused by religious strife as a result of emerging Calvinist-Reformed territories. The principle “cuius religio, eius religio” had already been established in 1555 by the Treaty of Augsburg. Lutherans and the Reformed mostly united in the 19th century, some churches becoming redundant then. A number of Roman-Catholic churches and particularly many monasteries were closed, secularized and some destroyed in the early 19th century. In Protestant territories after the Reformation monasteries often survived as buildings and were used for various purposes, including charitable ones, e.g. as hospitals for the old, infirmed and mentally handicapped. Basically north and eastern Germany were Protestant (mostly Lutheran) with a few” islands” of Roman-Catholicism such as the diocese of Hildesheim and the Eichsfeld (northwest Thuringia, which belonged to the archbishops of Mainz) and remained Catholic after the Reformation and a few other insignificant areas (e.g. around the RC monastery in Neuzelle, now in the state of Brandenburg). Although the Elector of Saxony became a Roman-Catholic in 1696 on being elected King of Poland, Saxony itself remained fiercely Lutheran. The Rhineland and Westfalia were mostly Catholic, but there were Protestant territories there such as those belonging to Brandenburg-Prussia from the 17th century onwards. Hessen was divided from the early 17th century onwards between Lutheran (Darmstadt) and Reformed (Kassel). The territories of the archbishops of Mainz remained Catholic or were re- catholicized in the Counter-Reformation. The Palatinate was much divided with many small territories, the Electors Palatine themselves were first Lutheran, then Reformed, after 1685 Catholic. Franconia (since 1806 the northern part of Bavaria) divided, dominated by the Catholic dioceses Würzburg and Bamberg. Bavaria was mostly Catholic, Württemberg Lutheran, Baden mixed. Independent Protestant Churches and Free Churches appeared in the 19th century, Roman- Catholic churches in Protestant territories in the 18th and 19th centuries. Jewish communities which already existed in the early and high Middle Ages were destroyed in the mid 14th century (in pogroms following the wave of Plague epidemics for which they were falsely held responsible), began to appear again in the 16th and 17th centuries and to be officially recognized at the time of the Napoleonic occupation in the early 19th century on the model of toleration in France, but were then eradicated by the Nazi régime after 1938.. There was considerable mixing of the population after 1945 with large numbers of refugees from former German territories now in Poland and Russia (Silesia, eastern Pomerania, Prussia etc.) and from German-speaking areas in central, eastern and southeastern Europe. Clear territorial religious allegiances before 1945 now became blurred by the influx of refugees. Jewish communities have been reestablished but with much reduced numbers, however recently increased by an influx of Jews from eastern Europe, particularly Russia and former Russian territories. In the towns some historic synagogues survived destruction or have been restored, in the countryside where there had been Jewish communities synagogues often survived in villages, now have no active community, a considerable number are used for cultural/ memorial/ museal purposes, often after decades of neglect and misuse. Since the 1960s in western Germany, in western Berlin, but much less in eastern Germany after 1990, there has been a substantial influx of Islamic population, Turks, Arabs, refugees etc. so that mosques are being built in increasing numbers and Islamic communities have received official recognition. There are a few older mosques (early 20th century), some now listed as historic monuments (e.g. in Berlin). In western Germany many new churches were built after 1945 especially in towns and cities which had been badly damaged and in new areas. The established Protestant and Catholic churches in western Germany from the 1950s onwards were wealthy with high income from Church taxes so that new churches could be afforded, also in the countryside to replace old ones considered unfit for modern use, so that after the wave of redundancy in the early 19th century, then a new wave took place in the 1950s to the 1970s, particularly in Hessen where over 50 old timber-framed churches and also over 50 other stone buildings in the countryside were demolished and a considerable number became redundant. As a reaction to this destruction the Förderkreis Alte Kirchen e.V. (Marburg) (FAK) was founded as the first major NGO organization in Germany to save threatened churches. In eastern Germany (DDR) the churches were oppressed by an atheist Communist ideology, congregations declined, some churches were abandoned and many decayed through lack of finance, interest and possibilities for maintenance. Church communities were focal points for opposition to the régime in the 1980s but this unfortunately did not lead in the long run to an increase in numbers for church congregations. A number of churches were secularized and some received notable cultural uses (e.g. the Maritime Museum in Stralsund, The Museum of the Peasants’ War 1525 in Mühlhausen) In the west many churches were repaired and restored, particularly from the late 1970s onwards with increased funding for conservation work, often catching up with a backlog of work not done since the First World War. After 1990 much has been done to save and restore churches in eastern Germany, financed by congregations and church authorities, helped by donations, NGO organizations (especially the “Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz”), state and national grants. However there are still churches abandoned, in ruins or decaying. In the wake of the eastern front and Russian advance at the end of the 2nd World War a considerable number of churches were destroyed, some are still in ruins e.g. in the Oderbruch/Oder valley. Churches: Total number Listed Church members % of pop. Protestant: Landeskirchen (2006): 20.857 + 3.641 16.276 + 351 24.514.929 (2008) ca.30% Free Churches: ? ? ? ? Roman Catholic (2006: ca. 24.500 ? 24.909.000 (2009) ca. 31% (attendance: 3.4 Mill. = 17%= ca. 5% of population) Other Christians (Orthodox etc.) (2006): ? ? (Orthodox: 1.2 Mill.) ca. 0,55% Jews/Synagogues in use(2006): ? ? ca.100.000 ca. 0,24% Mosques/Muslime (2006): 159 (184 planned) (2006) ? ca. 3.200.000 ca. 4% Others: ? ? ca. 1.600.000 ca. 2% Buddhists: ? ? ? ca. 0,30% Hindus: ? ? ? ca. 0,11% Do not belong to any religion : ca. 22 Mill. ca. 35% Totals ca. 47.000 complete population: ca 82.500.000 Numbers of church congregations have been declining, church members leaving churches, in the most recent period especially Roman-Catholics as a result of the scandals. Income from Church taxes has declined and less is being paid for maintenance, personnel costs have risen, the number of clergy declining. The RC Church increasingly looks for priests to Poland and elsewhere. On the other hand there is a substantial rise in numbers of the Islamic population and many new mosques are being built. After many churches in eastern Germany have been at least partly restored, the existence of Protestant church communities is now threatened by reorganization as a result of declining numbers, fewer fully paid priests for even larger numbers of churches they have to look after. As a result of reorganization plans churches are threatened with closure. In the Catholic diocese of the Ruhr (North-Rhine/Westphalia), founded after 1945, some 200 modern churches from the late 19th century up to the present day, many already listed buildings, including Europa Nostra award winners (churches from the 1920s in Gelsenkirchen) are threatened with closure, not from lack of congregations, but from lack of priests and especially from lack of finance. Financial mismanagement has led to serious problems for the RC archdiocese of Berlin where a number of modern churches, some already of historic importance, have been demolished despite protests from conservation authorities and architectural experts. Some further details: The Protestant Church in Germany (EKD): ca. 30% of population, at the end of 2008: 24.514.929 members, 10.261 parishes 2009 on basis of survey 2006: 20.857 churches and chapels + 3.641 church community centres (Gemeindezentren) Altogether some 75.000 buildings Listed as historic buildings (Denkmäler): 16.276 churches + 351 community centres In eastern Germany 94% of churches, chapels and community centres are listed. Since1991 340 churches have become redundant: 41 have received new uses, 26 leased, 97 sold, 46 demolished. (Figures are probably higher!) In eastern Germany 130 churches are no longer used, 79 because of decay and poor condition. Since 1991 75 new churches and 296 community centres have been built. In addition exist (2006): 2536 cemetery chapels, 9409 parish houses with church halls, 17.186 clergy houses (Pfarrhäuser: rectories/vicarages) In 2000 1290 Mill. Euro, in 2006 1068 Mill. Euro (10.7% of all expenditure) was spent on repair, restoration and maintenance of all buildings and property in the possession of the member Churches of the EKD. Roman-Catholic Church: 30,5% of population (2009), 24.909.000 members, 15637 priests, 12.521 parishes. Actively taking part in church services: 1991: 21.9%= 6.190.000; 2008: 13.4% = 3.400.000. Only some 17% of the whole population acknowledge they are actually believing Catholics.. Numbers of those leaving the Church are greater than those joining. In 2006 there were some 24.500 churches/chapels. The Statistics Department of the Secretariat of the German Bishops’ Conference was not able to give any detailed figures other than this figure given in Wikipaedia, let alone of buildings listed as historic buildings. Urban issues: In towns and cities it is usually the more modern churches often on the periphery which are threatened, many town centres are still inhabited and have their congregations (unlike many British cities where the centres have often lost their population through modern development) Some of the post-war buildings are suffering from material exhaustion and several have been demolished (e.g. in the suburbs of Frankfurt). Some 19th century churches are at risk, e.g. the RC Marienkirche in Bochum. Generally however 19th century churches are now recognized as of historic importance, in contrast to France where especially 19th century churches are not always considered of importance and are neglected, mayors, unable to maintain them, and priests wanting to demolish them and replace them by small modern barnlike buildings. Rural churches: There are problems particularly in eastern Germany, where they are mostly Protestant churches excepting a few Catholic areas (see above). Considerable depopulation is taking place – migration to larger towns and cities and to western Germany. In the Federal State of Brandenburg a priest of the Protestant Landeskirche (Berlin-Brandenburg and the Silesian Upper Lausitz) usually serves a large number of churches now combined into a single parish. Many churches now have local associations helping to look after them, encouraging wider extended cultural, social and other appropriate suitable uses (see paper by Dr. Uwe Otzen). Many churches historically were not always used every Sunday, some twice or even only once a month. Churches were not built to be economical and produce a revenue, their use cannot be measured in economic terms. At the moment in Germany by and large churches are in a reasonable condition, although much repair work remains to be done in eastern Germany. There remains a considerable backlog of repair to be done. Maintenance is becoming an increasing problem as churches no longer have staff or helpers technically trained and equipped to inspect them regularly and carry out even simple urgent repairs (on roofs, cleaning gutters etc.). The time is ripe for the development of Monument Watch organizations as exist in the Netherlands, Flanders/ Belgium, now in western Lower Saxony in Germany and are being developed in Thuringia with the participation of the Protestant churches there (Evang. Landeskirche Mitteldeutschlands): Funding situation: Responsibility and initiative (as so-called “Bauherren”, i.e. owners) for repair and maintenance work and for funding usually lies with the local church council who are the owners of the buildings (at least for Protestant churches under the supervision of the state church authorities Landeskirche/Konsistorium and their Bauämter/building departments as Bauaufsicht/controlling authorities). In eastern Germany often local supporting associations (Fördervereine) have taken the initiative and organized the repair and restoration on behalf of the local church council State governments are responsible for some major churches of which they hold the patronage (e.g. in Hessen: the Church of St. Elisabeth and the University Church in Marburg, the RC cathedrals in Fulda and Limburg, in Brandenburg the cathedral in Brandenburg). In Hessen the state government makes grants for repair and restoratiomn work through its conservation authority (Landesamt für Denkmalpflege). In Brandenburg on the other hand this takes the form of annual lump sums – under the terms of the Treaties between the State of Brandenburg and the Landeskirche (Staatskirchenvertrag of 9th November 1996) and with other Churches within the State of Brandenburg - for work on the Cathedral in Brandenburg (2009: 1.089.000 Euros , by far the largest part) and for work on other churches which after careful scrutiny of particular need are chosen to benefit from this money. In 2009: 1,6 Mill. Euro were granted under the treaty obligations of the State to the Evangelische Kirche in Berlin-Brandenburg und der Schlesischen Oberlausitz/ Protestant Church in Berlin- Brandenburg und the Silesian Upper Lausitz, 350.000 Euros to the Evangelische Kirche Mitteldéutschlands/Protestant Church in Central Germany and 100.000 Euros to the Catholic Diocese of Görlitz. In some areas from long tradition the local civil authorities are/have been responsible for town and village churches.. Recently many have commuted their duty of maintenance/Unterhaltspflicht, handing it over to the church authorities in return for hefty compensation. Also out of long traditions towns are often responsible for the maintenance of towers of their parish churches. For Roman-Catholic churches - under a much more rigid hierarchical system the diocesan authorities have far greater control. Consultation usually takes place with the local and state conservation authorities. The churches enjoy special privileges and a limited exemption from state control over restoration, repair, maintenance work, alterations and demolition under the agreements and concordats between the Federal States and the Protestant Churches and the Roman-Catholic Church. Agreement (“Benehmen”) with conservation authorities has to be reached, if not, then appeal can be made to the responsible Ministry. Rights and obligations of patronage including the duty of maintenance of (parts of) the church fabric (for instance the choir) are now generally vested in the Church authorities, but in some cases still exist in private hands, for instance surprisingly, despite all the political changes in Mecklenburg, whereas in the province/mow Federal State of Brandenburg rights and obligations of patronage (belonging to the state, communal authorities, nobility and landowners etc.) were abolished by decree on 9th February 1946 (Verordnung über das Patronatsrecht) on the particular wish of the church authorities who feared the exercise of such rights and interference in church affairs by communist town and local governments. A main source of revenue are church taxes, existing since the early 20th century (basically in return for church property taken over by the territories at the Reformation or in the early 19th century) - practically a tithe, 10% of the income of the income tax of those who are liable to pay income tax and who are members of the Churches, Jewish or Moslem Communities recognized by the State. However recently revenue has been declining for the Churches (members leaving the churches, high rate of unemployment etc.) and less is now paid by the Churches for repair, restoration and maintenance work. Local churches often have their own property (land, woodland etc) and some are quite wealthy so can provide a substantial contribution themselves. Grants from federal states for conservation work on churches has been reduced everywhere, even in the richer west, indeed for conservation work generally! Some national funding (from the State Ministry for Culture and Media at the Federal Chancellery) exists for special projects and churches of national importance. Some funds for rural churches and extending their use for cultural and social uses have been available from European structural and rural development funds, augmented by state funding where available. In recent years particularly since 1990 for repair and restoration work on churches in use (and on some redundant buildings) in eastern Germany much funding has been given by the “Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz” (founded in 1985) www.denkmalschutz.de , which itself does not own or take over churches into its care. It has however taken over some 40 castles, mansions and other monuments! It does have however under its wing local trusts which have been created to help look after individual churches, the interest of capital being used to maintain the churches which have been restored often with considerable financial support from the DSD. The DSD organizes the annual Open Monument Day in September and publishes the magazine “Monumente” and is responsible for a number of regional Jugendbauhütten (also cross-border in Poland) for giving young people a voluntary year to gain experience of conservation work. Since its foundation the DSD has made grants from its resources (funds from Lotto and many individual donations) of altogether 178 Million Euros for work on some 1.540 places of worship. In 1997 the “Stiftung zur Bewahrung kirchlicher Baudenkmäler in Deutschland” (Foundation to preserve church buildings as monuments in Germany) (KIBA) www.stiftung-kiba.de was created by the Protestant state churches within the union “Evangelische Kirchen Deutschlands”, rather like the Historic Churches Preservation Trust for churches in use of the Church of England(now National Churches Trust) to provide money for churches in use, particularly those without funds, in great need of repair work. The KIBA works closely with the Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz. The Foundation Orgelklang(The Sound of Organ) is closely associated with the KIBA. A media partnership exists with the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (Central German Radio). Since its foundation in 1997 the KIBA has made grants of some 12 Million Euros for some 630 projects to save churches, some 87% in eastern Germany, 13% in western Germany. In addition 9 Mill.Euro was paid by the EKD/KIBA for repair works on 146 churches following on damage by catastrophic floods on the rivers Elbe and Mulde in 2002. The “Förderkreis Alte Kirchen e.V.” (FAK) (registered charitable association: Supporting Society for Old Churches) with its legal seat in Marburg was founded in 1973 to help save endangered churches especially those threatened with demolition and redundant ones. The FAK helped with other organizations to secure the passing of the Preservation Law for Hessen (Hessisches Denkmalschutzgesetz) in 1974, helped stop further demolition of churches in Hessen and elsewhere. Carrying out various events, it demonstrated appropriate alternative cultural uses for redundant churches at a time when both Catholic and Protestant authorities frowned on other uses, only recognizing religious use for churches and having them demolished when no longer needed. The FAK itself took over 4 threatened redundant churches (Bellnhausen/Gladenbach, Bürgeln/Cölbe, Niedereisenhausen /Steffenberg, Volpertshausen/Hüttenberg) into its possession to save them from demolition, has carried out basic repairs and used them for cultural purposes It has now handed over the redundant old church in Volpertshausen to the local civil council and is now seeking to do this for the others, which it has looked after for over 25 years, as the present financial régime in Germany does not give sufficient support for the ownership of historic monuments by associations in the public interest. The FAK organized and helped finance the repair and restoration of two further timber-framed churches (Hommertshausen and Silberg in Dautphetal) and provided grants for at least five other churches. In 1976 it published a survey of timber-framed churches in Hessen in the well-known art series “Die Blauen Bücher” (Blue Books), 30,000 copies have been sold, providing major initial income for the FAK, besides subscriptions, donations, revenue from herbal markets etc. Out of its experience and work and foreign contacts in a loose network since the late 1970s resulted the preliminary survey and report published by the Council of Europe in 1989. The FAK Marburg has expended almost 1.000.000 Euros in total including grants received from various authorities and institutions since 1973 for its work to save threatened churches, on grants for churches and on repair and restoration work. It has never received financial help from official church authorities After some preparation and the development of contacts since 1985 the FAK helped found similar organizations in eastern Germany in 1990/91 in Berlin-Brandenburg, Thuringia, Mecklenburg, Saxony, of which effectively only the “Förderkreis Alte Kirchen Berlin- Brandenburg e.V.” (FAK BB) now survives. The FAK BB (founded 1990 with legal seat in Berlin) www.altekirchen.de does not itself own any churches, it gives small grants for urgent work on churches in use and redundant churches, some now returned to religious use. It has a competitive scheme for small grants of “Startkapital” (2,500 Euro each) for young associations for innovative programmes of repairs and appropriate cultural and social use. The FAK has with some help from state and church authorities given 137.500 Euros (2010) alone out of this programme. With some major donations it has – in cooperation with the Stiftung KIBA - endowed a trust for Brandenburg Village Churches, using the interest on the capital - now some 120,000 Euros – for grants for urgent repairs. In 2000 it initiated the scheme in the State of Brandenburg for open churches in summer, encouraging church and cultural tourism. Some 900 of the 1,400 village churches in Brandenburg now participate in the scheme which is accompanied by an annual magazine with maps, a catalogue of all participating churches and interesting articles. The FAK BB has received financial support from the State of Brandenburg, from the Protestant Church of Berlin-Brandenburg and the Silesian Upper Lausitz and from the Robert-Bosch-Foundation and also from the Federal Foundation for Culture (for organizing a programme of cultural and artistic events in churches). The FAK BB has encouraged and supported theatre productions and performances by music schools in and for the benefit of churches. A few years ago it carried out a successful competition for art portraying churches by schoolchildren (“Kindermalwettbwerb”). The FAK BB has organized several exhibitions. The FAK BB now has some 480 members, 365 individual persons, 115 corporate (95 associations, 13 church councils, 7 firms), most of them local associations with reciprocal membership. Subscriptions and donations from members and other supporters make up a considerable proportion of the FAK BB financial resources (for further details see paper by Dr. Uwe Otzen).. In Brandenburg exist some 260 local associations for the preservation of village churches. The FAK BB has given altogether over 700.000 Euros (2010) in grants for some 170 churches since 1990, also for a former Jewish ritual thanksgiving/harvest festival bower (Sukkot) (German: Laubhütte) and for a Jewish cemetery. For its work the FAK BB has received awards from the State of Brandenburg and Europa Nostra. “Dorfkirchen in Not in Mecklenburg und Vorpommern e.V.” (Village Churches in Need in Mecklenburg and German West Pomerania) www.dorfkirchen.de , founded in 1994, has done much to help organize funding for urgent repair work on many churches in Mecklenburg and western Pomerania. “Dorfkirchen in Not” have made available altogether 1.425.000 Euros in grants for 115 churches since 1996. Many hundreds, if not thousands of local associations now exist in Germany for individual churches, particularly in eastern Germany, also now increasingly in western Germany to help finance and use individual churches. Many communities in east and west now see their church as a major symbol of identity and history. In some cases civil local and regional authorities have taken over redundant churches. An association exists for the Romanesque churches in the city of Cologne. In Brandenburg the FAK BB helps to look after the interests of local associations and provide a common lobby where necessary without claiming to be a formal umbrella organization. Besides schemes for open churches in other areas in Germany (for Protestant churches mostly organized by church authorities, whereas in Brandenburg – where it was first begun in Germany on a large scale – it is organized by the FAK BB, an NGO organization), there are also several cultural routes to churches such as Romanesque churches in Sachsen-Anhalt. VAT: 19% on restoration, repair and maintenance work on labour and materials (but also on new building unlike UK!), The state takes back what it gives by grants! Individual persons paying income tax receive tax relief on donations and membership subscriptions to charitable associations, foundations and trusts. A complete survey of churches, chapels and church community centres was carried out by the Union of Protestant Churches in Germany (EKD) and its member state churches (Landeskirchen) in 2006 and published in 2009. No such survey exists for churches, chapels etc. of the RC Church in Germany. Sources: Redundant Religious Buildings (Doc. 6032, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Strasbourg 1989) – with report, survey and resolution G.Robbers, State and Church in the European Union (Baden-Baden 1996, 2nd edn. 2005) (no figures on number of churches and other places of worship) R. Payne, Funding for Churches in Europe (paper for the Church of England 2003, revised up to 2010) UK Christian Handbook: Religious Trends 7 (2007/2008), Table 1.5 includes total number of “churches”, based on a figure (not found!) in D. Barnett (ed.), World Christian Enyclopaedia (Oxford 2001) Wikipaedia: Die Römisch-Katholische Kirche in Deutschland Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland/Zahlen und Fakten zum kirchlichen Leben (Hannover 2009) EKD Pressemitteilung (Press announcement) 166/2009, 9th July 2009 Information on the obligations of the Federal State of Brandenburg under the terms of the Staatskirchenverträge from the Brandenburg Ministry of Culture in Potsdam, Historic Buildings Division (Dr. Uwe Koch) European links and a network would much help to increase knowledge of the situation in other countries and provide information on innovative developments and solutions elsewhere.