We made a small inquiry to find out how the local community relates to the church of Pöide. The main question in our heads was ‘Does the church matter to them?’ Today we can gladly say yes, it does! Only 11% of our respondents were the members of the congregation, but as much as 99% marked in their answers that Pöide church is a very important building for them. The summary of the inquiry can be read bellow (sorry, Estonian version only).
For centuries churches have been the central pillars of the communities around them – congregations’ manifestations of pride and wealth. In these days the status of a church building has undergone considerable change. Secularisation and urbanisation processes have shrunk congregations, especially in the countryside. Financial challenges and under-use are the key factors which put historical churches under threat of redundancy. The focus of the seminar is extended use of churches. The aim is to introduce the present situation and trends in Europe and boost the discussion on that matter. Our target groups are congregations and the clergy as well as the professionals working in the field of heritage protection.