Modern Places of Worship
An exploration of architecture, faith and identity in the UK. Our latest project seeks to better understand the future of places of worship in the UK and their place in the community. Sacred spaces have historically reflected advances in art, architecture and cultural practices. We now ask what should a modern place of worship look like? What challenges do they face? Are they inclusive? What role can technology play? Discover more about the project's three stages below.
The Debates: 2016 / 17
Alongside partners across the UK, the Foundation will host a series of debates, bringing together local communities and leading figures from the fields of architecture, academia, heritage, theology and government. From inclusive worship to sustainable design, the topics selected for each debate are deliberately wide-ranging to encourage participation and stimulate productive dialogues. Debates are free to attend and open to the public. Registration is via Eventbrite.
- May 2016 - Bradford: An Introduction: what should a modern place of worship look like?
- September 2016 - Woking: past, present & future of religious architecture
- November 2016 - Liverpool: shared spaces
- January 2017 -Birmingham: constructing communities
- 27 April 2017: Cambridge: the future of faith: trainee faith leaders share their views
- Cardiff: The politics of religious architecture
- Belfast: Future cities and designing a ‘smart’ place of worship
- Glasgow: Inclusive design and worship
- London: Time to redefine?
The Report: 2017
In the project's second stage, the Modern Places of Worship Report, will bring together all of the debate discussions that have taken place across the UK.
The report will distil our debate series, the contributions made by our audience and panellists, and the issues raised at them - before drawing together the broad conclusions that emerged from the debates. the report will also share the findings of our survey, conducted in partnership Empowering Design Practices.
The report will also feature case-studies about some of the UK's most iconic and newly developing religious spaces. Providing valuable insight - our aim is to develop a resource for those wishing to undertake innovative adaptation, conservation or indeed, design a modern place of worship.
We hope the result will be a unique insight into the future of faith in the UK.
The Competition: 2017/18
In the project's final stage, participants will be invited to enter our architectural competition, to design a 'quintessentially British' Modern Place of Worship. The design stage will be will be open for a six-month period, with the winning design selected by a panel of judges.
"We developed a really good working relationship and I am looking forward to future collaborations."
"We took part in a most engaging debate with a prestigious and knowledgeable panel, and audience assembled...The whole series of lectures I feel is timely and important."
"It was a pleasure to host the Baroness Warsi Foundation at Liverpool University. Their 'shared spaces' event fostered a lively discussion of the sort that cannot happen on line; some issues have to be dealt with face to face, something their Foundation understands."
"This was a very welcome opportunity to engage with a rich variety of perspectives on a vital issue for modern Britain. Thank you for a really worthwhile evening, not least in helping draw attention to the opportunities that arise when religious communities are outward-facing – and so bring healing, strength and enrichment to the society to which we all belong."
"The perfect evening to successfully discuss a very difficult and complex topic positively, sensitively and constructively. The diversity of attendees and presenters represented a cross section of opinions on this topic, which in turn ensured that the talks given by the panellists were passionate and enlightening, and the questions and comments from the audience epitomized all of the best things we want people to think about when discussing the future design of religious places of worship and their function. Most importantly, the audience discussion provided me a great opportunity to step back, learn, reflect and think differently about what modern places of worship should look like and what they should do."