SECURE CHURCH PROGRAMME - SUMMARY

                 

The Secure Church Programme has been created and is coordinated by the Instituto Superior de Polícia Judiciária e Ciências Criminais (Portuguese Judiciary Police Institute), through its Museum (MAHPJ). It emerged from the idea of implementing an assertive, pragmatic and effective strategy for Crime Prevention within the community.  

Starting with a multimedia exhibition called “SOS Church” whose aim is fighting the serious problem of security and constant thefts in churches, this programme soon enlarged its approach to the conservation-restoration vectors: in fact, Portuguese religious historic and artistic heritage does not get lost merely because of criminal causes, but above all in consequence of lack of conservation care and measures.  

From this global and interdisciplinary approach arose the Secure Church Programme: the ISPJCC / MAHPJ succeeded in bringing together a partnership with eight entities. This partnership permitted: 

1 - covering all sectors for an effective protection of the religious historic and artistic heritage in Portugal

2 - a resource optimization towards a common goal.  

Here are, in alphabetical order, the eight Project Partners of Instituto Superior de Polícia Judiciária e Ciências Criminais (Portuguese Judiciary Police Institute) and the sectors they stand for:  

ASSOCIAÇÃO NACIONAL DOS MUNICÍPIOS PORTUGUESES  

(national Association of portuguese local authorities)  

Comissão Episcopal dos Bens Culturais da Igreja

(Catholic Church Commission for its Cultural Heritage)  

Direcção Geral dos Edifícios e Monumentos Nacionais

(GENERAL DIRECTION FOR NATIONAL HISTORIC BUILDINGS AND MONUMENTS)  

      INSTITUTO POLITÉCNICO DE PORTALEGRE

(POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE OF PORTALEGRE)  

INSTITUTO PORTUGUÊS DE CONSERVAÇÃO E RESTAURO

      (PORTUGUESE INSTITUTE FOR THE CONSERVATION-RESTORATION)  

      ORDEM DOS ENGENHEIROS

      (chartered ENGINEERs’ association)  

União das misericórdias Portuguesas

(Catholic institution owning a large amount of religious cultural heritage)  

      UNIVERSIDADE CATÓLICA PORTUGUESA

(PORTUGUESE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY)

ALSO colLaboraTING ARE::

 

- instituto português do património arquitectónico

(PORTUGUESE INSTITUTE FOR THE ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE)  

- POLÍCIA DE SEGURANÇA PÚBLICA

(PUBLIC SECURITY POLICE)  

- GUARDA NACIONAL REPUBLICANA

(NATIONAL GUARD)  

- SERVIÇO NACIONAL DE BOMBEIROS E PROTECÇÃO CIVIL

(NATIONAL SERVICE FOR FIRE BRIGADEs AND CIVIL PROTECTION)

   

A Protocol was signed between the nine Partners on the 18th June 2003. The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Culture, the Secretary of State of Justice and three eminent Bishops.

In a nutshell, the Project consists of the following actions:

  • Itinerant Multimedia exhibition “SOS Church” (Coimbra, October/ December 2003; Portalegre  june-august 2004: Lisbon September November 2004)  
  • International Seminar on the Protection and Security of the Cultural Heritage, in collaboration with the French Embassy in Lisbon, March 2004;  
  • Selection of one “pilot church” in each Diocese which will serve as a model for other churches in the surrounding areas ;  
  • Moving three expert teams to each “pilot church” for the making of diagnosis/reports containing instructions for the necessary procedures in the following three complementary fields:

          1- Security; 

          2–Conservation of movable cultural heritage; 

          3-Conservation of historic buildings;  

 

  • Training and assistance in the making of (pre-)inventories and their future access;  
  • publishing and providing free Security and Conservation Handbooks for churches;  
  • Supplying, collecting and statistical treating of risk assessment questionaires to the churches;  
  • Catalytic actions of found raising for the implementation of necessary procedures in each church;  
  • Guiding and attending the implementation of necessary procedures in each church and providing instructions for their maintenance in the long run;  
  • training of volunteers for vigilance in churches;  
  • Broadening schedules and opening churches that have been closed for security reasons;  
  • Encouraging and mobilizing local pride in conserving local heritage;  
  • Mobilizing local businesses to sponsor local projects of conservation;

 

Encouraging cultural and socio-economic projects and activities envolving the churches which contribute  for the development and cultural improvement of the communities.

            

SPONSORS