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Contested Heritage Guidance Review


The Church of England’s Cathedral & Church Buildings Division is reviewing the Contested Heritage guidance issued by the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England and the Church Buildings Council.

The guidance was published in May 2021 following extensive consultation with cathedrals, dioceses, parishes, Global Majority Heritage clergy networks, and statutory consultees. It aims to provide a practical framework primarily for parishes and cathedral chapters to address issues of contested heritage in relation to specific historic objects in a church or cathedral context. It was written with a focus on items related to the transatlantic trade in enslaved people, but may be more widely applicable. The guidance was first published in May 2021. There are currently two versions available: the brief guide provides an introduction to issues and approaches, the longer guidance is more detailed.

The guidance should be consulted by those addressing items of contested heritage in their church or cathedral building. It sits within a wider landscape of guidance addressing contested heritage in the built environment.

The survey

We would appreciate your feedback to help us refresh this guidance by completing the survey below.

The survey is composed of 4 sections with a total of around 12 questions. It is likely to take around 20 minutes to complete.

Responses to this survey are anonymous. If you would like to leave contact details for a follow-up conversation, there is opportunity to do so at the end of the survey. The data will be used only to inform the guidance review. It will be kept securely and will be removed once the guidance has been updated in October 2023.

For further information on the guidance review, questions, or to withdraw your participation, please email Janet Berry, Head of Conservation and Collections Policy at:

We hope that this survey provides plenty of free type space to accommodate all feedback. If you would prefer to send a response by email, we welcome these to the above address.

The survey is being shared with cathedrals, dioceses, Church of England Global Majority Heritage/ UK Minority Ethnic networks, heritage special interest groups, parishes, and statutory consultees.

The survey will close at 5pm on Monday 5 June 2023.

Thank you for your help reviewing this important guidance; we value your participation.

Page last updated: Tuesday 16th May 2023 9:42 AM
First published on: 28th April 2023
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