New (Secular) Uses for Old Churches

January 30th, 10 am - 3.45pm, Norwich Arts Centre

“I have learnt to be open minded about internal space and change”


This seminar held in the wonderful surroundings of Norwich Arts Centre, formerly the working church of St Swithins, saw over 50 delegates sitting surrounded by tomb-stones, listening to discussions and talks on the new (secular) uses for church buildings.

  • The seminar, funded by English Heritage and supported by CABE, was attended by delegates from all over the Easter region and explored:
  • how and why churches become redundant
  • the key issues faced by English Heritage
  • the challenges of finding new uses for redundant churches to ensure a sustainable use for the church buildings
    case studies of new uses for old churches

After a lovely networking lunch at the Arts Centre, delegates were led on a tour of the secular churches of St Bendedict’s Street arranged by Norwich Heart (Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust). Although extremely cold, the tour gave a wonderful insight into how local churches are bring re-used for community resources.


Feedback :

“Another brilliant event organised by Shape”

“Experts were personable and charismatic”

“I will be able to apply what I have learnt today – I will be presenting the information to our Cabinet Members and Conservation Officers”

“I have learnt to be open minded about internal space and change”

Further Resources:

Seminar Poetry and Photography :

Shape is proud to present the first in a series of poems inspired by the Shape East seminars. To view the poem written at Shape East's 'New (Secular) Use of Old Churches' seminar, please click here.

Speakers presentations are now available for download, by clicking on the desired name: