Page 7 - Moravian Messenger - January 2022
P. 7

World Heritage Moves One Step Closer
Gracehill as as many of you know has been invited to be part of the World Heritage process by Historic Bethlehem Pennsylvania to extend the inscription of Christiansfeld in in Denmark into a a a transnational serial nomination So the parties to to this process Historic Bethlehem along with with Herrnhut with with Berthelsdorf and and Gracehill and and our consultants meet monthly by Zoom These meetings measure how each constituent part of the nomination is getting along and aim to iron out any issues that arise along the way As you can imagine getting three very different places to the same point is not without its difficulties Historic Bethlehem including Central Church and other stakeholders is set in the middle of a a a large city Herrnhut is a a significant town with its its own mayor and part of its its world heritage area includes the Zinzendorf Manor in in Berthelsdorf Gracehill in in contrast is a a a a small village on on the outskirts of of the much larger town of of Ballymena So our Churches
and communities are in very different contexts However the Moravian Church is an an international Church and many of the people involved in the World Heritage process already know each other through travel and training Our common theology and Church polity also help greatly in in in binding us together as a a group So when we meet we are already colleagues not strangers Br David Johnston was able to to to travel to to to Bethlehem in September for a a face-to- face meeting where the agreement of International Co-Operation was signed In addition there were site visits so everyone could better understand the issues in Historic Bethlehem In November Br David and Sr Sally Ann Johnston along with my husband Chris and I travelled to Herrnhut The main object of this meeting was to discuss the Nomination Dossier This involved the very detailed identification and description of the various properties As part of this discussion a a a a new architectural phrase was coined - Moravian Civic Baroque to describe the the style of the the Moravian Churches
and associated buildings Of course this is is locally expressed by the fact that local building materials are used in each place but there is something unique that unites many Moravian buildings around the world Another part of our discussion was around the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value of of the the values of of the the Moravian Church i i e e how our theology is expressed in the the way that the the settlements are laid out the traditions like
our archives that link us to the past and our insistence on the equality of all in the the Church and the the importance of education It is the Outstanding Universal Value that is for me the most important section for the worldwide Moravian Church because these values are lived
and expressed in all our Churches
whether in in historic settlements or or in in smaller inner city mission Churches
in in the UK or or across the world A wonderful future prospect that is already being researched is the development of a a new World Heritage proposal to take in Moravian Mission Stations in places as as far apart as as South Africa the Caribbean and Canada We often underestimate the special nature of the Moravian Unity because we are so small This whole World Heritage process has helped me see the treasure that is the Moravian Church as our consultants have have outlined what we have have and share in our Christian faith So discussions around these points took up most of our meeting time But thankfully we also had time for a a a a tour of the Herrnhut World Heritage Site that includes the Church and Burial Ground Church Headquarters and the physical centre of Herrnhut The site then extends along the the road going past the the Burial ground to the the outskirts of Berthelsdorf to to include the newly restored Zinzendorf Manor House We now look forward to welcoming the World Heritage team to Gracehill in March 2022 and to showcasing our part of this transnational bid and showing some real Northern Ireland hospitality Sr Sarah Groves
Minister of Gracehill Moravian Church 7
The restored Zinzendorf Manor in in Berthelsdorf © Sr Sarah Groves

   5   6   7   8   9