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-Redundant Religious Buildings Removed from UK Maps 2003-05-10

Posted by clype in Intolerance.

Old churches, mosques and synagogues will be removed from new Ordnance Survey maps if they are of no navigational use to walkers.

The distinctive black crosses will still appear on all active religious venues, and those old religious sites which boast a notable landmark such as a tower or minaret. But all the rest will be consigned to history when the new O.S. Explorer maps are introduced in late 2004 — a move English Heritage says will leave the maps weakened as a cultural resource. Mr.Richard Morris, of English Heritage, said:

'Deleting them from the way we present landscape is deleting one layer of our cultural habitat.

'It's "crazy"; maps are not just about getting from A to B, they're about understanding where we live'.

The organisation also said it was concerned about the effect the changes may have on the work of 'The Churches Conservation Trust'.

The aim of the Trust is "to promote these often exquisite jewels of architecture as places for everyone to discover and visit". A spokesman for the 'The Church of England' said:

'Even if a building has not got a tower or a spire, or something of long-range navigational importance, these are still distinctive buildings — often for all sorts of reasons — and people would quite like to know where they are'.

But Mr.Scott Sinclair of the Ordnance Survey insisted all important old religious sites would continue to be marked. He said:

'Where a former place of worship has no tower, spire, minaret or dome – and is therefore of little or no help for navigation — the building will continue to be shown, but it will not be highlighted with a symbol'.

He said a figure could not be put on the number of crosses to be removed, because a full O.S. geographical survey has still to be carried out. Mr.Sinclair said all former places of worship which were of architectural interest would remain on the map for walkers to enjoy. He said:

'The key point is to clarify the situation where places of worship have been turned into a cash and carry or a nightclub.

'It is obviously misleading if people go there and think it is a place of worship'.

Those churches, mosques and synagogues still in use or with significant navigational interest will now be termed "building/place of worship" in the map's key to suggest the building might have changed usage.

"Mapmaker rubs out redundant religious buildings ", Ananova 2003-05-09 Fr 16:19


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