The Church calls us to value objects of significant ecclesiastical cultural heritage value and requires that we conserve and protect them from damage and theft. (Refer to Canon 1283 §2)
An online inventory catalogue of these objects and items assists Church organisations to identify, record, conserve, insure and securely store items of significant ecclesiastical cultural heritage value.
There are numerous examples from Church communities where valuable objects have been stolen, lost or damaged. Consider the following scenarios:
- A parish loans an object to another parish within a Diocese, this is not recorded and over the passage of time the object is not returned to the rightful owner.
- Items once thought worthless, are then recognised as valuable once identified and catalogued correctly. This is particularly common with artworks.
- A natural catastrophe occurs such as a cyclone which damages both the building and contents of a church. The absence of an inventory means not knowing which items need to be salvaged, stored and kept safe in an alternative building as a matter of priority. It also means not knowing what items you may have been able to claim for as part of an insurance policy.
Cultura is supported and designed by the National Liturgical Architecture and Art Council of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Church Insurances Ltd. It has been designed for use by archvisits and heritage experts in mind, with a basic data entry form for those with little or no expertise. It is currently being piloted by the Archdiocese of Perth and the Diocese of Geraldton and we welcome other dioceses, parishes and Church organisations to participate.