Visiting sacred spaces is primarily associated with learning in religious education where young people engage with living religions and meet members of faith communities to learn about their beliefs, rituals of worship and celebrations.
However, such activities may also be part of local geography or history fieldwork, with churches in particular traditionally being the focal point of a village or town and providing evidence of the local population through registers of births, marriages and burials.
Apart from places of worship for different Christian denominations (e.g. Methodist or Baptist churches, or a Salvation Army citadel), mandirs, mosques and gurdwaras mark religious, geographical and historical changes in the local area and in the use of buildings, with, for instance, a fire station becoming a gurdwara or a church becoming in turn, a synagogue and a mosque.
Regional and national sites would include cathedrals, many — such as Liverpool, Coventry and Chichester — of architectural and artistic renown, places of pilgrimage such as Canterbury and Walsingham, and religious communities such as the Hindu community at Bhaktivedanta Manor (Watford) or the Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Monastery (Eskdalemuir).
‘Sacred spaces’ might also include special exhibitions of religious paintings, icons, religious artefacts or sacred texts, and museums such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London with its new ‘Islamic Gallery’. Sites such as Glastonbury and Stonehenge would also be included in this category or other places with cultural or spiritual significance can also be visited to explore the nature of faith.
Other examples of sacred spaces also include memorial or peace gardens such as the Beth Shalom Holocaust Memorial and Education Centre in Nottinghamshire.
Download more information about sacred spaces.