Citizenship is a statutory subject at Key Stages 3 and 4 but is increasingly studied in earlier years to help develop a sense of neighbourhood and community. Central to it is discussion and debate about civic responsibilities, diversity and equality.

The church forms an excellent focal point for much of this debate. At Key Stage 2 pupils are asked to think about ‘what improves and harms their local and built environment and about some of the ways people look after them’. In Norwich, a real-life issue about the care of its numerous medieval churches offers a fascinating case-study. Click here to see some current uses of Norwich medieval churches. Redundant churches are found everywhere in the country but in the city of churches, the problem is acute. Like all unused buildings, churches soon fall into disrepair. The care, conservation and re-use of important historical and community buildings are ideal topics for citizenship debate. Any discussion should take into account the number of churches that have been declared redundant (In Norwich, currently, there are 22), the wide variety of new uses that have been found for them, and the large sums of money that are needed for their restoration.

In Norwich, the new uses to which redundant churches have been put include: a café; a bookshop; a community drop-in centre; a theatre; a martial arts centre; a place for contemplation; a craft shop and artists’ studios.

At Key Stages 3 and 4 a citizenship project on what to do with a redundant church might include choosing three examples of such churches and visiting each in turn to assess their place in the environment and their state of repair. A dossier of information could be built up and groups of pupils could decide what sort of use they think suitable for the buildings and make a case for their own ideas.

Churches managed by NHCT are highlighted in in bold below. Click to visit a church.
All Saints Westlegate St. George Tombland St. Julian St. Michael at Plea
St. Andrew St. Giles St. Lawrence St. Peter Hungate
St. Augustine St. Gregory St. Margaret St. Peter Mancroft
St. Benedict St. Helen St. Martin at Oak St. Peter Parmentergate
St. Clement St. James Pockthorpe St. Martin at Palace Plain St. Saviour
St. Edmund Fishergate St. John de Sepulchre St. Mary Coslany St. Simon & St. Jude
St. Etheldreda St. John Maddermarket St. Mary the Less St. Stephen
St. George Colegate St. John Timberhill St. Michael(Miles) Coslany St. Swithin