Almería Provincial Council and the Bishopric of Almeria have today renewed their agreement for the conservation and enhancement of the historical and artistic heritage of the churches and parishes of the province. The president of the Provincial Institution, Javier A. García, and the coadjutor bishop of Almería, Antonio Gómez, have signed this morning the collaboration agreement by which the Provincial Council will invest 300,000 euros in the restoration of 17 temples located in 13 municipalities and the minor local entity of Fuente Victoria.
This collaboration between the Provincial Council and the Bishopric, which began in 2012, has enabled the monumental heritage of the municipalities of Almeria to be enhanced, which, in most cases, constitute the main material and emotional heritage of our towns and their most admired tourist attraction. The president and the bishop were accompanied at the signing ceremony by the deputy of the Presidency, Fernando Giménez, and the vicar general, Ignacio López.
The president stressed that this collaboration “goes far beyond the religious aspect because we are strengthening the municipalities themselves by highlighting their most prized heritage assets. With these actions we also contribute to promoting tourism in the province by equalising opportunities for the people of Almeria. It helps us to fight against depopulation by giving value to our monumental heritage”.
On the other hand, the president has highlighted that this agreement is very important for the town councils of the smaller municipalities as, on their own, it would be very difficult for them to undertake conservation actions in their churches. In fact, García emphasised that of the 12 municipalities and the smaller local entity in which work will be carried out, 9 of these localities have less than 1,000 inhabitants. In addition, the president stressed that this agreement will allow some of the most visited churches in the province to be improved, such as the Santuario del Saliente in Albox, or Nuestra Señora de Tices, in Ohanes.
Finally, Javier A. García thanked the Bishopric for “the close collaboration they have with the Diputación for the benefit of all citizens and the 103 municipalities. For the social work of the Church, especially during the pandemic, which has been fundamental in giving encouragement and support to the people of Almeria who need it most. And for its involvement in the preservation of the Almerian legacy of our churches and the artistic jewels that are kept inside them”.
For his part, the coadjutor bishop pointed out that “two days ago when the volcano knocked down the tower of the village church, one of those present said: “The symbol of our village has fallen”. The truth is that our churches are like beacons, not only of faith, but also of culture. Whether you are a believer or not, it is the church that brings everyone together. The effort made by the Diputación is to be welcomed. We in the Diocese and the Christian communities are very grateful for this effort”.
In addition, the coadjutor bishop recalled that “many of these churches are very small communities of Christians for whom it is very difficult to maintain this heritage. I hope to God that all the towns and villages are proud of their heritage and can show it off, as is done in many places, and visit and enjoy these churches”.
This year, work will be carried out in 17 churches in 13 municipalities and the ELA of Fuente Victoria:
Abrucena (La Anunciación)
Adra (Inmaculada Concepción)
Albox (Santuario Saliente)
Bentarique (La Asunción)
El Ejido, Balerma (La Inmaculada)
Felix (La Encarnación)
Fondón, Benecid, (San Juan Bautista)
Fuente Victoria (La Encarnación)
Nacimiento (Nª Señora de Las Angustias)
Ohanes (Nª Señora de Tices)
Senés (Parish Church Santa María)
Urrácal (Santa María)
Roquetas de Mar (Parish Church Preciosísima Sangre)
En 4 de Almería (San Agustín; Araceli; San Juan Evangelista; Costacabana)