A national subscription for churches in danger

In July 2022, a Senate report warned about the state of religious heritage in rural areas. To remedy this, President Emmanuel Macron announced, Friday September 15, the launch of a national collection for the benefit of the religious heritage of small communities – of less than 10,000 inhabitants in mainland France and less than 20,000 inhabitants overseas. . The designation of the first beneficiaries of this initiative is expected in April 2024.

Donations have been open since Friday, on the Heritage Foundation website. They entitle donors to an advantageous tax reduction. “Those who help will have the same tax advantages as for Notre-Dame Cathedral”, declared the President of the Republic. Thus, individuals will benefit from a tax reduction on their income tax of 75% of their donation up to a ceiling of 1,000 euros. Beyond that, a reduction of 66% will be applied. The sponsorship tax regime that applies to companies remains unchanged. The device “aims to raise 200 million euros over four years”said Emmanuel Macron.

The Heritage Foundation will then be responsible for distributing them “based on heritage interest” and of “the emergency” Works. According to the Religious Heritage Observatory, France has 50,000 religious buildings, and among them 2,500 to 3,000 are in danger. To make its choice, the Foundation will also take into account the use that will be made of the restored places, favoring those which will be open to cultural activities, such as concerts, exhibitions or conferences.

This national subscription limits beneficiaries to public structures only, excluding de facto most Protestant synagogues or temples, private properties of cultural associations. Only the concordat buildings of Alsace are included. However, the Heritage Foundation insists on a “secular operation”adding that “nothing prohibits the donor from using the other tools of the Foundation which organizes subscriptions in favor of buildings of other religions”.

This collection is in addition to the Heritage Loto, embodied for five years by host Stéphane Bern. Since 2017, the Bern mission has mobilized 230 million euros, which made it possible to save 762 sites in danger, according to the Élysée.

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