Katharina Zey-Wortmann interviewed about Cultural Chapels

Katharina Zey-Wortmann interviewed about Cultural Chapels

The digital signposting of cultural chapels ensures that interested visitors can find out about chapels and churches. How exactly this works, what role tuomi plays in it and what the whole thing looks like in the Igel cemetery church can be read here in our blog article.

In the interview, Katharina Zey-Wortmann, director of KEB Trier, describes the objectives, challenges and implementation of the project.

What is the idea behind the cultural chapel project?

The area surrounding the city of Trier is, despite some medium-sized centres, a very rural area with many small villages on the Moselle, in the Eifel and in the Hunsrück. My idea was to build a "bridge" and bring old and young together: old walls to young walls, but also older people who mainly live in the old parts of the town and the younger people from the newly built areas. Both parts need a focal point.

My aim is to motivate volunteers to explore and get to know their chapel and to empower them to take things into their own hands and also to use this "platform". In the background, we are in the process of creating a pool of speakers in our specialist office, to mediate and advise, and to relieve our volunteers of research work. You can make enquiries, call us and say: "We would like to hold an event in the summer here in our chapel. Do you have a speaker or someone who can offer a reading or concert on a topic that fits here?

You chose the St. Dionysius Chapel in Igel for the pilot project. For what reason?

  1. First of all, the St. Dionysius Chapel in Igel is very old. It was first mentioned in a document in the 7th century, so it is a place with a long tradition. People have prayed, believed, laughed and cried here for over 1300 years.
  2. Moreover, St. Dionysius is very well researched and documented. There is an active support group for this chapel, not only in terms of building maintenance, it organises events and takes care of the chapel as a whole.
  3. The third aspect is that St. Dionysius is very close to the border with Luxembourg. We want to work across borders. It is important for us to build bridges to our European neighbours.

  4. Another criteria for me in choosing this chapel was the great organisation of the friends of the Chapel that allowed us to realise the project so quickly. Because the funding programme left us little time. Actually, we had to implement the work of one and a half years in a few months. This very active support association and its chairman Dr Hans-Werner Weisskircher were extremely helpful here, because they were always available when a next project step required it. And when things have to move quickly, you have to have exactly such dedicated partners.

What are the particular challenges in realising the project?

The first challenge was to find a company capable of implementing such an ambitious project: The tender modalities required a public tender to three companiese: the first company cancelled the day after the invitation to tender, the second did not even get back to us after repeated enquiries, and the third was a stroke of luck: "TUOMI".No sooner said than done: the first company cancelled the day after the invitation to tender, the second did not even get back to us after repeated enquiries, and the third was a stroke of luck: "TUOMI". Dr. Weber-Dellacroce and I discussed the procedure and the digital implementation very closely. The questions: where does the material come from? What documents are available? Who has the rights to the text and images? Who is responsible on site? How will the content be structured and adapted to the KEB design? How is the digital construction kit built and programmed, ... etc.? Questions upon questions and finally: will the financing work and can we complete the project on time?

The work was done reliably and concentrated in stages and we lacked time, time, time! The project timeframe was far too short, only with perseverance and permanent coordination did we succeed in completing it, much to the delight of all involved!

What is the response of the citizens to the project? How can citizens participate in the project?

So far the response has been positive because people have short distances to their cultural chapel. They have something in the village that they may not even know about.

Digitalisation is helping us here. If the chapels are not open, there is now a small plate outside with the NFC code and everything worth knowing is stored there. Data, materials, sources and photos, even the local contact persons who can be called because they have a key on file. In addition, a current calendar of events or parish newsletter can be entered. This project is intended to contribute to the cultural transformation from the past to the present.

What is your vision for the future use of the platform? How can the offer be further developed? What is the need for it?

I imagine that we will continue to expand the contacts across borders. There are comparable initiatives in the Netherlands, in Luxembourg and in the Alsace region. What is really new, especially in our project, is precisely this form of QR code and NFC-based digitalisation.

Compared to flyers, brochures and small church guides, our model is resource-saving, easy to handle and barrier-free.

The motto is: Put your mobile phone on the plate and then you can find out everything you need to know at first hand!

The complete interview was published on 3 February 2022 at kirchturmdenken.org