Churches European Rural Network Visit to Romania, October 2011
We are extremely grateful to Rudi Job for masterminding our visit: without him it would not have been possible. Also, to a remarkable establishment, the Evangelical Academy at Sibiu, whose staff organised our programme. The Academy is very well equipped with excellent accommodation, and it is good to hear that it will host the next meeting of IRCA – Europe in 2012.
With the blessing of IRCA – Europe (International Rural Churches Association – Europe) – Rudi Job and I arranged for a small group to visit rural Romania between 20 and 25 October 2011.The visit was hosted by Dietrich Galter, President of the Academy of Neppendorf, Sibiu.
The programme included:
- A journey to the ruins of the Cistercian monastery at Kerz (Carta) where we met the parish priest Michael Refer and a representative of the agricultural society.
- A visit to the summer residence of Baron Samuel von Bruckenthal in Freck which is being restored as a tourist attraction.
- A visit to Michelsberg to a visit to meet the entreprenneur Michael Henning. (Subject: My village before and now). Meal on a farm.
- Journey to Mediasch, Pretai and Biertan to see various rural projects linked with local churches.
- Visit to the old mill in Holzmengen (nice name: literally ‘loads of wood!’)
- A meeting with Jochen Cotaru in respect of the development project at Harbachtal, the project Natura 2000, and certain individual projects in the village (for example restoration of the old village mill).
- A visit to the service in a village parish (Grossau or Reussdoerfchen). After the service a conversation with representatives of the parish and their work with the Gipsy community.
- A visit to the ‘shepherd-village’ Sibiel, the museum of icons ‘Zosim Oancea’.
- A meeting with a representative of the regional agency for tourism, concentrating on possibilities for developing tourism in rural areas.