From houses of the holy, to...?
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The last couple of years, many churches in the Netherlands have become empty. Processes such as secularization, individualization, and exemplary for the Dutch case, de-pillarization have shaped a religious climate in which it is very hard to thrive for churches. Estimated is that about 2 churches are forced out of their religious use per week in the Netherlands, leading to many ‘empty’ or abandoned churches. As a result, the last couple of years have seen a dramatic increase of the adaptive re-use of religious buildings and churches in particular. This article aims to explore some of the dimensions that are involved with these inherently difficult projects. One specific case is studied in more detail, which is the Eusebius parish in Arnhem, which had to re-use five of their nine churches. Through interviews with important actors, insight is gained in how the different actors work together and what kind of opportunities and/or constraints they might encounter during the re-use process.