A number of churches in Gozo have found a shoulder to lean on through European Union funds, in terms of much-needed restoration and conservation projects. The first six projects, ranging from interventions on church facades and belfries, a parvis and a Ġużeppi Calì painting, have been completed.
As a result, the patrimony held by the Church in Gozo can be better enjoyed through being preserved and presented to the public in a better condition. Restoration work on six churches through financial assistance from the European Union is the first in a series of projects as part of a major undertaking run by the Care Association within the Gozo Diocese.
Project leader Noel Formosa explained that the completed work involves the restoration of the facade and belfries of the parish church of Christ our Saviour in Ghasri, one of the two belfries in the Sanctuary of the Immaculate Conception and St Joseph in Qala, the parvis of the church in Santa Luċija, the belfry of the church of Santa Margherita in Ta’ Sannat, the facade and interior of the church of St Paul in Marsalforn, and the painting in the apse, originally by Ġużeppi Calì, in the basilica of the Birth of Our Lady in Xagħra.
“As a result of these projects, we have started on the road of inauguration, but this is not the end as this is a holistic project, through which we are trying to create a religious tourism itinerary for the Gozo diocese.”
The projects were inaugurated in an activity which brought together all those involved at Għasri parish church. Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana stated that the cultural heritage of Gozo is being preserved through these interventions.
The Parliamentary Secretary responsible for European Funds, Aaron Farrugia, explained that these interventions are part of a wider project with a total value of two million euro from European Funds for Regional Development.
For Bishop Mario Grech, these projects continue to improve the religious aspect which is still alive in Gozo. Bishop Grech augured that the collaboration and synergy between the state and the diocese in Gozo will continue to flourish in the future.