We have a tendency in these islands – particularly in England – to prefer our history packaged as 'heritage'. Pageantry and grandiose words may easily replace rigorous and realistic analysis with a warm fuzzy feeling. It can also make us look both foolish and false.
Though taking artefacts from antiquities site constitutes a severe criminal offence, the Israel Antiquities Authority says it will not prosecute a repentant New Yorker who returned a fragment he had taken from an ancient palace.
A small Leeds church designed in 1932 and described as a "gem" when it was built has been "rediscovered" and given a Grade II listing on the advice of English Heritage - which has also produced a new publication reflecting on the way churches and faith have helped shape the city historically.
Even in modern Europe, there is an undercurrent of racism often linked with the notion of preserving 'a Christian heritage' says Savi Hensman. Minority groups are excluded and people are made to feel insecure. A better theology and practice of God's radical grace is needed.