TOPA? Who are we?
To welcome and guide visitors into the church heritage means providing them a Christian art experience. The Church, which for centuries has commissioned this art for the faith practice, also finds it important that tourists can get to know this heritage, both in amazement and in scientific, cultural-historical, knowledge transfer.
Thus, offering cultural-historical tours of monumental churches is part of the mission of tourist pastoralism. ‘Pastoral’ means meeting people and guiding them towards becoming more human, this according to the standards of Jesus’ gospel. Therefore, welcoming visitors in churches implies for the guides a commitment from faith in Christ – or at least from respect for this faith. In other words, no explanation about a church without reference to Christ: ‘Cornerstone and Keystone’.
Whoever experiences a church as a ‘house of God’ or as a place of prayer, is best placed to express the uniqueness of a monumental church. He/she experiences the soul of things… and those who speak from experience…
However, it cannot be our intention to preach pedantic sermons, to persuade others directly or to proclaim our strictly personal vision. Our evangelical mission is there, but in a subtle way: through our enthusiasm in the story, tourists should be able to feel that the core message of this Christian art can always address people personally.