22 years ago, on the initiative of the former mayor of gobweinstein, hans backer, the "friends of the basilica" association was founded founded and backer elected as foundation chairman. He remained so until his death six years ago. Then the activity of the club pretty much fell asleep. On the initiative of harald bogner, who is chairman of the pilgrimage museum of gobweinstein, the association "friends of the basilica" was founded in the parish center brought back to life by 33 members.
Former regional councilor georg schaffner was unanimously elected as new chairman. By virtue of his office as pastor of gobweinstein, father flavian michali continued to lead the association on paper after the death of backer.
In the meantime, the association has shrunk to around 160 members, from whom around 2700 euros in membership fees are received annually, but these are used for projects and for contributions to the pilgrimage museum gobweinstein. Due to inactivity, the amount of donations was also significantly reduced.
Currently, according to treasurer thomas thiem, the association has about 1400 euro in two current accounts. Since its inception, however, the association has been a blessing, contributing some 180,000 euros to renovate the basilica, install new bells and build the pilgrimage museum, for example. This was thanks to the inimitable way of hans backer, who had thought about the interior renovation of the basilica at an early stage and then also pushed this forward with enthusiasm, said schaffner. He is aware that he is stepping into rough patches. "Without hans backer, the church would not have been renovated and the pilgrimage museum would not have come into being. Hans backer has rendered outstanding services to our church", emphasized schaffner.
Those present at the meeting were unanimous in their desire to breathe new life into the association. Mayor hanngorg zimmermann (BMG) joined the association during the meeting and was thus able to participate in the election of the new board of directors.
According to the articles of association, the three deputy chairmen of the association, who are automatically members of the association’s management by virtue of their office, did not have to be elected. These are pastor michali, church administrator georg lang and parish council chairwoman kathrin heckel. Thomas thiem was elected treasurer, birgit vogler was elected secretary and harald bogner, roland muller and kunigunde backer were elected as assessors. Cash auditors are heiner plank and heiner betz.
The meeting unanimously decided that the minimum annual membership fee of 16 euros should be moderately increased at next year’s general meeting. An immediate increase was not possible, because this must first be changed the statutes. Thiem had suggested to increase the contribution to 20 euro. From the assembly came proposals with 24 and 25 euro.
The new chairman of the association, georg schaffner, named projects that are urgently needed in the near future. Priority was given to removing dust and dirt from the interior of the basilica. Furthermore, the interior of the monastery church is to be renovated, and the rusty wrought-iron "eye of god" is to be restored on the central nave of the basilica, the renewal of the flooring around the basilica and the renovation of the parapet wall on the basilica forecourt, as well as work on the iron fittings of the tower hood.
The association could also consider financial support for the renovation of the parish hall, into which the town hall is to be incorporated. According to schaffner, there is "massive support" in bamberg (bishopric), that the town hall comes to the parish hall. Because without a use it will not be redeveloped.
Schaffner called on members to stand together to move forward with urgently needed projects. Also the member recruitment will become a main task of the new executive committee team.