News

You can't live in Algarkirk without being aware of the agricultural seasons, and the bringing in of the harvest is perhaps the most obvious of all.

We shall be celebrating it at St Peter and St Paul's with a service on the 4th October at 11.00pm followed by a lunch at the Village Hall - from 12.00 noon. Everyone is very welcome to join us for either or both. Tickets for the lunch and auction are £5  and are available from Pinchin's Farm Shop or call 460638. If anyone has items to donate for the auction, again, please call 460638. We would be very grateful. We still need to raise a lot of money to replace the lead that was stolen from the roof, and every little helps.

We are also harvesting some of the benefits of the hard work that has gone into the Church restoration project. Last month we had a very successful Heritage Open Day with medieval musicians and craftsmen adding to the fun. It was great to see the children dressed up in their historic costumes too. Our thanks to all those who helped out and made it a really good day.

There have been lots of other training days too, in specialised types of activities. Everything from tracing local history through the churchyard to making glass or gilding. These have all proved very popular and will help St Peter and St Paul's to become an outpost of Lincolnshire's Heritage programme.

The Crafty Coffee Club is established now too as a regular community event with a meeting on every 4th Wednesday of the month. Do come along and  share in the fun, There is no charge and lots of opportunities to try new things or to share your experience with others.

We are also getting the first fruits from the architects and specialists who are looking at the work that needs to be undertaken at the church to ensure the building is safe and strong for the village now and in generations to come (not just repairing the roof, but also how we can heat the building enough to be able to use it throughout the year!)  We will be arranging a meeting before the end of the year so that everyone will have the chance to come and see the plans and give their feedback. It is really important that the whole community has a chance to have their say in the future of their church!

We shall be arranging other activities for the Christmas period, so do keep an eye out on the www.algarkirkchurch.org website and on the notice boards. In particular, we have a woad talk and demonstration on the 8th October, in the village hall at 7.00pm. Woad was historically a very valuable crop in Algarkirk and the area.  It was even mentioned in the doomsday book. And, the connection lasted because Algarkirk had the very last working mill in the country!  Do come along and find out more about this aspect of our village history.

Happy Harvest! 

Would you like to help us to record people’s memories of Algarkirk? If so we would love to hear from you! 

Email us at algarkirk@heritagelincolnshire.org or call 01529 461499.

A free oral history workshop is taking place on Friday 16th October at Boston Guildhall from 10.30 – 3.30pm, lunch will be provided. This workshop is funded by the Explore and Discover Boston project. The training will be delivered by Colin Hyde from the East Midlands Oral History Society and will help to give you practical skills with getting the best out of recording memories.

What's happening over the coming months?

•    11 August FREE Oral History workshop (Guildhall, Boston)
•    15 - 31 August: The Great Village Selfie
•    20th August: Churchyard Survey 10.00-16.00
•    13th September: Heritage Open Day
•    23rd September: Crafty Coffee Club 10 - 12 noon. (Every 4th Wednesday)
•    September - October: Heritage skills training sessions
•    October 4th - Harvest Lunch
Services are still being held as usual (week one, 11.00 communion; week four, 09.00  communion / morning prayer.) 

All are very welcome!

There is a lot happening over the coming months, and we hope that you will all find something to join in with.  

The first of our projects, the Great Village Selfie, certainly has something for everyone.  While we are looking back at the history of the church and the village, we also want to make sure that we can record something of Algarkirk as it is now for future generations too, so we are asking everyone to take a photo of themselves and their homes (include the pets and the grandchildren too) and to send it to algarkirk@heritagelincolnshire.org. Don't forget to say who is in the picture!  We realise that not everyone has a mobile phone or a camera, so if you call Cheryllyn on 460174, we'll get someone to call round between 15th and 31st of August and take the photo for you. If you are going on holiday, don't miss out. Send your picture in early.

All the photos will go up on our website: it might be the first time people will have been able to put a name to the faces they have seen around the village. Later we are hoping to use some of the pictures as part of an art workshop.

If you have an interest in history, there are a number of activities taking place over the summer. Help us to create a site plan of the churchyard and to gather gravestone information. 

A churchyard plan is invaluable as it allows individual memorials and family groupings to be located and descendants to easily find family gravesites. It also provides a record of all features in the burial landscape. No experience is necessary, training will be provided on the day. You will learn surveying and recording skills including an introduction to scale drawing. Absolute beginners welcome!

For more information, or to book a place, call Natalie on 01529 461499.

We would like to capture some of the precious memories our villagers have too. Training on how to collect and record oral histories will be given in a free workshop on 11 August at the Guildhall in Boston. Contact Sam.Phillips@boston.gov.uk for more details.

For other Heritage training events, do go to our website for dates and details (www.algarkirkchurch.org.uk) or call Natalie (01529 461499) for more details. You can also follow us now on Facebook (Algarkirk Church) and Twitter! (@algarkirkchurch)

All the family can get involved in our Heritage Open day.  An afternoon of medieval music and crafts on Sunday 13th September at Algarkirk Church. Fun and interest for everyone from 12 noon until 16.00. 

Talking of crafts... the first of our Crafty Coffee Clubs kicked off at the end of July.  It was great fun! There was a chance to learn printing on paper and fabric and we all enjoyed the fantastic baking some of the ladies brought along (thanks Mary, Rose and Di!) as well as a chance for a good natter. It is amazing how much talent was on show. We will start our regular fourth Wednesday meetings  from September 23rd. There is no charge, and it doesn't matter whether you are brilliant at something or a complete novice, we would love to see you there. Do join us. If anyone needs a lift to get in, please call Di on 460638. We will be making felted soap in September, so a chance to get a head start on the Christmas prezzies!

Finally, please keep the date Sunday, 4th October, for our village Harvest Festival. The service will be held in the church at 11.00, followed by a lunch in the Village Hall at 12.30.  Tickets £5. Reserve your place by calling Di (460638) or Cheryllyn (460174). 

Our church opened its doors for the first session of Craft Club 

Keen on crafts, or just on the chance for a crafty cup of coffee, cakes and a good chat? St Peter and St Paul's at Algarkirk will be opening its doors to a new craft club starting on Wednesday, 22 July from 10 to 12 noon, and all are welcome.

Over the coming months Craft Club leader, Diana Reid, and other clever-fingered folk will be introducing a number of "taster" sessions to allow people to have a go at all sorts of traditional crafts, from felt making to knitting and model making to tapestry and card making.  In between there will be opportunities for members to bring their own projects in to show and share with others or even to ask for advice. And it will all take place in the coffee area of the church where members will be able to also enjoy a cuppa, some delicious cake and a chat.

"It is amazing how many skilful people there are out there who would love the chance to share what they are doing or to learn something new," Diana said.  "There are also a lot of people who perhaps have not had the chance to learn, but would like to."

The monthly Coffee, Craft and Cake club is part of the community vision that we have for the future of Algarkirk church: part of making it a resource for all the people of the local community.
There will be no charge for club membership, although, as always, donations are welcome. If you would like to attend but have no transport please contact us.

The Community Launch Event was a huge success, attracting over 100 people to the church and celebrating achievements to date. The project was launched by The Archdeacon of Boston, The Ven Dr Justine Allain Chapman, and those attending were treated to craft demonstrations and tours of the church.


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Audrey Young of the Algarkirk Major Project Group opened proceedings:

 

 " We thought this day would never come. From a rather depressing meeting in the village hall back in 2009 to inform the village that the church was to close, it feels like a long and arduous journey to get to this joyful point - celebrating the launch of the project to restore, re-establish and  revive this amazing building. I want to pose and answer two questions.

 

Who are we?

local people, from the village and parish who make up the AMPG. It feels like a bit of a marathon relay team The four current members are  Diana, Jayne, Cheryllynn and Audrey  we currently hold the baton but we want to remember and acknowledge  former and earlier members who were in at the start  Steven, Elaine, Hennie, Christine and Anne, Jackie and Brian Dickinson, Peter and Jane, Kim Fisher, Bill Moore and Pam.

We also must thank the Diocese team Ben and Matthew for their expertise in guiding us through the grant process. All have helped build the foundations of this project. 

We also want to thank and hope for their continued support the Village Hall committee,  Algarkirk Radio, Sandy for her time and frequent baking of gorgeous cakes which she donates to the church, Martin for caretaking duties, John for our website and our families, supportive residents and neighbours who come to fund raising events, open days … and engage in consultation.  

 

What are we hoping to do?

From the outset we have had a clear mission statement

St Peter and St Paul’s Church has been described as as “the mini-cathedral of the Fens”, magnificent and dominating. 

Our project mission is to secure funds to carry out essential restoration and repairs to return the church to a significant and relevant role in Algarkirk in the 21st Century. Open and accessible to all:

  • to enjoy the splendour and heritage of the building
  • for worship 
  • as an ideal venue and facility for a wide range of community activities and events
  • to create education and craft-skills programmes

When we asked Algarkirk residents, through the survey, there was overwhelming support for this. The survey is on our website and still receives positive responses.  Interestingly House  of Lords quoted Algarkirk as the ideal model for similar churches and communities in the 21st Century.

 

Obviously HLF who have awarded the grant believes this to be the way forward. Its purpose to develop our plans turn our mission statement into reality, It has meant we can appoint a Project Officer, Liz Bates of  Lincolnshire Heritage Trust and Walker and Cunnington Architects as lead consultant

The challenge is we have to raise £40,000 to match the grant, part of this is evaluating the time and involvement of local volunteers (in the first 3 months of the grant award - 50 days  44 volunteers)

 

Finally 

Our mission statement identified the need for the project to be  sustainable. For us this means:

  • to benefit the locality 
  • for local  people to participate in the activities, 
  • a rich seam of heritage and historical significance for local schools and colleges to research 
  • wherever possible local businesses to tender for work 
  • contributes to the local economy

In short the project is owned by Algarkirk and has created a community resource for future generations.

 

 

PASSION and community support has contributed to the church of St Peter and St Paul's in Algarkirk receiving a £175,000 development grant from The Heritage Lottery Fund and the team behind the bid is inviting you to see what the project is all about.

 

A launch event for Algarkirk's restoration project is planned for Saturday May 16 at the church. You are invited to come along and see what plans the Algarkirk Major Project Group has in store, meet members of the community and take part in traditional craft demonstrations.

The beautiful mediaeval church contains nationally significant Victorian stained glass and decorations; it is a remarkable and important building which is in need of repair and restoration. The Algarkirk Major Project Group aims to re-establish the church as a significant and relevant asset to the community.

With the help from Heckington based charity Heritage Lincolnshire, who have been appointed to help manage the project, the volunteer team will coordinate repair the church building, establish a heritage centre, run a programme of activities, create a café and space for a local history archive and remain an active centre of worship.

Liz Bates, Chief Executive of Heritage Lincolnshire, is looking forward to meeting local people on the day: “This is such a fantastic project to be involved in and the launch event will be a great opportunity for people to come along and hear more about our plans. The grant we have received will stop the church from facing closure and help preserve it for future generations.

 

“There will also be lots of activities for all the family to get involved in. It is so important that this church is restored and established into the community hub that it deserves to be.”

 

The event will be held at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Algarkirk, nr. Boston from 2pm to 4pm. All welcome

BBC Look North report on lead theft

Dreams of conserving the beautiful but endangered church of St Peter and St Paul in Algarkirk have come a step closer to being realised with the appointment of Heritage Lincolnshire as Project Officers. The appointment has been funded through a development grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  

Algarkirk Major Project Group (AMPG) Leader, Audrey Young, said: "It is wonderful to be able to bring the knowledge and expertise of Heritage Lincolnshire on board to help us with our plans for the church. Conserving the building and developing the role the church can play in supporting the local community is something that can benefit everyone in the parish. Having Heritage Lincolnshire on our team will take those hopes and dreams a big step closer to reality."

Liz Bates, Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Lincolnshire said, “We are absolutely delighted to be working with the community in Algarkirk on this exciting project. As a Trust we have been interested in the Church and the historic landscape around it for some time and so we are really looking forward to meeting everyone and getting started. The group leading the project have some fantastic ideas and we will do all we can to help achieve the goal of conserving the ‘Cathedral of the Fens’.”

Liz will be working alongside her colleague Natalie Lunt in the planning stages and in June 2015 Natalie will take up the role of Project Officer. The role will be to promote the project and to trial some of the activities that will be delivered if all of the funding is successfully raised. The aim is to encourage local people will come along to those activities and offer feedback on the project plans as they develop. There will also be training volunteers to help the group to get ready for future stages of the project. The Project Officer will be talking to local and regional partners to gain help and advice and of course fundraising will be an important task. The team will be aiming to build on local support and to identifying additional sources of funding.

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Just as we were about to send out a Press release announcing the appointment of Heritage Lincolnshire as project officers for the Algarkirk Church Heritage project, along with the launch of our Church Vision for the church as a community resource, when on Sunday night/ Monday morning, thieves stripped the lead from the nave roof and porch and damaged the stained glass of the west window.  The  photos show where the lead has been stripped: the men in the photos are specialist roofers from CEL.

 
Not only has about 30 foot of lead been taken from the Nave roof, and the porch been stolen, but the beautiful stained glass of the West window has also been damaged during the theft.  That loss is irreparable.

After all the hard work and tireless commitment of those who have been working to bring the church back into a fit state for the community to use as a place of worship and a community resource, this is a devastating set-back.

Just as we were about to really move forward in our “Church Vision” project, with the appointment of Heritage Lincolnshire as project officers, and the announcement of a launch date on 16th May, we are now going to have to raise more funds and generate even more support. We will do it: we are determined to go ahead with the launch, but this pointless crime has made everything so much harder.  We hope people will rally round our efforts and help support our attempts to save this very special church for today and the future.

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The people who did this may make a comparatively small profit from selling the lead which has been forensically treated and should be traceable but that gain will bear no relation to the enormous devastation and hardship they have caused by ripping it from the church: it is truly heart-breaking.

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