Gallery: Wisbech school pupils set to help town church win lottery cash
Pupils at two Wisbech schools have learned how they are set to play a vital role in helping secure the future of the town's historic St Peter's Church.
Year 6 children at both Ramnoth and the Orchards schools were given a special insight into a half-a-million pound project, which aims to bring essential repairs to the 900 year old church and help make it fit for the 21st century.
The Parish Project Team of St Peter’s Church in Wisbech are already celebrating success after receiving a grant of £56,300. Made possible by National Lottery players the grant is to help develop a programme of repairs and improvements to the historic building.
And later this year the team is hoping to go one further and secure another £350,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to do the work - but they need the help of the wider Wisbech community including the school children in order to be successful.
The money is needed to carry out urgent repairs to the parish church including to its rotting roof and crumbling masonry.
The project will also include work to modernise the drains to protect the fabric of the building going forward as well as enhancements inside including the addition of toilets and a kitchen, which enable the church to provide hot meals for those in crisis.
Val Spriggs, church treasurer and project co-ordinator for the 'Church of the Future Scheme' outlined its aims over two separate visits to the schools this week.
Both sets of pupils will have a pivotal role in the second round of the grant bid after being included in the development phase as the projects partner schools.
Part of the bid needs to show the church is being inclusive to all parts of the community and both schools will be involved in the project over the next few years, with the completion date for the scheme set for 2022.
Both schools' pupils spent a morning compiling news articles on the plight of the church and the project's aspirations, with the help of Citizen reporter Sarah Cliss, and the results of their efforts will be published in this paper in the coming weeks.
The children are visiting the church over the next couple of weeks in preparation for the next phase of their involvement, which will see them help produce a guide to the church aimed at younger visitors.
They will be working with local photographer Matthew Usher to produce images for the guide highlighting important facts about the building, its history and its contents.
All the children will produce a leaflet and one will be chosen for publication. Their work will also add to the content of a new website for St Peter's which will spread the word about it worldwide.
The initial bid document highlighted the plight of the church stating it is currently on the ‘at risk’ register because its stonework and roof are decaying badly. It said: “Our project will restore and enhance the building so that it can better serve the needs of our growing, multi-cultural community.”
Mrs Spriggs, after her visits, said: "It was wonderful to see the children at work. They really took an interest and grasped a lot of facts about the church and what we are trying to do. I'm looking forward to showing them around St Peter's so they can see what the problems are for themselves and understand more about its heritage."
More by this authorSarah Cliss