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Priest unveils new directory

St Matthew's Church, Bridge Road, Sutton Bridge, photo of Rev David Oxtoby with new community brochure, ANL-160120-113306001
St Matthew's Church, Bridge Road, Sutton Bridge, photo of Rev David Oxtoby with new community brochure, ANL-160120-113306001

A project to put Sutton Bridge at its people’s fingertips, costing just £300, has been given a positive welcome.

Our Community, a guide to free events, activities and groups in Sutton Bridge, is being delivered to about 2,000 homes in the village.

The idea came from Rev David Oxtoby, priest-in-charge of Sutton Bridge and Tydd St Mary, just over a year after the launch of Sutton Bridge foodbank which gave out food hampers to 30 people in need over Christmas.

In his introduction for the booklet, Mr Oxtoby wrote: “We have many things going on in our community, but not everyone is always aware of what is available and taking place.

“This publication is intended to help raise awareness of all the different events, activities and groups which exist for the betterment of our community.”

Our Community is separate and independent from both The Bridge, the monthly parish newsletter for Sutton Bridge, and the newsletter published by Sutton Bridge and Wingland Parish Council.

Mr Oxtoby said: “Since we launched Sutton Bridge Foodbank in December 2014, so many people who have used it said they didn’t know it existed before.

“I was also mindful of other people who said ‘we’ve not got anything that people in Sutton Bridge can easily digest which actually tells them what is happening in our community’.

“There was no natural way of finding out what events are taking place in the village so I compiled a booklet with projects in that I knew about, and that people had told me about, to be delivered to every house in Sutton Bridge.”

The cost of compiling, printing and delivering the booklet, costing just £300, was paid for with church funds and with the aim of updating it as more community activities and projects were made known to Mr Oxtoby and others behind Our Community.

“This project is for the benefit of the community, not to promote any businesses, and focused on those things that promote and help the community,” he said.

“My hope is that as people get the booklet, they will come back to me with details of events and groups that haven’t been included so that a second version can be produced in the summer.

“I’ve had about half-a-dozen people approach me to say they’ve received it and found it really useful, so I hope it will expand a little bit further and become self-funding – both as a product and a resource.”

Coun John Grimwood, chairman of Sutton Bridge and Wingland Parish Council, said: “Anything that promotes Sutton Bridge and makes people aware of things in Sutton Bridge has to be good because if even two new people go to an event in the village after seeing the booklet then it will be making a difference.”

Meanwhile, Sutton Bridge district councillor Michael Booth said: “I think the project is a very good idea and I fully support it. The people who are running these groups and organisations in Sutton Bridge are working hard and need all the support they can get.”

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