The Minster's application for Heritage Recovery Grant

HERITAGE FUND29th August 2021

During the late spring the Parish of Great Yarmouth applied for a £20,000 Heritage Recovery Grant, targeted at our Minster Church. The application deadline was tight, a required element of our bid being the use of a consultant to refresh and move forward our engagement with the community. I am very pleased to state that our bid was successful. We were awarded the £20,000 requested. The Parish was also awarded an additional sum of £26,000 to top up our reserves which had become severely depleted as a result of the COVID pandemic
A key area of our bid was to improve the visual appearance and fabric of the Minster: 

  • 43 leaded glass panes have recently been replaced

  • Large areas of the Church have been re-plastered (painting to follow) including the Lady Chapel

  • Gutters have been cleared and repaired at all 3 Parish Churches

  •  A general tidying of the Minster (and waste disposal) has taken place

  • Stocks of cleaning supplies and sanitizer have been obtained for wider Parish use

  • 10 meter telescopic dusters have been acquired for each Church to enable cleaning at upper levels

  • Minor maintenance of the toilet area and storage area has taken place

 A second key area was to improve Visitor Experience to the Minster. This includes:

  • Wifi improved access, this is ongoing and being considered by a small but able group of Church enthusiasts! This will enable online access to live events and services

  • Wifi for additional internal security / safety cameras, although this is proving very problematic to resolve

  • Literature production, now proudly displayed on our new revolving literature rack 

A third key element was to grow our Volunteer Base, as life returns to some sense of normality. The volunteers will need to be suitably vetted and supported. This work is being coordinated by Tracy Lacey in the Parish Office. At some point, in the near future we would wish to be in a position to offer refreshments to visitors. This would need to take place in the South Aisle as our present kitchen area in these COVID times is no longer deemed fit for purpose. It would also be a positive step forward to be able to offer a wider range of quality goods in our shop
The fourth required key element of our bid was the employment of a consultant to find a sustainable plan for a funded way of opening the Minster for more hours in the longer term. A detailed, written report with clear options for the Parish is specified in the bid
In addition, a need to improve our Communications and Marketing has been targeted in the bid. This will involve a new improved Parish website which will draw together and celebrate our trilogy of churches. A professional flyer is also being prepared for visitors. Internal church signage and external sign boards have been designed and will shortly be professionally produced and erected. It is hoped to use a similar format in the near future for church signage at St Mary’s and St Paul’s
I pray that the considerable efforts being made, ably led by Father Simon, to help our churches to reengage with the wider community will result in a positive outcome for all
Paul Spychal
this article also appeared in Parish Life


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