“Keeping the water out and bringing the community in”

The Parochial Church Council (PCC) are pleased to announce the award of a Heritage Lottery Grant of £74,000. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery Players, the grant will help the PCC tackle urgent, essential works to prevent water damage to St Andrew’s Church.

St Andrew’s Church is home to an extraordinary number of pigeons.  Over the years, detritus from the pigeons has completely blocked the downpipes and gutters. This means rain water has nowhere to go but into the walls of the building, causing significant damage to the fabric of the church. Supported through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project will enable a programme of works to clear and repair the external drainage and enable us to install measures to keep the pigeons away from the building, so preventing further damage in the future. 

The grant will also fund a programme of heritage-related activities and events to encourage greater community use of St Andrew’s Church.  Claire Halley, a Soham resident, has been appointed to co-ordinate the programme.  Claire has a background in archaeology and heritage, most recently she worked as an Education and Community Outreach Officer on a large infrastructure project in southeast Suffolk. The project, East Anglia ONE (EA1), will feature in BBC4’s Digging for Britain – East edition (screen date 12th December 2018).  

Claire took up her position on 1st November 2018, just in time to help out with the Soham Remembers exhibition including explaining the role of animals (including pigeons!) during WW1 to the pupils of St Andrew’s School.  

Claire said “I am delighted to have been appointed to the role of Heritage Project Co-ordinator for St Andrew’s Church.  The extraordinary success of the Soham Remembers exhibition demonstrates the enormous community spirit and goodwill to be found among the people of Soham. I look forward to working with parishioners, local schools and community groups in the coming months.  St Andrew’s Church has always been a focus for community activities and I hope to ensure this continues with events that inspire Soham residents to use, preserve and protect this important Grade 1 listed building, and most importantly, build a sense of pride in the long heritage and history not only of the church but in the town itself”.  

If you are interested in helping out with events or have any suggestions for activities, you can get in touch with Claire by emailing at standrewsheritage@gmail.com or 07523 968581.

Details of upcoming activities and events can be found here.

You can also find details on Facebook [click here].