National Lottery: Heritage Emergency Fund

‘Operation Pigeon’ receives support from 

National Lottery Heritage Emergency Fund

Thanks to players of the National Lottery, urgent monitoring and maintenance works can continue at St Andrew’s Church.  The project nicknamed ‘Operation Pigeon’, focuses on work to keep the gutters clear from debris mainly attributed to pigeons.  Roll back the clock a couple of years and the gutters were doing little to keep the church building dry, instead they were providing penthouse apartments for a whole host of pigeons.  And who could blame them for taking up residence here in this Grade I listed church set in a wide green churchyard, at the heart of Soham.

A grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) in 2018, made it possible to clear the gutters and install measures to encourage the pigeons to find new accommodation.  The project also included heritage and community activities, which celebrated the buildings rich history.  It was all going so well until Covid-19 hit and the ongoing gutter work was put at risk.  Like so many churches and charities, the Parochial Church Council (PCC) for Soham was faced with the loss of key fundraising activities and furloughed contractors.  Fortunately, the National Lottery’s Heritage Emergency Fund came to the rescue just in the nick of time.  The Fund, open to previous NLHF grantees like St Andrew’s have been awarded a total of £9,900 to the PCC.  This very generous grant will allow the PCC to continue essential monitoring and maintenance work as well as supporting the re-opening of the church building to community activities.