St Benedict’s is a Grade II* 13th century church with substantial alterations from the 15th century and Victorian period. The church required a new roof, updated drainage provision alongside minor but essential interior repairs. The Community Heritage Team from Heritage Lincolnshire worked alongside St Benedict’s PCC to deliver a programme of activities alongside the capital works required as part of their National Lottery Heritage Funded project.
The original activity programme had to be substantially changed due to covid restrictions, but Heritage Lincolnshire adopted a ‘blended’ approach and delivered a combination of digital and in-person events. Working with a small number of volunteers from two local history and heritage groups, the group undertook archival research on the history of the church and its furnishings and fittings, focusing on the wonderful stained-glass windows in the building. Work also involved research on some rare wooden monuments commemorating estate workers from the 19th century which were also restored as part of the project.
Originally intending to work with Banovallum School delivery learning activities in the classroom, our approach switched to filming a series of short ‘episodes’ explaining the church through time and how major national events (both secular and ecclesiastical) had impacted the development and presentation of St Benedict’s. This recording was delivered in school alongside a series of worksheets for Year 9 students to complete.
The work undertaken as part of the project was brought together in a short guide book and series of interpretation panels which were showcased as part of a Heritage Open Days event in September 2021 to celebrate the end of the project.
The external project evaluation concluded “This project was hugely impacted by the global pandemic as much of the planned engagement work had to be refocussed and scaled down due to lockdowns and covid limitations. However, despite these challenges the physical work on the church building was successfully completed leaving the building rejuvenated. Volunteers have worked with the team from Heritage Lincolnshire to reinterpret the church and its monuments for a new audience and children from the local school enjoyed discovering more about this important building and its history on their doorstep.”