History and Heritage http://www.nottinghamchurches.org/articles/history-and-heritage/ Heritage Open Day at St Mary’s Church http://www.nottinghamchurches.org/articles/history-and-heritage/heritage-open-day-at-st-mary-s-church/ <p><strong>Heritage Open Day at St Mary’s Church</strong></p> <p>St Mary's will be open for Heritage Open day from 9.30 to 4 on Saturday 10th September. The 2016 guidebook and tour leaflets [sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund] will be available, as well as an activity for children, ‘Birds, Beasts and Medieval Treasures’ (takes about 20 minutes to complete and is for ages 4 to 11). There will be guided tours of the tower from 11 until 3, offering stunning views of the city. The vestry (refitted in the 18th century) and 19th century chapter house will be open. Historic pictures and vestments will be on display alongside an exhibition of recent paintings by Nottingham artist John Pooler. Brass rubbing and refreshments will also be available. All welcome.</p> <p> </p> Thu, 18 Aug 2016 10:23:12 +0200 http://www.nottinghamchurches.org/articles/history-and-heritage/heritage-open-day-at-st-mary-s-church/ St Mary’s Heritage Lottery Fund Project Update http://www.nottinghamchurches.org/articles/history-and-heritage/st-mary-s-heritage-lottery-fund-project-update/ <p><strong>St Mary’s Heritage Lottery Fund Project Update</strong></p> <p>We are pleased to announce that the Heritage Lottery Fund has just confirmed a grant of £217,600 to assist St Mary’s Church in the completion of our repairs project. A further total of £60,000 has also been generously donated by The Garfield Weston Foundation, the Forman Hardy Charitable Trust, the Lady Hind Trust, the Jones 1986 Charitable Trust, the Jesse Spencer Trust, the Nottinghamshire Historic Churches Trust and two individual members of the St Mary’s congregation.</p> <p>These grants and gifts, together with a contribution from Parish funds, will enable us to renew the covering of the Nave roof and repair both the access turret and the chancel roof. This work is now [December 2015] well under way.</p> <p>The grant awarded by HLF will also enable an exciting programme of activities to go ahead in the coming months. These will aim to attract new visitors to St Mary’s, ensure that they are warmly welcomed and are given high quality trails and information leaflets to help them discover the rich history of our iconic building. In November, we welcomed 150 city primary school children to our Living Stones History Day and look forward to providing other young visitors throughout the year with explorer bags and trails. We hope to build up the existing team of volunteer stewards to ensure that our building is open, well-staffed and ready to welcome all those who come through its doors.</p> <p>Other works originally identified as urgent during the earlier stages of the project include about £120,000 needed to re-roof and repair the iconic central tower and upgrade lightning protection and other items. These items are currently on hold due to a funding shortfall.</p> <p>Can you help? If you’re able to contribute financially to this work, please send an email to one of the addresses below or speak to one of the wardens/vergers on duty</p> <p>Can you volunteer? A number of people from within the Parish and groups connected to St. Mary’s are currently members of working parties which are planning the above activities in more detail. There are still more opportunities for people to be involved in a variety of roles, so if you would like to find out more please do get in touch with one of us:</p> <p>HLF Project/Education Mentor, Louise Hodder - louise.hodder@nottinghamchurches.org</p> <p>Churchwarden and Project Coordinator, Paul Sibly - paulsibly@btinternet.com</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Tue, 08 Dec 2015 14:53:44 +0100 http://www.nottinghamchurches.org/articles/history-and-heritage/st-mary-s-heritage-lottery-fund-project-update/ Heritage Open Day 2015 http://www.nottinghamchurches.org/articles/history-and-heritage/heritage-open-day-2015/ <p><strong>Heritage Open Day 2015</strong><br/><br/>St Mary's will again open its doors to welcome visitors for Heritage Open Days, 2015.  Experience its history, learn about the architecture, and enjoy activities that will bring the building alive.<br/><br/>As well as the usual opening hours on Thursday 10th &amp; Friday 11th (10am-3pm), the church will be open to welcome visitors 9.30am to 4pm on Saturday 12th September, and from 12 noon until 4pm on Sunday 13th September. On Saturday there will be tower tours from 10am-12.30pm (£2 per person) and light refreshments will be also be available.  .<br/><br/>To listen to an interview with Rev Christopher Harrison on BBC Radio Nottingham, please click <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p030k2jv#play">here</a> (2.14-2.30).<br/><br/>Fore more information about events happening across the city, please click <a href="http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/directory/advanced-search/eyJjb2xsZWN0aW9uIjoibHNfZXZlbnRfc2VhcmNoIiwicmVzdWx0X3BhZ2UiOiJcL2RpcmVjdG9yeVwvYWR2YW5jZWQtc2VhcmNoIiwic2VhcmNoX21vZGUiOiJhbGwiLCJleGFjdCI6InNlYXJjaDpjZl9ldmVudF90b3dufHNlYXJjaDpjZl9ldmVudF9jb3VudHkiLCJzZWFyY2g6Y2ZfZXZlbnRfdG93biI6Ik5vdHRpbmdoYW0iLCJzZWFyY2g6Y2ZfZXZlbnRfb3BlbmluZ190aW1lcyI6IlRodXJzZGF5fEZyaWRheXxTYXR1cmRheXxTdW5kYXkifQ">here</a>.</p> <p> </p> Fri, 04 Sep 2015 13:52:35 +0200 http://www.nottinghamchurches.org/articles/history-and-heritage/heritage-open-day-2015/ Roses of Eyam http://www.nottinghamchurches.org/articles/history-and-heritage/roses-of-eyam/ <p><strong>Roses of Eyam at St Mary's</strong></p> <p>Roses of Eyam is a remarkable drama telling the true story of the Derbyshire village struck down by Plague in the seventeenth century because of the arrival of a box of infected clothing from London.</p> <p>Written by Don Taylor, the play shows the determination of the villagers, persuaded by their former and present rectors, to prevent the disease spreading by resolutely staying in their village, thus containing the plague, albeit at the risk of their own lives. Humour and pathos combine to show that the villagers idealism is matched only by the courage of their actions.</p> <p>Four performances will be presented by The Television Workshop at St Mary’s Church High Pavement from Tuesday 24th to Friday 27th March at 7.30pm.<br/><br/>Tickets [£10, £8] from www.ticketsource.co.uk/thetelevisionworkshop</p> <p> </p> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:27:45 +0100 http://www.nottinghamchurches.org/articles/history-and-heritage/roses-of-eyam/ Heritage Lottery Fund update http://www.nottinghamchurches.org/articles/history-and-heritage/heritage-lottery-fund-update/ <p><strong>An update on the Heritage Lottery Fund Project at St Mary’s</strong></p> <p>At the end of April 2014 St Mary’s received the exciting news that the Heritage Lottery Fund had agreed to give the Church a development grant of £22,000. The grant was awarded to help St Mary’s carry out investigations and development work which would enable the Church to apply for a much larger sum at the end of March 2015. If successful, this grant will be used both to fund urgent work on the fabric of the building (including repairs to the Nave, Chancel and tower roofs) and activities which will enable people to engage more with the history of the Church.</p> <p>The development phase is now progressing well. In October, a team of consultants led by the Church Architect, Peter Rogan, undertook some opening-up works, with a view to assessing the current state of the roofs and stonework; fortunately nothing unexpected was found. Peter is now drawing up more detailed plans for the next stage.</p> <p>As well as restoring the fabric of the building, the other key aim of our project is to develop new opportunities for people to discover more about the heritage of the Church and its place in the history of the City. With this purpose in mind, the Church employed Louise Hodder from the start of October to act as a mentor to the project team and to develop an activity plan to show how St. Mary’s might do this in a creative and sustainable way.</p> <p>November saw lots of interesting feedback from a questionnaire created for visitors to consider how the Church might improve the ways in which they are able to find out more about the history of the Church and the many notable people connected to it.</p> <p>The whole period has also been a great opportunity to meet and listen to ideas from some of the many dedicated volunteers from within the congregation, the FOSM and others linked to the Church who already give so much of their time to keep St. Mary’s as an open, welcoming and active space for the community.</p> <p>This period of consultation and feedback from within and beyond the Church has allowed the project team to focus on what specific activities might be possible within the budget of the grant. The following areas have now been identified as the outcomes we hope to achieve in the delivery phase of the project:</p> <p>• Creation of a new high quality guide book and a selection of well-designed leaflets and trails for adults and children.</p> <p>• Recruitment and training of a larger team of guides to help welcome visitors throughout the week.</p> <p>• Re-ordering and design of the welcome area and displays as visitors enter the Church.</p> <p>• A large scale History Day aimed at KS2 primary school children from the city which would involve fun educational activities connected to significant people/times in the Church’s History.</p> <p>A number of people from within the Parish and groups connected to St Mary’s have already agreed to offer their knowledge and time to working parties which will be developing some of the areas above. As the work develops there will be more opportunities for people to be involved, so if you would like to find out more about volunteer possibilities please do get in touch.</p> <p>Louise.Hodder@NottinghamChurches.org</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 12 Jan 2015 11:50:03 +0100 http://www.nottinghamchurches.org/articles/history-and-heritage/heritage-lottery-fund-update/ St Mary's Heritage Project http://www.nottinghamchurches.org/articles/history-and-heritage/st-mary-s-heritage-project/ <p><strong>Heritage Lottery Fund at St Mary's</strong><br/>Over the next six months Roger Freeston is leading St Mary’s Phase 2 bid for further lottery funding which, if successful, will enable us to tackle many of the repairs and renewals needed on the roof and tower.<br/>In parallel with this Louise Hodder, our HLF Project Mentor, is developing our bid for funds to renew and enhance the heritage visitor experience. She’s hoping for some volunteer input, see below for details of what’s coming up.<strong><br/><br/>HLF Project – volunteer needed for data input, November 2014</strong><br/>During November we will be gathering some information about the number of visitors we have and their experiences. This short term volunteer opportunity would involve helping to record the findings from this research into an excel database. If you feel that you have the necessary IT skills to help with this and could give a couple of hours each week during November then we would love to hear from you.<br/>Please email Louise Hodder (St. Mary's HLF Project Mentor) at Louise.Hodder@Nottinghamchurches.org or speak to Roger Freeston or Paul Sibly to find out more.</p> <p> </p> Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:12:26 +0100 http://www.nottinghamchurches.org/articles/history-and-heritage/st-mary-s-heritage-project/ A Living Heritage http://www.nottinghamchurches.org/articles/history-and-heritage/a-living-heritage/ <p><strong>Holly Mills, treasurer of the Nottingham and Derby Society of Architects and member of St Mary’s congregation, explains why we should learn form the architects of the past</strong></p> <p>Throughout December, St Mary’s church hosted an exhibition by the Nottingham and Derby branch of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The exhibition focused on Victorian architect, George Gilbert Scott who worked on many cathedrals and churches during his lifetime, including St Mary’s. The exhibition also featured work by Nottingham University’s school of architecture which looks at the buildings surrounding St Mary’s in Nottingham’s historic Lacemarket. <br/><br/>For me, the exhibition emphasised how church buildings have changed over the course of time to meet contemporary needs. Gilbert Scott made significant changes to the look of the church, most notably returning the west end to the gothic style of architecture which had been altered to a classical style around 100 years earlier. But Gilbert Scott’s changes were not purely cosmetic. Firstly, the church was in real danger of collapsing in the 1840s due to a family vault undermining the tower’s foundations. This led to the church being closed for five years (1843-1848) for major repair works and a number of other changes. One of the most telling changes was the installation of new pew seating. In Gilbert Scott’s time there was real pressure on church capacities, a problem that most churches would be pleased to be facing today. At St Mary’s this led to old box pews, reserved for the wealthy and righteous, being ripped out in favour of more egalitarian pews that accommodated more people.</p> <p>The work of Gilbert Scott and architects before him demonstrate how churches have evolved to meet the needs of the time. Throughout the country you will see examples of how church buildings have been extended, altered and improved. But what does this mean for churches today? Cynics may see the church building as redundant in modern society. With dwindling congregations and struggling finances, perhaps the inevitable future for many churches is that they will become frozen in time, destined to be museums of a bygone age in an age of secularism. Maybe some will be converted into houses or pubs, retaining their outward appearance but completely losing their original sense of purpose. This is indeed a bleak and depressing vision of the future for sacred architecture in our country.</p> <p>However, if we follow the lead of Gilbert Scott and our ancestors, I believe historic church buildings can remain relevant and important to our society. We will have to change our view of what a church building’s purpose is. A minority of people, myself included, will continue to enjoy the spirituality of a traditional service but we are unlikely to ever see the large congregations of yesteryear return. We have to recognise that people will only use our church buildings in significant numbers if the buildings offer something that appeals to them. This may have some connection with Christianity or spirituality, or it may not. Christians are called to love their neighbours – the first step towards loving your neighbours is to meet them and then grow to understand them. How many of the people living and working around our church buildings do we know, let alone understand? Churches urgently need to find ways to encourage all of their neighbours to come into the building. This will require an open mind, imagination and a willingness to try new ideas. We will have to continue to do the things that we already do well and celebrate the heritage of our buildings, but we need to find time to do new and different things too.</p> <p>The completion of the new floor is a truly positive step forward for St Mary’s church, and very much in the spirit of Gilbert Scott. The recent improvements build on the church’s rich heritage with the aim of making a more flexible and comfortable space that opens up new opportunities. However, the really hard part comes now – how will we make the most of this new flexible space? How will we entice our neighbours in with a wider range of events? How will we ensure that the church becomes as relevant to the people of Nottingham as it once was?</p> Fri, 07 Feb 2014 14:38:09 +0100 http://www.nottinghamchurches.org/articles/history-and-heritage/a-living-heritage/ Sheriff - redundant historical post or important voice? http://www.nottinghamchurches.org/articles/history-and-heritage/sheriff-redundant-historical-post-or-important-voice/ <p><strong>Speaking at a service for the Association of City and Town Sheriffs of England and Wales, Rev’d Christopher Harrison considered the ancient role of Sheriff in today’s modern society</strong></p> <p>Britain is a place which is good at cherishing its traditions, and I’m delighted that St Mary’s Church was able to play its part in October with a special service for the Association of City and Town Sheriffs of England and Wales (picture left). Traditions connect us with our past, and with our heritage, and remind us that many of the institutions which we take for granted today have ancient roots, and were often fought for at great cost. The role of sheriff in the cities and towns of England and Wales is of course an honour to those on whom it is conferred, and we celebrate the contributions to local society which have been made by all those who have, and have had, the privilege of serving in this manner.</p> <p>I do hope, however, that those who have gazed upon the procession of sheriffs past and present who walked through Nottingham on 6th October aren’t simply left with a sense of bewilderment, and that they don’t just conclude that this is an archaic ritual with no relevance to modern society. There have at times been bursts of political energy, across this country as whole, which have sought to modernise – to modernise sometimes for its own sake, it has seemed, sometimes quite rightly to learn from the past and improve how we do things in the present. But we also need to beware of the temptation to believe that the current generation always knows best – that we are at liberty to discard the inheritance of the past on the assumption that what we put in its place will by definition be better.</p> <p>Of course the role of sheriff in those of our cities and towns which have such a position is usually a very ancient one, with little if any political or legal power in society. The traditional pageantry associated with the Shrievalty is fine, and important, and just as we in the Church should not be embarrassed by wearing costumes from a different era, so we should be proud of the distinctive robes, with all their historic associations, which our sheriffs wear today. But I do hope that an occasion like this can do more than just leaving us with the satisfaction of renewing links between old colleagues and friends, and reinforcing the legacy of the past. Our society is under strain in so many ways. The responsibilities placed upon our local authorities are as weighty as they ever have been – one has only to think of the massive task of providing adult social care, children’s services, an effective local response to environmental issues, of meeting housing needs, and especially of being part of the support network for the ever increasing number of those in our cities who are living in poverty. Budgetary cuts, arguably borne particularly heavily by some of our largest cities, such as this one, make all these challenges even greater.</p> <p>Some who hold the office of sheriff have ancient connections with the legal system– but today’s legal system also faces huge demands. The workload for those who process the constant flow of cases; the delays faced by some of those who have to wait an inordinate length of time for their case to be heard; the cuts to the legal aid budget; not to mention the inability of the system to deal briskly, fairly and humanely with the huge backlog of immigration cases. And then there is the deeply unsettling question of how our national and international political and legal systems oversee and regulate all the advances of modern communications technology.</p> <p>One has to wonder, sometimes, whether many of our institutional frameworks and systems are reaching not just overload but breaking point. Special services or events might make us think of a past when things were simpler, the pace of life was slower, and issues were more straightforward. A time, perhaps, when rulers like King Solomon could simply ask God to give them wisdom and everything would be all right. A time such as that when St Paul could rely upon the governing authorities to govern in accordance with the will of God and so urge all Christians to obey them, without admitting the possibility of protest, of challenge to unjust laws, and of improvements in the political system. But of course there never was a golden age, however much we may like the romantic picture which this conjures up.</p> <p>Most if not all sheriffs, currently serving or past holders of the office, have little or no formal legal or political power. But they doubtless have informal power and influence, through the people they work or associate with in the cities and towns of England and Wales which have the privilege of possessing this role. I believe that I articulate the views of many, certainly in this city, when I say that our institutions are struggling to keep up with the aspirations of ordinary people to live lives which are not dominated by anxiety and constant pressure; and that the basics of adequate food, work and even a reasonably warm home are slipping beyond the reach of more and more people. The digital age, cherished as it is by government, is simply posing added challenges to those people who find computers difficult; and that the growing distance of power from ordinary people – whether to a more and more centralised Whitehall, to Brussels, or to Washington DC – is adding to the problems.</p> <p>The Church of England, in its role as the established Church of the nation, has a responsibility to reflect a broad diversity of Christian views, and to be a partner to other faiths at different levels of the community. But if we look at the example set by Jesus, as we read the gospels, we see someone for whom each individual was important, including and perhaps especially including the powerless and the voiceless; we see a man who was not afraid to challenge hypocrisy and the use of politics, religion and the law to oppress people; and someone who was in the end ready to sacrifice even his own life for what he believed was right. Life may be more complex today, but these values and principles never change very much. If we are to take them seriously, we should be setting ourselves a vision of a society which is rooted in communities where every person matters; where choice and opportunity in everyday life is enabled to flourish; and where the vulnerable and weak are not airbrushed out of the social and political picture but given respect and care.</p> <p>You may say that all this is easy to describe and hard to disagree with. My concern is that even this common sense vision, based on the everyday values of most ordinary people, not just those of religious folk, is in danger of being lost to our nation. So shall we continue to sleep-walk away from the things that really matter – or can we find our way back, before it’s too late?</p> Fri, 18 Oct 2013 11:16:39 +0200 http://www.nottinghamchurches.org/articles/history-and-heritage/sheriff-redundant-historical-post-or-important-voice/ How to clear a church in under two minutes http://www.nottinghamchurches.org/articles/history-and-heritage/how-to-clear-a-church-in-under-two-minutes/ <p><a href="http://youtu.be/_yHGWPS9lVo?hd=1">How to clear a church in under two minutes</a></p> <p><span> </span></p> Thu, 05 Jul 2012 13:41:42 +0200 http://www.nottinghamchurches.org/articles/history-and-heritage/how-to-clear-a-church-in-under-two-minutes/ Heritage Open Days http://www.nottinghamchurches.org/articles/history-and-heritage/heritage-open-days/ <p>Many thanks to all those who worked hard to make the Heritage Open Days at St Mary’s and St Peter's such a success. Roughly 600 visitors were welcomed into the churches over the weekend.</p> Sun, 03 Oct 2010 07:48:07 +0200 http://www.nottinghamchurches.org/articles/history-and-heritage/heritage-open-days/