RECENTLY closed St John’s Church in Coleford is the subject of a successful £8,600 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to record and preserve its story, and Mid Wyedean Parish is inviting anyone with memories of the church to attend a drop-in session on Saturday, March 25.
As the Review has previously reported, the church is currently on the market for £500,000 after the last service took place there in 2012 and it formally closed last year.
Chris Howell is leading the ‘sharing heritage’ project and said: “Many in the town and surrounding area have had deep and close ties with the building, with treasured memories and stories which are well worth sharing. This project gives the opportunity for people to tell these stories and to share photos and other documents, which can contribute towards a book, exhibitions or web archive to be launched towards the end of 2017.
“The material gathered will also be placed with Gloucestershire Archives to preserve it for future generations.
“We have already found a wealth of fascinating material in the archives, including the original architect’s drawings, which show the amazing roof trusses, featured recently in the Review’s coverage of the sale of the building.”
Children in Year Five at St John’s Academy will also be learning about the history of the building and the links with their school, with a visit from archivists, and will gather material to contribute to the final exhibition and book.
The drop-in session on March 25 takes place at Church on the Street in Coleford (formerly Great Oaks Hospice Shop) from 10 am to 1pm.
“Volunteers will be on hand to scan or copy any photos or other documents, record sources and arrange times, if preferred, for people to come in and record their spoken recollections,” Mr Howell added.
“We also hope to reach those who have moved away from the area who may wish to contribute. It would be very helpful if readers of this paper could help to get the word out.”
Contact project volunteers at Church on the Street, 6a St John’s Street, Coleford, GL16 8AR, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or ‘phone: 01594 368849.