Please allow me to correct some of the stories and rumours that have been put around regarding the ‘Sacred Space for Everyone’, project proposed for St Botolph’s Church.
Firstly, the impression has been given that we are proposing to rip out the entire historic fabric of the interior of the church and create a commercial hub. Nothing could be further from our minds, indeed we would not be able to do this due to the fact that the church is a Grade I listed building and protected by many statutes and rules. English Heritage is just one of the many organisations we have to consult as part of the process.
In addition, Boston Stump has been the place of spiritual meeting for our community in times of sorrow, joy, and celebration and most importantly for the worship of the living God. Would we really want to put our 700 years of service to the community in jeopardy? I think not.
What we are setting out to do is to consult with the community of Boston on how together we should develop the church and its environs to make it a centre for worship for the local community and a place where visitors can learn about our special history.
It may be helpful to outline the process we have to go through in order to obtain the grant money. Any successful bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund is scrutinised a number of times before a final decision is made. Once the consultation period ends on September 5 we will publish the comments we have received and incorporate them into the final proposals that will form the basis of the stage one bid.
We will hear if this initial bid is successful by spring 2015 and that is when the real work starts. Using a development grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund we will have to carry out in depth research into all aspects of the project, using a raft of experts including marketing and interpretation consultants. If after all this work is completed we cannot satisfy the Heritage Lottery Fund we will not be granted the money. So you can see it is in all our interests to make certain all the relevant studies and research is carried out to the highest standard.
All who are working on the project have the church and the town as its focus and would do nothing to jeopardise its history over the last 700 years.
Please help us plan the future by coming into church, looking over our ideas and making your comments.
The Stump is your parish church and we long to work with the people of the town to help decide its future; a future that is and will always continue to be a sacred space for all in the heart of Boston.
The Rev Alyson Buxton
Team Rector of Boston