Bid to attract more people to the Stump

Pics of the Stump and Blenkin Memorial Hall, showing ongoing work to repair the flood damage.
Pics of the Stump and Blenkin Memorial Hall, showing ongoing work to repair the flood damage.

The Stump’s new director of operations has suffered a baptism of fire having only started in October and now faced with the flood damage, but says he has big plans for the church and its properties.

Mike Bartlett, has been brought in to the church by the Diocese of Lincoln to manage St Botolph’s Church ‘as a major heritage and visitor attraction’.

He said: “We’re absolutely focussed on engaging with the town. Over the years there has been engagement but there hasn’t been as much of a profile as we’d like.

“One of the local views often seems to be that the Stump is that great big church in town - people love it and care about it but they don’t really connect with it.”

Mr Bartletts role includes promoting the building and using it for commercially viable events while conserving its heritage.

This could include various exhibitions or events - with one idea being to host a market around the church.

Although he wouldn’t go into great detail on his plans yet, Mr Bartlett said he had been assessing the church over the past few months and was looking to work with groups such as the Boston Visitor Economy Partnership, Coastal Boston and Fydell House.

This could include the building becoming a signpost for local tourist attractions or providing busses to those further out.

Mr Bartlett previously spent seven years at the Church of St John the Baptist in Chester and before that worked for 20 years at Dixons where he helped launch the Knowhow brand in the UK.

The Church of St John the Baptist was the Cathedral and Collegiate Church of the City of Chester from 1075 until the Reformation in 1541 when the College was dissolved.

The Bishops Seat (Cathedral) first set up after the Reformation was transferred to the dissolved Abbey of St Werburgh, which was in better condition as it had not suffered quite the same rigorous attention of the King’s Commissioners.