Boston Stump was floodlit for the first time on Sunday since the devastating tidal surge of December 2013.
Radio Lincolnshire’s Scott Dalton, who began his career in journalism with the Boston Standard, threw the switch to bathe the historic church in light.
The big switch-on coincided with All Souls’ Day – a traditional day of prayer for the departed – and the church invited families who have lost loved ones in the last three years to take part in the service.
The Rev Alyson Buxton, team rector at St Botolph’s, said there were between 400 and 500 people in the congregation, which was at least 50 per cent up on last year, and prayers and the lighting of candles to remember loved ones coupled with the switch-on celebrations had made it an ‘amazing occasion’.
The tidal surge caused around £18,000 damage to the floodlights and the church suffered a second setback with some of the lights being stolen.
But a donation of around £2,000 made it possible for Sunday’s celebrations to go ahead.
We particularly want to thank everyone in the town that’s supported us. It means so much. It is the town’s sacred space that we are looking after and it is for everyone.The Rev Alyson Buxton
Mrs Buxton said: “We particularly want to thank everyone in the town that’s supported us. It means so much. It is the town’s sacred space that we are looking after and it is for everyone.”
She said the floodlights are like Christmas tree lights – each one needs to work for them all to work.
l A Lincoln churchgoer, Peter Sherlock, called BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s Breakfast Show with Scott Dalton and Carla George to offer cash to replace the lights that were stolen.
He told the hosts: “I’m a churchgoer myself at St Giles, in Lincoln, and I feel upset that the church is being persecuted in this way. It’s the least I can do, we need to have the Stump as a shining beacon in the countryside.”