Stump will be lit up over Christmas

View of Boston Stump from Boston Market Place.
View of Boston Stump from Boston Market Place.

Boston’s historic parish church will be lit up after dark thanks to generous donations from both private contributors and Boston Town Area Committee last week.

On Wednesday it approved a request from Coun Carol Taylor for funding to help pay for illumination of St Botolph’s Church.

It means the church will be illuminated for other important religious festival periods next year thanks to the £1,000 grant.

In her plea for the cash Coun Taylor said: “St Botolph’s Church is Boston’s most iconic structure – in fact some might go so far as to say it is Boston. The Stump is certainly known and recognised far and wide and is a main attraction for visitors to the town from close to home and all over the world.

“Many of you will already know that until the 19th Century it had the tallest roof of any building in the world and is still the tallest non-cathedral church tower in the world and the largest parish church in England.

“The Stump, as we all affectionately know it, towers over the town and surrounding flat Fen landscape.

“It has been a life-saving beacon down the centuries – both spiritually and literally, to the religious and secular. It has guided to safety those in peril on the sea and in the air – Second World War pilots limping back from action took a sighting of The Stump as an indication that they were safe and almost home.

“We are all proud of it, and rightly so. We should want all to see and admire it. No one coming to Boston should return home without having at least noticed The Stump.

“But… come after dark, which, let’s face it, is mid-afternoon in the mid-winter, and it may as well not be there. Scan the skyline after the sun has set and you may well miss it altogether.

“It would cost £3,000 for The Stump to be floodlit at night for an entire year. Sadly, but thanks to generous individual donations, it can currently only be illuminated for the short time that £400 pays for.

“I am asking that BTAC, as the parish council of Boston, demonstrates its pride in, and love for, The Stump by granting an additional £1,000 so that it can be a blazing glory for all to see at times of most popularity and footfall – during the most important religious festival periods such as Easter and Christmas.

“I know you have plenty of other very worth calls for contribution, but I consider this to be one of the most important you could make and one of the most demonstrative of your support for Boston.”

The Stump was lit on Friday for the town’s Christmas lights switch on thanks to the Rev Brian Newton who celebrated his 82nd birthday. Another private donation has also been made to ensure the Stump remains illuminated for Christmas.