Telling Our Story : Foxearth Church Heritage Initiative celebrates £4000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

Foxearth Church Heritage Initiative is one of the first groups in the UK to receive a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) All Our Stories grant, it was announced today. This exciting project, The Foxearth Church Heritage Initiative, in Foxearth near Sudbury, Suffolk, and led by Mrs Corinne Cox and other members of  Foxearth Parochial Church Council  has been given £4000. The grant will be used to create and develop a local Heritage Centre within the parish church, to interview & record digitally everyone living in the village (as was previously done in 1987), to enable residents to research the history of their own homes and through the use of shared reminiscences, archives and archaeology, to compile a social history of the village.

All Our Stories, a brand new small grant programme, launched earlier this year in support of BBC Two’s The Great British Story –has been designed as an opportunity for everyone to get involved in their heritage. With HLF funding and support, community groups will carry out activities that help people explore, share and celebrate their local heritage.

The popular series presented by historian Michael Woods and supported by a programme of BBC Learning activities and events got thousands of us asking questions about our history and inspired us to look at our history in a different way through the eyes of ordinary people.

The programme and HLF All Our Stories have proved a real hit and now The Foxearth Church Heritage Initiative is one of hundreds of successful projects around the UK to receive a grant. Members of Foxearth PCC work hard to help maintain the medieval Grade II* listed parish church of SsPeter & Paul for the benefit of future generations and are hoping that active community involvement with the project will encourage and nurture greater awareness of our shared heritage and the need to preserve those aspects of our everyday historic environment that shape our communities. It will also provide opportunities for young people to interact with older members of the community and to learn from one another. Everyone at some point or other has wondered “ Who lived in my house in the past? What happened here long ago? What were the people who lived here like? What was here before the house was built?”

TV presenter and historian Michael Wood, said: “We British love our history, and no wonder: few nations in the world, if any, have such riches on their doorstep, and so much of it accessible to all of us. It is really tremendous that the people of Foxearth have been inspired to get involved to tell their own story and to dig deeper into their own past. It’s brilliant that so many people are being given the chance to get involved through the All Our Stories grants. Having travelled the length and breadth of the British Isles this last year filming The Great British Story, I am certain that fascinating and moving stories will be uncovered which will not only bring to life the excitement of local history, but will illuminate and enrich every community’s connection with the national narrative.”

Commenting on the award, Corinne Cox said “ This is a wonderful opportunity for the residents of our small village, young and old, to embark on a great shared adventure, seeking out and then preserving lost memories of the past for future generations. It’s also worth remembering that throughout all the changes of the last 800 years or more, our parish church has been standing in the centre of our village, watching everything. Let’s hope that this project will enable it to remain at the heart of our community for the next 800years!”

Robin Llewellyn, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: “Clearly the success of All Our Stories has reinforced the fact that we are indeed a nation of story tellers and that we want to explore and dig deeper into our past and discover more about what really matters to us. This is exactly what the grant will do for the Foxearth Church Heritage Initiative as they embark on a real journey of discovery.”

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  1. David Busby says:

    This is excellent news after all the uncertainty over the last six months about what was going to happen to the church. I am not a church attendee but I value the building and congratulate the PCC on securing this money. I hope they will work closely with the Foxearth History Society in developing this facility

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