Voices from the Pews
Welcome to the St Nicholas Church Voices from the Pews virtual exhibition. We hope you enjoy looking round the displays to discover some fascinating stories of Castle Hedingham, its church (which has been at the centre of village life for almost a thousand years) and its people.
Some stories may be familiar, but there are many newly discovered gems, researched and written up by our dedicated team of research volunteers.
In particular, we’ve been keen to include the voices of local people, through their fascinating accounts of church and village life, which has changed so much, even within living memory.
We’ve also tried to tell as wide a range of stories as possible, not just about important men (who’ve been over-represented in the past), but of ordinary (often extraordinary) local people, of women and children, and people from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
The exhibition is the culmination of the much broader Voices from the Pews project (funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Allchurches Trust and the Friends of St Nicholas Church) which despite the Coronavirus epidemic has seen the roof of the church repaired, and conservation work to high-level brickwork completed, making the church secure and watertight for future generations.
An ambitious activity programme has also made the rich heritage of St Nicholas Church and village accessible in a number of other exciting ways.
A stunning 360 degree virtual tour allows people to explore the church from anywhere in the world, to investigate behind the scenes and even enjoy a view from the roof!
A colourful mosaic (wall-mounted inside the church) has been completed with input from 6 local community groups. It highlights important historic characters associated with the village.
A Young Explorer’s Guide provides children with an interactive tour of the church complete with binoculars and magnifying glass.
A family-friendly village trail allows visitors to explore the historic centre of the village, either virtually online or with a colourful printed trail sheet.
A virtual and socially-distanced programme of creative activities, talks and special events is enabling the local community to come together to explore local heritage… despite the pandemic!
The Voices from the Pews website at www.voicesfromthepews.org includes content relating to the heritage of St Nicholas Church and Castle Hedingham, as well as the forthcoming activity programme. Don’t forget to visit, and tell your friends!
A community tapestry and church guidebook are also being developed.
We are still looking for additional memories of church and village life, so if you have a personal memory to share, please write it out and pin it on the Community Memories board for others to read and enjoy.
We’d also love to hear from you if you’d like to volunteer at future Voices from the Pews heritage events or join the Friends of St Nicholas Church or its committee. Please contact Voices from the Pews Heritage Engagement Officer Martin Crowther at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07434 588297.
Enjoy the exhibition, remember to keep your social distance and stay safe!