Caythorpe’s parish church is to officially re-open after months of restoration work and development of new facilities for visitors to understand it history.
St Vincent’s Church has been shrouded in scaffolding, undergoing much-needed restoration work and its re-opening will see two events to mark the occasion.
The church will be holding a re-opening launch and coffee morning at 10.30am on Saturday, September 3 to try out the facilities. There will be coffee and cake and the launch of an educational children’s trail.
The Archdeacon of Boston is coming to launch the trail, suitable for all ages.
Answers are provided for the adults. Sally Kelway, PCC member and chairman of the appeal committee said: “It is a fun way of looking round and noticing things that you might otherwise miss. We have received great help and expertise from the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies, (NADFAS). The NADFAS national adviser and members of the Holland and Kesteven branch will be attending. All are welcome.”
The second event is an exhibition by Sir William Robertson Year 9 students: A Bridge Too Far, being launched on September 11 as part of the church’s biggest service of the year at 10.30am on September 11 - the annual Battle of Arnhem remembrance service, marking the village’s links with the Paratroopers who were based locally before flying to Holland as part of the ill-fated Operation Market Garden attempt in the Second World War to capture bridges in Holland.
Mrs Kelway said: “We now have a weather proof, sound church fit for purpose in the 21st century with good access. All are welcome and the church is open every day of the year.”
There will later be a big service of celebration on November 14 with the Bishop of Lincoln attending.
The Grade I listed historic church received financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards completing its £200,000 restoration project to re-roof the nave, improve facilities and access and research its history.
The aim is to allow the church – already a venue for concerts and exhibitions – to be used more widely by the community. The money has also funded research, assisted by Welbourn’s Sir William Robertson Academy, into the history of Operation Market Garden and the Battle of Arnhem. It explores its links to St Vincent’s Church, which was adopted by the 216 Parachute Signals Regiment as its ‘mother church’ who were billeted in the village. Findings will be exhibited in the church and online.
The names on the war memorial have been researched to develop new guides.