Hilary Spivey has been appointed as the new chairman of the Friends of St Peter’s starting June 2020. Hilary has been with the Friends since 2014 when she first started managing the bookings for hirers. Since then she has become increasingly involved in all aspects of St Peter’s.
She is a retired accountant and compliance professional having worked in the City most of her life. She moved to Sudbury back in 1987 and is very active in local amateur music groups. She is adamant that a chair is a piece of furniture and a chairman is fine for all genders.
Her appointment comes at an important but challenging time for the Friends. In addition to the recent application for a lottery fund grant there is the corona virus pandemic which is wreaking havoc to so many people’s lives. The virus has meant the temporary closure of St Peter’s since late March and only now is it slowly re-opening.
Lottery Fund Grant Application
At the end of May the Churches Conservation Trust submitted the second round grant funding application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the St Peter’s regeneration project. The Friends have been involved in this application from the very start and it has proved a challenging and time consuming process for everyone on the project team.
If the application for just under £2 million is successful, the grant will enable much needed repairs and restoration works to the fabric of the building with internal improvements including a new gallery level at the west end; the provision of toilets; an upgrade to the kitchen facilities and opening up of the south chapel. A decision on the application is expected in the autumn.
Impact of Corona Virus
We closed St Peter’s in late March to all visitors just prior to the government’s announcement of a national lockdown. With the easing of the lockdown restrictions we have re-opened St Peter’s on a limited basis. We had our first Farmers Market on 25th June and we will shortly have a craft market on the 18th July. We have also started to re-open St Peter’s for casual visitors. Currently live performances indoors are not permitted under government restrictions and so all our late March concerts onwards to date have either been rescheduled to 2021 or have cancelled. Opening up St Peter’s while ensuring this medieval building is CVD19 secure is not an easy task but we are determined to do as much as we can as soon as we can.
The Friends always welcome more volunteers into the group. We have a number of openings for people and the commitment can be just for a couple of hours a month or you can be far more involved. At its most relaxed we are looking for volunteers to steward in St Peter’s when we open the doors during the daytime for visitors to wander in and admire the wonderful building. You just need to be happy to meet and greet people. For those with a computer, office skills and a couple of hours spare a month we have an opening for a membership secretary. If you are interested in these or in finding out about our other openings please do contact Hilary on 07802 793768.