Volunteer in Focus: Alli Burke

Volunteer in Focus: Alli Burke
May 12, 2019 Roisin Ryan-Self
In Volunteers



While I live just over the border in Essex, my job has been mainly based in Sudbury for the past 12 years, so I’ve seen St Peter’s on a daily basis for all that time.

As a volunteer I’ve been helping to reposition St Peter’s a little by championing more contemporary events, and getting the fresh new ‘face‘ of St Peter’s up and running. 

What made you decide to get involved with St Peter’s?

A friend of mine called me one day and said “You keep going on about ideas for what you’d like to see happening in St Peter’s, well they’re looking for trustees to help move it on as part of a new vision.  Why don’t you get in touch with them?”  So, I did get in touch, was really inspired by the Regeneration Project currently underway, and I haven’t looked back!

What is your current involvement with St Peter’s?

The Regeneration Project became a much bigger reality when the National Lottery Heritage Fund saw the potential of the initial outline plans for St Peter‘s future, and awarded a significant grant to the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT), who own the church, to move into the project development phase, along with The Friends of St Peter’s.

This required a Development Officer to be the local boots on the ground for the project, so I happily now work for the CCT and get to use my professional experience – combined with my knowledge of how the building is currently managed – to help develop the plans for St Peter’s. Of course I asked if I could still volunteer in my spare time, so I’ve stayed on to help.


What’s the best thing about being involved?

The thrill of the potential for what St Peter’s can be to our community!  It means different things to different people, but it’s important to remember that St Peter’s should be for everyone. Seeing the way that our audiences are developing, through events designed to appeal to a broader range of people, is brilliant.

It’s always really inspiring to hear local people telling us to  “keep on doing this – it’s fantastic”. The newer events that we’ve trialled over the past year are also bringing people into Sudbury from quite a long way away, who spend time (and money) in local shops, pubs and restaurants while they are here – which has to be great for our town too!

What would you say to someone who’d like to get involved?

Don’t be shy! There’s a role for everyone and we’re a friendly bunch.  If you want to be part of the exciting transformation of this beautiful building then get in touch. You could be involved with events, or do a bit of micro-volunteering if you don’t have lots of spare time, or, if you do have the time you could steward for a few hours a week to keep the doors open and share our heritage.

You never know who you might meet – our visitors come from all over the world to see our Green Men and medieval grafitti!

What is your favourite fact about St Peter’s?

I really love the story about the Rev. Canon Molyneaux who, in 1863, banned the bells from being rung for a royal wedding during lent.  The story goes that the bellringers defied him and broke into the tower to go on to ring the bells all day long.  They were kept going by food and ale being pullied up to them by the townsfolk! 


We have so many opportunities for people to get involved here at St Peter’s. Take a look at our Volunteer page for more information, and to get in contact.