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eNews - January 2019

Oldest image of St Mary de Crypt
Gloucestershire Archives, GBR/J5/1. Used with kind permission of Gloucestershire Archives,
As part of the work on our interpretation panels, with our interpretation designer Exhibition Plus, we made a visit to the Gloucestershire Archives to see what treasures it holds about our buildings. We ordered a whole trolley full of archive boxes, which the staff of the Archives gave out to us with utmost patience! 
One of our favourites was the earliest image of St Mary de Crypt Church that we have so far. On a parchment rental roll dating from 1455, there is this lovely hand-drawn image of St Mary de Crypt Church. The roll contains a list of rents, presented in such a way as to reflect the geographical location of the buildings running along either side of Southgate Street.  On the corner of Southgate Street and Greyfriars we find this lovely image of St Mary de Crypt Church - very recognisable with its distinctive south porch - and opposite, Greyfriars. It’s very special to see a drawing of the church from this time, nearly a hundred years before the Schoolrooms were built in the early sixteenth century!
If you would like to dive in the archives for us at some point, let us know (access is open for any-body, see the website for details); we have a historical research group made up of volunteers who love history and we always welcome new volunteers! (email if you’re interested).
Trustee Recruitment
Discover DeCrypt is looking for new Trustees! Be part of the exciting new operational phase of the project! Whatever age or background, you can apply to become a Trustee as long as you have enthusiasm for the project and the community and heritage of Gloucester! 

Discover DeCrypt will be an exciting new addition to Gloucester city centre in 2019. The site comprises an extraordinary Grade I listed medieval consecrated church, and Grade II* listed Tudor schoolroom. It will re-open in March after a £2.06million Heritage Lottery funded programme of repairs and regeneration ready for its new role as a city centre flagship for heritage, performance, creativity and worship. Discover DeCrypt’s Vision is available on the website. 
A look through into the upstairs Schoolroom. Photo Credit: Terry Hughes.
The Board of Trustees is collectively responsible for the Discover DeCrypt CIO (the Charity). Using their best individual judgement, board members ensure that the charitable objectives are upheld, its broad purpose is achieved and that at all times, it complies with the law and meets its obligations. The Charity was constituted on 16 May 2016.

Information submitted to the Charity Commission is available at:

Trustees undertake lead roles commensurate with their skills and experience. Following a govern-ance review in October 2018, the Board of Trustees is seeking a range of skills and experience in new Trustees to provide a balanced Board in the operation of Discover DeCrypt following its opening in spring 2019. Trustees need to be in sympathy with the Christian faith. 

New Trustee Skills/Experience Required 
Persons with skills and experience are particularly sought in the following areas: 
1. Accounting & Financial Management 
2. Running & Managing a business 
3. Marketing & Retail; Social Media 
4. Volunteering, Education, Community Engagement, Event Management 

The Charity Commission regulates all UK charities and publishes guidance to Trustees. 
In particular: The essential trustee: what you need to know, what you need to do (CC3):

Time Commitment and Expenses 
This is a voluntary role with travelling/working expenses offered. Trustee meetings are currently held in Gloucester, generally on a quarterly basis, and last two hours. Some trustees are also members of the Operational Board that meets monthly for up to three hours. Trustees offer their expertise and support between meetings as required. 

For further information, contact the Chair of Trustees, Rev Canon Nikki Arthy at


Project Manager’s update

The end is in sight*
*albeit a little later than scheduled!

We’re in week 53 of works on site, and it’s a milestone that gives cause for reflection. It marks what was due to the final week of the capital works according to the original programme – and whilst I can’t deny I’m wistfully thinking how wonderful it would have been to finish on time, it also reminds me of the many hurdles the project has faced on site and the huge efforts that have gone in all round by an extraordinary team who have pulled together to get us this far.

Each challenge presented its own ‘silver lining’ – firstly with the installation of the floor heating, when we discovered an extraordinary variety of ledger stones in an astonishing state of preservation beneath the Victorian quarry-tiled floor. The careful work involved in redesigning the floor levels to accommodate these monuments to those who lived alongside and worshipped in St Mary de Crypt, alongside the installation of the latest in heating technology, was well worth the extra time it took to complete the works successfully. 

Equally, the discover of the vault underneath Marylone Passage gave us a glimpse into the subterranean world that still exists beneath Gloucester and which all visitors to the city walk over every day without realising it.

All the excavation that has taken place within and around the church and schoolroom was overseen by archaeologists to ensure that no valuable finds are missed or destroyed without recording. The full report into the finds, and what they have contributed to our overall understanding of this complex site, will be prepared by Avon Archaeology and available via the Gloucestershire Archives when completed.

The end of capital works will see the departure of a few members of the team: I will be leaving at the end of March along with our fantastic Project Assistant Jenine de Vries and who has been such a lynchpin in our small but hectic office. Our professional team of consultants too will be bowing out of the project with the end of capital works, and this short but intense period in the thousand-year history of St Mary de Crypt will be coming to a close.
Looking onwards and upwards to the end of the beginning…
hard hats and hi-vis vests will soon be a distant memory

…but the real adventure is just beginning!

All the efforts of the capital project team have had only one aim in mind: getting this historic site ready for the next chapter of its life. As a building made for people, St Mary de Crypt comes to life when it is serving the community in which it sits – and over the last few months we’ve been searching for the right people to take the project forward into the operational phase. Having recruited for Operations and Community Project Managers last autumn, we’re delighted to confirm that we have been able to make appointments and we will be announcing the successful candidates soon!

With the support and guidance of experienced trustees who have taken the project through from a dream into a reality, plus the energy and expertise of new trustees, we’re confident that this amazing place will be heading into a very bright future as it plays its part in the life of the City of Gloucester.

If you want to play a part in the next chapter as a volunteer, get in touch! or call 01452 385 070

Nicola Dyer, Project Manager

Struggling to get where you need to go, or know
someone who is? Community can Connect you!

We are delighted to have made contact with Community Connexions. This is a local community transport charity that brings together volunteers to give transport to people of all ages who can’t easily access it, because of physical or mental reasons, or social or rural isolation.
We hope that people will use this service if they are finding it difficult to get to events and activities in the city centre, including at Discover DeCrypt. Their door-to-door car service is run by trained volunteers and journeys cost £1 per mile with a minimum spend of £5, which is to help cover the volunteer’s fuel costs. We also offer bus hire starting from less than £30 an hour with one of our trained and qualified drivers. 
If you think you would benefit from Community Connexions or know someone who would, please call them on 0345 680 5029 for more information or visit their website
Or could you volunteer as a driver?  Without volunteers, Community Connexions would not be able to provide the breadth of services or help as many people as they do. Last year they helped passengers across Gloucestershire make over 95,000 trips. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Elaine Pearson-Scott at or phone on 0345 680 5029.
Meet David Brindley, artist
I have worked as a freelance illustrator since 1980 after leaving college with a B.Ed degree. Although a career in teaching appealed to me I spent most of my leisure time drawing and painting (avoiding required reading, I guess) and began selling my work during those years. So, I took the plunge and I have spent the last 40 years as an artist and for much of that time been involved in pen and ink work and detailed watercolours. 
Only recently have I turned to pastel painting and there is a certain irony, given my degree course, that it came about following a school visit where I was Artist in Residence for a week. The school had provided a selection of materials for me to use with the classes that included sets of soft pastels. 

For years I have been completing meticulous drawings and tight watercolours but here was an opportunity to create paintings that were much broader and more immediate. I loved the chance to work at a faster pace and achieve results in a shorter space of time. It also has opened up the chance for me to give others the possibility of being creative, too. 

Until pastels my usual work was so slow in its execution that I feared all would become quite bored with the process. Now, the workshops I run provide everyone with a painting to take home and enjoy in a couple of hours. The soft pastels are such fun to use and, as they are so flexible and forgiving, they allow any ‘mistakes’ to be quickly absorbed into the overall painting avoiding frustration and heartache. 

A career as an artist can be a very lonely existence. My studio at home I admit is not very tidy, with a great mix of paints, paper, easels, canvases and frames lying everywhere. I therefore am quite happy that no-one witnesses the state of the studio on any given day. The dogs’, my only companions, don’t seem to mind but I think they are just there for the biscuits! 
So, what do I like about running/teaching workshops? It gives me the opportunity to get out of the studio, meet people and help them be creative. We all have something inside us that yearns to break out and express ourselves. I endeavour to make the classes a relaxed and friendly occasion where the emphasis is on enjoying the time and not get hung up on whether they are able to produce an exact copy of mine. That is not what it is about. Everyone should have their own interpretation of the subject. At the end of each class I tend to have a ‘gallery moment’ where the individual artwork is shown to all at a distance that enables the whole class to view the paintings. We all congratulate each other on the pictures which show a wonderful contrast of styles and everyone goes home happy. That is what it is all about! 

Contact the Project Office to book for David’s Painting with Pastels one-day workshop on Saturday 8 June 2019.
Keep up to date with news and events on our Facebook page and Twitter

Project Office t:01452 385070

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