In preparation of Discover DeCrypt’s opening at the end of March, the Trustees are delighted to announce the appointment of the two Project Managers who will be working for the charity. Following a recruitment campaign, Hellen O’Connor and Jessica Gordon have been appointed as Project Manager: Operations and Project Manager: Community, respectively. The two women will be responsible for the running of this important site that will share heritage, community, culture and faith. Jess and Hellen will work alongside the Rector Canon Nikki Arthy and the board of Trustees.
Speaking of their appointment, Jessica Gordon commented: ‘I am so excited to be taking on this new role. Over the past four years I’ve seen the project develop into something that offers real benefits for the local community. I think taking care of heritage is not only about saving these fantastic buildings for the future, but also making them valuable and useful for people today. There is potential for so much to happen here. I am glad that I have the chance to be part of it and help guide the project as it moves into its next stage.’
Hellen added: ‘coming from a background in customer service and operations management, I am delighted to have this new role. As a Gloucester girl, I have known these buildings all my life, and cannot quite believe I am to be a part of their future. Buildings only really come to life when used by people. Making these buildings accessible to all members of the community will ensure that they not only survive, but are loved and celebrated by both present and future generations.’
Highlights of the opening 2019 season to be overseen by Jess and Hellen include events as diverse as classical music festivals, family activities and schools visits, and the intriguingly named Festival of Death & Life which will explore challenging ideas through talks, worship, music and art.
Canon Nikki Arthy, who is Chair of the Discover DeCrypt charity as well as Rector of the parish, welcomed the appointments: ‘As Discover DeCrypt prepares to open its doors to the public, I look forward to working with Jess and Hellen. At Discover DeCrypt, we have the opportunity to explore faith, history and heritage as well as the life of the city of Gloucester. We look forward to sharing a sacred space, and working with individuals and community groups from across the city and beyond.’
Caretaker Vacancy (part-time)
We are looking for a part-time caretaker for Discover DeCrypt. This role would be for 10 hours a week until December 2021.
Salary £4,628 pa (£8.90 per hour). Days of work will be generally Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday, but flexibility is required.
Please look out for the job advert on the website!
The Big Clean!
Photo credit: Terry Hughes
In just a few weeks the builders will vacate the buildings and the Church and Schoolroom will be ready for the next phase! Before we open, we need to decorate, move in furniture and get used to all new equipment. However, as you can imagine the buildings won’t be the cleanest after being a building site for over a year. So we will have a Big Clean in the week starting Monday 4th March to make the Church and Schoolroom presentable again!
We could use a lot of help for this, so if you have an hour to spare on any of these days, please get in touch! There will be plenty to do for everyone, whatever your age, experience or ability!
We need people every day Monday 4th March – Friday 8th March, between 10am and 4pm.
Following on from the challenges of the last six months on site – mainly the knock-on effect of the discovery of the vault under Marylone Passage – the team knew that the original date for completion of works on site would be slightly delayed. However, as we approach the end, we feel confident that the works will be substantially completed by the end of February, barely a month over the initial programme. When I look back on the complexities that this wonderful historic site has presented, I’m so grateful for the dedication, energy and creativity of the design team and contractor who responded to every new challenge with such indefatigability. The nature of project teams is that they come together for only a short period; however their work will hopefully exist to be enjoyed by thousands of visitors over the years to come.
At the time of writing this – my second-to-last contribution to the monthly e-bulletins before I move on at the end of March - the team are knee-deep in the final details. It feels like there are still hundreds of issues to be tackled as we look both backwards towards the final completion of capital works, and forwards to anticipating all the systems, equipment and training we need to best equip Hellen and Jess with everything they need to give worshippers and visitors the best possible welcome. And we are all so conscious of all the work it has taken by so many people to even be at this terrifying and exciting point – from the inception right back in 2009 through to the present as we contemplate the reality of opening the doors to the public at last.
In the middle of all the preparations, it sometimes helps to stand back from time to time and consider the context we’re working in – where the project came from and where it’s heading as well as the incredibly hectic present. And of course remembering that the buildings we are fortunate enough to be involved with so intimately have a history spanning a thousand years is a good way of getting some perspective on how our best endeavours are just a small contribution towards something that is so much bigger than ourselves!
I’ll save the final roll-call of thank-yous until next month – for now, back to work…!
Nicola Dyer, Project Manager
Furniture made to match
Ron Aston, local craftsman, is making beautiful things for us that reflect the design in the Church. You’ll soon be able to see his ‘portable pulpit’ modelled on the original used by George Whitefield. You will find some handsome donation boxes made from parts of the old pews (please do fill them when you visit) and the very beautiful oak stands for the flip books and app screen have also been made by Ron. The most significant item, currently in production, is a welcome desk. This will be moveable, but normally stand between the west door and the south porch. It will offer a place for a volunteer to greet visitors, take money for items from the shop and pick up information or a talking pen for the Rose Petal Trail.
The design reflects the linenfold pattern of the pews, which is also echoed in the new cladding of the lift. Both lift and welcome desk will be given a white lime finish.
Huge thanks go to Ron for donating his time so generously to the project.
Tall Ships and Flowers
Some of you may remember the magnificent Flower Festival held at Discover DeCrypt in 2015. This year we are keen to invite the Gloucester Flower Club back to work more of their floral magic over the late May Bank Holiday weekend when the Tall Ships return to Gloucester. Flowers of course cost money! So we are inviting donations to make the event possible. For £100 you can sponsor a display, or part of a display for £50; of course we welcome donations of any size!
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