Another busy line-up of events has been arranged for St Wulfram’s Church this year with the return of the beer festival and the Christmas Tree Festival.
The rector of St Wulfram’s, Fr Stuart Cradduck, is determined to bring the community to the church with a variety of events, some new and some already tried and tested.
A Christmas Tree Festival was successfully held in 2015 with 12o trees provided and decorated by the community. Fr Stuart will bring back the indoor skating rink and hopes there will be twice as many trees this year. To take the idea even further it is hoped a toboggan run will also be part of this year’s event, from November 27 to December 3.
Fr Stuart says he hopes ‘tobogganists’ will be able to take a three-second ride the full length of the south aisle of the church from the ceiling down to the cafe area. People will be able to buy one ticket for multiple rides.
Fr Stuart said: “I wanted to put a toboggan in my last church but I couldn’t get the funding for it. These events are not about making money. We will simply want to cover our costs. It’s about opening up our doors and getting people to experience St Wulfram’s in a different way. That’s what it’s all about.”
Last year’s successful beer festival will be repeated this year from October 19 to 21. Fr Stuart said last year’s event was a “massive success”.
A success story last year was the pop-up cinema with a Christmas showing of Elf and a screening of the silent horror Nosferatu. More screenings are promised this year, starting with a sing-a-long Sound of Music event in April.
Other ideas to be tried are a pre-school Rhyme Time on Friday’s after Easter where toddlers can enjoy songs and games and a regular school disco on a Friday night to be held once a term. “It will be a safe place for school age kids to hang out,” said Fr Stuart.
The May Ball returns on May 19 with tickets going on sale in a few weeks. The black-tie event will include a three course meal with live music and a disco.
A day of celebrations is planned for July 15 to mark the 30th anniversary of girl choristers with a new miscial piece written especially for it by Richard Allain.
Samuel Karl Bohn, who wrote the music for the film The Theory of Everything, is writing an anthem for the church in commemoration of St Wulfram.
A two-day festival called Instrumenta 2, with Lincolnshire Music Service, will involve local schoolchildren later this month and a Disco Inferno, for anybody to dance the night away, will take place on Friday, June 2, with music from the 60s to the noughties.
A Heritage Weekend, with a crime and punishment theme, on September 9 and 10, will include trips up the tower and tours of the church.
Fr Stuart will have been rector of St Wulfram’s for three years in May. His approach to encouraging more people into the church has been very successful although not without its detractors.
Fr Stuart said: “The footfall in the church has increased about 70 per cent and we have increased the number of people attending services by 30 per cent.
“The bishops are very, very happy and encouraged by the way we are going and how we are becoming integrated into the community. These events are part of our life and we are seeing the benefits in the relationship we are having with the town. We are no longer some aloof church only for the rich,which historically we the church was.”