Scaffolding being erected around one of Gloucester’s most well-known religious buildings, (after Gloucester Cathedral, of course!) has marked the start of a 12-month project regenerating the grade one listed St Mary de Crypt church on Southgate Street.
The project, known as ‘Discover DeCrypt’ has been funded in part by a £1,360,000 grant from Heritage Lottery Fund, with additional funding from Gloucester City Council, Gloucester Diocese and Gloucester Environmental Trust.
In addition to the Church building regeneration, the work will also see
The Old Crypt Schoolroom renovated. The Tudor schoolroom, located right next door to St Mary de Crypt, was the first free school in Gloucester.
The building works intend to bring the buildings back into use as a place of worship, a community hub and a venue for culture and learning. Work is expected to be complete by March 2019.
Despite scaffolding surrounding the Norman building, other local businesses in the area such as pub and live music venue Café Rene is open as usual during the renovations.
...what's happening #behindthedoor at St Mary de Crypt? Discover all the answers (and more!) by joining us THIS SAT for a #Hardhat tour! Pre-booking essential https://t.co/8dpwLVx0GG #Gloucester #Residentsweekend @CroftBC @mktggloucester @HLFSouthWest @PrincesFound @cotswoldlife pic.twitter.com/4JES0hKR27— Discover DeCrypt (@discoverdecrypt) April 4, 2018
The site is known for its remarkable history and links to two of Gloucester’s religious founding fathers; Robert Raikes and George Whitefield.
Raikes was baptised in St Mary de Crypt and is best known for setting up the global Sunday School Movement. While Whitefield, who attended Crypt School, became ordained and travelled to America where he was an internationally renowned religious speaker.