Regenerating St Mary de Crypt

As the Patron of the project I have to declare an interest in being especially delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has announced its award to our Discover DeCrypt project of £1.36 million.

The re-opening and re-use of the old Crypt schoolroom and link to St Mary de Crypt Church on Southgate Street for community purposes will surely bring a vigorous nod of approval from former de Crypt stars Robert Raikes (founder of Sunday schools) and George Whitfield (a founder of the Methodists). It’s another great moment for heritage led regeneration – I’m grateful to the HLF and rejoice for our project team and volunteers, and the many this will benefit.

Why is this important? Our basic aim is to make the buildings and activity in them relevant to modern deprivation and needs. We’re focusing on three main issues:

  1. Regeneration and cultural revival
  2. Outreach and utilising the multi-use space
  3. Opportunities for the local young and vulnerable people

I think this is exciting and will make a difference. Hopefully towards addressing social inequality and economic disadvantage, particularly as St Mary’s de Crypt lies in Gloucester’s Westgate Ward, ranked in the bottom 10% of the government’s indices of multiple deprivation.

The next step is to raise the matched funding required and I’m working on this with other potential sponsors.