Press release – January 2015

Sharing Heritage: Dedication 1315 celebrates £10,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant

Nearly forty communities in and around Gloucestershire will have the opportunity to turn back the clock 700 years during the summer of 2015 and revel in medieval style. With the help of a £10,000 Heritage Lottery Fund Sharing Heritage grant, professionals and amateurs from four local parishes, Frampton on Severn, Fretherne, Harescombe and Whaddon are working together on an innovative project that will help to re-create how the consecration of their churches was celebrated in 1315. Under the banner of ‘Dedication 1315’, volunteers are being sought to help make a 12 foot tall giant, beasts and costumes and to learn how to dance, sing and play the music of the time.

Launch meetings for anyone interested in taking part (participants do not have to be church-goers!) are being held at St Margaret’s Church, Whaddon and Frampton on Severn Village Hall 10am-11.30am on Saturday 24th and Saturday 31st January respectively. Everyone, whether experienced or not, and including children, will be made welcome and future workshops will be held during the coming months to ensure everything is ready for the celebratory weekend in June.

Sharing Heritage helps people across the UK explore, conserve and share all aspects of the history and character of their local area and the churches of Frampton on Severn, Fretherne, Harescombe and Whaddon are proud to be working together on this joint project. Through the Dedication 1315 website, www.dedication1315.org.uk, information will be made available to all the other churches in Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire that were also consecrated in 1315 so that everyone can make the most of this ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to celebrate the heritage of their community as authentically as possible.

Commenting on the award, Rose Hewlett said: “It has been fantastic to work with the four churches and local schools during the planning and application process. Now we have been awarded this grant, we cannot wait to get started on the project and make contact with the others. Some may not even realise at this stage that such an important landmark is happening this year. All the churches are listed on our website which is illustrated with some marvellous artwork by local artist, Alison Merry. We even have our own version of the Mappa Mundi which we’ve named ‘Mappa Maidstone’ in honour of the Bishop of Worcester, Walter Maidstone, who undertook all the original dedication services.

“A medieval dedication involved the whole community, and re-creating the effect of wall paintings in our churches will provide a powerful visual reminder of how they may have looked 700 years ago. Dedication 1315 is about bringing our history and heritage alive and we hope that everyone will want to join in regardless of age or religious persuasian. Dedication day processions are still very popular in Mediterranean countries and are experiencing a small, yet significant revival in England. It is wonderful to feel a part of that process and we hope to attract many local folk musicians and dancers to our launch days later this month to help support our local volunteers.”

Nerys Watts, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: “Sharing Heritage is a wonderful opportunity for communities to delve into their local heritage and we are delighted to be able to offer this grant so that Dedication 1315 can embark on a real journey of discovery. Heritage means such different things to different people, and HLF’s funding offers a wealth of opportunities for groups to explore and celebrate what’s important to them in their area.”

Notes to editors

About Dedication 1315

Although Whaddon Parochial Church Council put forward the HLF bid, members from the three other churches, those of Frampton on Severn, Fretherne and Harescombe have been represented on the steering committee and involved in all decision-making. The Dedication 1315 team will be contacting all Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire churches that were consecrated in 1315 so that they can use our website as a source of information about the dedication services and their associated events.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players’ money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about www.hlf.org.uk

Sharing Heritage

Sharing Heritage is for any not-for-profit group wanting to explore their community’s heritage. With a commitment from HLF of £3m each year, Sharing Heritage grants between £3,000 and £10,000 are now available to groups who want to discover their local heritage. Projects can cover a wide spectrum of subject matter from exploring local archaeology and a community’s cultures and traditions to identifying and recording local wildlife and protecting the surrounding environment to managing and training volunteers, and holding festivals and events to commemorate the past.