Two new appointments to the team at Bath Abbey will be looking to develop the new Learning Space that will be created as part of the on-going Footprint Project – and also to breathe new life into its volunteers’ programme.
Polly Andrews is joining as the Abbey’s Learning Officer, and Mary Wickenden as Volunteers Officer. Their roles will help to facilitate one of the Footprint project’s aims to reach and engage with a greater variety of people and new groups within the community.
Polly will develop learning activities for schools, create online learning resources for education providers and manage the new Learning Space which is being created in the vaults beneath the pavement between Bath Abbey and Abbey Chambers.
She says, “I’m very excited to have been offered this new role at the Abbey. I have a longstanding interest in Bath’s history and look forward to working closely with staff and volunteers to develop a high-quality learning programme which will share the Abbey’s fascinating stories with a broad range of people including school children, families and community groups.”
Mary Wickenden, the Abbey’s new Volunteers Officer will spend time reviewing the church’s current volunteer programme, aim to diversify the types of volunteers taking part in opportunities at the Abbey and build strong relationships and partnerships with volunteer agencies and other volunteering bodies in Bath and the surrounding area.
Mary says: “It’s been brilliant joining the Abbey team at such a moment of change and opportunity; with Footprint in full swing here the energy is infectious! As Volunteer Officer, I’ll be supporting both the volunteers and staff to ensure an enjoyable and quality volunteering offer.”
The two roles are vital in bringing the Footprint project’s vision of being about people to life. The Revd Canon Guy Bridgewater, Rector of Bath Abbey, said: “We’re delighted to have Mary and Polly join the Footprint team. Although there is major building work taking place in the Abbey, at its heart, the Footprint project is all about people.
Conservation for us isn’t just about bricks and mortar. In the new areas and spaces that we’re building, we’re aiming to create exciting new opportunities for learning, volunteering, group activities, and discovery of the living Christian heritage of Bath Abbey.”
The Footprint project is a £19.3 million programme of restoration, building works and interpretation that will secure the Abbey’s physical future and improve its hospitality, worship and service to the city.