Birthday celebrations for Community Payback team at Algarkirk

Birthday celebrations for Community Payback team at Algarkirk image
Over the past 12 months a team of offenders doing unpaid work on Community Payback with HLNY have transformed St Peter & St Paul Church, known as the Cathedral of the Fens, in the ancient village of Algarkirk, near Boston.
The local community have been very appreciative of the work carried out by our service users and earlier this month Reverend Doreen Brown invited them to her Sunday birthday lunch in Algarkirk to thank them for their hard work.
The Grade I listed building, has had a major makeover in the graveyard and there are long-term plans to renovate some the building’s interior. The graveyard has been cleared of weeds and undergrowth and buried graves revealed – including that of Rector Basil Berdidge who commissioned and paid for the installation of the beautiful stained glass and decorative plasterwork that has made this building a national treasure.
And. now that the space surrounding the church has been opened to visitors, people have been expressing their pleasure and gratitude for our work.
David Hardy, community payback placement supervisor, said: “Since we began work at St Peter & St Paul back in October, the reaction from villagers and other visitors to the church has been very positive as they have witnessed the genuine contribution offenders can make when working on a Community Payback scheme.
“Throughout that time Doreen has been very supportive, often making cakes for the lads to eat on their break so we were delighted to receive an invitation to share her special day.”
The work has been praised by local community leaders, and the Parochial Church Council have unanimously agreed to the erection of a plaque to commemorate the team’s role in restoring the churchyard.
Churchwarden, Cheryllyn Humphreys, said: “The work carried out by the people on the payback scheme has made a great difference. We could never have afforded to have this work carried out. Not only have the payback team opened the vista of the church but we have actually seen flowers appearing on graves newly uncovered by the team.
“Villagers have told us the work has restored their faith in the community payback scheme. In the past they believed that payback didn’t really do anything, but this has been a real eye-opener for them.”


PICTURE: Birthday celebrations: Service users Kestutis Skucas and Stanislaw Sujkowski with Reverend Doreen Brown