We were delighted to receive another letter from a beneficiary of Community Payback, praising the work carried out by a team of Community Payback workers and supervised by Angela Giakovmis from BeNCH. It was the ‘Friends of the Church on the Hill’ from the village of Edlesborough, Bedfordshire who kindly wrote following some work which had recently taken place in the grounds of Edlesborough church. The Community Payback work taking place there contributes to the wider EDaN Project which seeks to improve the quality of life in nearby villages.
This project involved the installation of flood lighting outside the 13th century church. It was completed over one weekend and involved digging a trench for cabling to be laid so the lighting could be connected. The work was supported by Caroline (pictured left) and Jess (pictured below) and who are both archaeologists from KDK Archaeology Ltd and were on hand to monitor the excavations.
Angela Giakovmis, who has been a Community Payback supervisor for 17 years, commented there was much interest when the Community Payback workers uncovered a number of bones. The archaeologists believe the bones were from a small, elderly woman and had been lying there for around 500 years.
Community Payback is visible work in a local community and the workers will all have been ordered by the Courts to carry out between 40 and 300 hours of unpaid work. The workers have been carrying out a considerable amount of useful work in the area, including clearing footpaths, helping set up a fete and further grounds maintenance is planned in the churchyard.
Angela Giakovmis who has been involved with the project for some time in supervising the Community Payback workers commented “the workers really enjoyed working alongside the archaeologists and have done a great job”.
The ‘thank you’ letter reads:
“I felt I must contact you to express our organisation’s sincere thanks to Angela and her team for making the dream of floodlighting our 13th Century church a reality. Without the manpower provided by community service workers I doubt whether our small – and mostly elderly! – voluntary group would have succeeded in reinstating the soil and turf over the cabling and installing the concrete pads for the floodlights. They all worked very hard to complete the excavation and reinstatement over the weekend and achieved this goal – saving us further fundraising for another weekend’s digger hire and archaeologists’ attendance.
Many of the workers were overwhelmed by the beauty of both the structure and the setting of this magnificent building, now in the care of the Churches’ Conservation Trust and the unearthing of quite a few bones kept our archaeology team happy. Some of the workers continued with the clearing of scrub from some of the ancient graves, a job carried out by Angela’s team during previous winter months. I do hope that this invaluable help can continue during the coming winter. It is very much appreciated.
Other local projects are dependent on the team, including our annual carnival, which raises funds for our other ancient church and local charities. Over 10,000 daffodil bulbs have been planted in the parish over recent years with their help and what joy they bring each spring! I realise that there are many changes forthcoming in probation and sincerely hope that Angela’s teams will be available to support local projects in the future.
With sincere thanks,
Trustee & Secretary
Friends of the Church on the Hill, Edlesborough