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Exploring ways to establish a medieval church as a cultural venue and heart of the community.

Since late 2016, we have been working with a community group seeking to preserve and promote the 14th Century medieval church of St Andrew in Heckington, Lincolnshire. So far, this has involved exploring and demonstrating the cultural and social potential of the church through the creation of several digital artworks in response to the building, its history and its place in local life.

About the research project

Our work has resulted in schools workshops, a public exhibition and performance, and the installation of several artworks throughout the church. This work informed the community group's successful application for Heritage Lottery resilience funding, and continues to inform their interpretation planning as part of a larger proposed HLF bid. We are continuing to develop and advise the community group on the development of digital resources to enhance the church's value as a cultural venue and community resource.

This creative practice-led research is contributing to our investigations of how intangible, hidden, and 'lost' aspects of heritage sites can be made current and engaging for visitors through sound, interactive media, and digital technology. In addition, this research helps us to explore the value of multiple co-incident creative practice ("many makings") as a means of collaborative inquiry.

Further information:

Funder: This ongoing project was initially funded as part of the Creative Exchange; an AHRC-funded knowledge exchange hub for the creative economy.

PI and Further Team: Simon Bowen (Open Lab). John Bowers and Tim Shaw (Digital Cultures Research Group). Magnus Williamson (Music, Newcastle University).

Partners: Draw & Code (digital creative agency); Allan T Adams (architectural illustrator); the Heckington community.