Heritage Talks 2022-23
After a two year absence, our Heritage Talks Series is back!
In September, we welcomed Peter Liddle, former County Archaeologist and co-ordinator of the Leicestershire and Rutland Festival of Archaeology. Peter has spent a great deal of his time over the past two years at a secret location, helping to uncover the Rutland Roman Villa, which was discovered during a lockdown walk by the son of the farmer who works the land.
Peter's topic was, of course, the Rutland Roman Villa and a packed audience eagerly took in his photos and his talk as he brought the progress of the dig up to date.
For October's talk we were equally delighted to welcome local historian and film maker Dr Wendy Freer, who has been making short historical films for some years now. Over the past couple of years, Wendy has made several films about the church.
She came this time to show our audience two films made in the church earlier this year, featuring some of the characters from the church's history. "Comrades in Arms" is about soldiers who died during various conflicts and was originally written to commemorate the centenary of World War I and was staged as a play in the church at the end of our Heritage Project in 2019. The second film was "Dinner at St Helen's," in which people from different periods of time received a mysterious invitation to dinner. Who had sent it and why? All became clear over the course of a very entertaining evening.
In November, two of the people who normally "staff" our Heritage Talks abandoned the coffee making and washing up to take centre stage for a change. Anne Heaton delivered a talk about a thousand years of the English Parish Church, using St Helen's as an example as well as showing illustrations from other churches around the country. She ended with a question as to what will be the future of the parish church. Our lovely Grade 1* listed building is safe for now, but many beautiful churches are now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust or have changed their function.
At appropriate points during Anne's talk, Julie Starkey chipped in with tales of some of the very different vicars who have ministered to St Helen's congregation at different periods in its history.
Once more, the talk was well received by a large audience.