Angelic Artwork at St Peter’s, Sudbury

An unusual and engaging piece of public artwork has been unveiled on the hoardings at St Peter’s Cultural Venue, which is currently undergoing a major multi-million pound project to repair and regenerate this key site in the town of Sudbury. 

Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and working with local artist and sign writer Wayne Tanswell, the artwork, representing two large angel wings, is designed to inspire community participation.  Commenting on the artwork, Alli Burke, Churches Conservation CCT Development Officer said “St Peter’s sits right at the heart of the town, and as it is currently closed for the major project, and surrounded by necessary hoardings, we wanted to provide an opportunity for the community and visitors to have a bit of fun by interacting with this beautiful public artwork created by Wayne”.  

Wayne Tanswell added “It has been a great experience working collaboratively on this piece with Alli.  Her enthusiasm for community engagement is contagious and I hope that people will really enjoy what we’ve created”.

The wings are embellished with the words of a sonnet written by the late Peter Ainsworth, former Chair of Trustees at the Churches Conservation Trust.   The sonnet was written in response to the lockdowns in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, which meant churches were completely closed for the first time since WW2.  Alli Burke added “These poignant words really ring true in the context of the temporary closure of St Peter’s, albeit for different reasons”.

Sudbury Mayor, Sue Ayres, was the first to rise to the challenge, and now members of the public are invited to celebrate their own ‘living angel’, whether that be a friend or family member, by photographing them in front of the wings and sharing the photographs online using the hashtag #SudburyAngels.  These will be collated and included in an online exhibition in the future. 

Following the completion of Phase 1 capital work to the building, the CCT is also pleased to announce that following a robust tender process, Universal Stone have been appointed to undertake Phase 2 of the work at St Peter’s.  This includes all conservation repairs and new installations, and very shortly people will see activity on site really pick up.  Universal Stone said 

Led by the CCT with support from volunteers and partners from the local and regional community, the ambitious project will repair and adapt a landmark Grade I listed building into a renewed multi-purpose venue for community and corporate events, performance, heritage, arts and learning activities.  

Work is due to start on-site in October 2021 and is anticipated to take around 12 months to complete. 

Since medieval times, St Peter’s has sat at the heart of Sudbury in Suffolk, overlooking the town’s bustling historic market place. The building has been used and cared for by the local community for many years, but is now in need of urgent repairs and a viable and sustainable future.The project will give the historic building a new lease of life and enable an exciting expanded programme of cultural events, learning activities for schools and families, closer working relationships with key organisations nd businesses, and create a range of new employment and volunteering opportunities.  It will ensure that urgent repairs to the roof are undertaken, along with the inclusion of a new fully accessible upper mezzanine floor, installation of toilets and development of a new café and bar area.  Crucially it will make it possible to unleash St Peter’s full potential and secure its future for generations to come.

St Peter’s sits at the centre of wider regeneration plans for Sudbury, and in addition to The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s award of £1.67 million, we are grateful to have received additional support from donors including Babergh District Council and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership Growing Places Fund.