An outlaw, unconventional women and a cross-dressing French spy will feature in a new series of lectures to raise money to keep the doors of historic St. Pancras Old Church open.
The church, in Pancras Road, Camden, reportedly a site of worship since the 4th century, may have to permanently close doors which have welcomed visitors for at least a millennia unless it raises £350,000 over the next five years to complete essential repairs including works to ancient drains and cracks in the foundations.
The congregation raised £13,000 in the first sell-out lecture series, has just been pledged £73,000 by the English Heritage Lottery Fund and churchgoers are hopeful that the latest stage of the fundraising campaign will help them reach the target.
Fr. James Elston, Parish Priest of St Pancras Old Church, said: “These lecture series bring the dead to life and reveal the extraordinary collection of people who now lie side by side in a common resting place. Those who come are not only guaranteed a fascinating insight into the private lives of those buried in the churchyard but will enable this place to continue to be a living resource for the local community.”
The 2014 series opens on the 27 March with a talk from Dr Peter Foley, University of Arizona, on Jeremy Collier, a Anglo-Catholic bishop and outlaw, buried in St Pancras Old Churchyard. Other speakers include Professor Mark Philip of the University of Warwick on ‘William Godwin and Unconventional Women’ and cartoonist Adrian Teal on the Chevalier D’eon, a cross-dressing French spy, who also came to rest in the historic churchyard. Tickets are £10*(or £7.50 for students) and can be purchased HERE. All proceeds go to the church’s restoration fund.
Late last year we spoke to Dr Joanne Paul about the plight of St Pancras Old Church. You can listen to her interview below: