Press Release – Project St. Thomas

A community group in Spalding is looking to bring life back into a well-known local building through a grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. ‘Project St. Thomas’, a pastoral initiative of the Catholic Community in the South Holland District, supported by the Diocese of Nottingham, has received funding to work with local people to find out what they want to see the former St. Thomas’s Road Methodist Chapel building used for, to learn about and share the building’s history, and to look at the best ways of making the building a great resource for the local community.

The former Methodist chapel is a well-known building on St. Thomas’s Road in Spalding, Lincolnshire. The building has been unused for some time but was recently purchased by ‘The Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception and St Norbert’ in Spalding who, having looked at the potential use of the building, sought funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to link in with local people to explore the history of the building and to look at ways in which it could be used for the benefit of the community.

Father James (Jim) Burke, Parish Priest of The Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception and St Norbert, said “The local community are at the centre of our Church, and we are blessed that we have had this wonderful resource gifted to us. We want to work with everyone within our local community to identify what is needed and wanted, and to make sure that the Church continues to deliver for local people through Project St. Thomas.”

A very generous donation was made towards the project by local businessperson, resident, and parishioner, Peter Borst. Mr Borst sadly died in 2021, but his donation meant that the unused former Methodist chapel – which is directly next-door to the Catholic church – was able to be purchased, a huge step in the development of Project St. Thomas.

Lisa Barwell who is Project Manager for Project St. Thomas said “We are really excited that we will be able to properly begin our journey to bring the former chapel back into use for the local community. This is a really exciting project, and local people are already sharing with us their thoughts about how the building could be used, sharing their stories about the building. We can’t wait to hear more from local people. And this is all thanks to the generosity of people who play the National Lottery and to the wonderful grant from the Heritage Fund.”

In July 2022 it was announced that The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded Project St. Thomas £14,178.00 which has been made possible thanks to National Lottery players.

The team at Project St. Thomas are using the funding to acquire services from PDG Architects to look at what the building needs to bring it back into service, and from Sortified – a not-for-profit social enterprise – to work directly with local people to find out what they want and need from the building, as well as capturing the history of the building and exploring what it means to local people.

Rich Collins, Creative Director from Sortified, said “It’s a privilege to work with the local community on such an exciting project as this. We really look forward to chatting with people about how the building could best be used and hearing their stories about the former chapel over the years or about similar buildings and their impact on people. Big thanks need to go to the Heritage Fund for seeing the potential here in Spalding, and to National Lottery players. Without them this kind of work would never happen.”


Project St. Thomas are happy to hear from anyone who would like to be involved in the project. You can contact the team via