Our Lady Star of the Sea, part of the Roman Catholic diocese of East Anglia, is a late-Victorian church in the heart of the town of Lowestoft. We are working with them on their HLF-funded project to open up the heritage of this lovely and welcoming church to a wider public by introducing interpretation on tablets linked to content stored on a closed onsite server. This will enable the church to update and refresh content themselves after the project is complete, giving them the all-important longevity and sustainability for their investment. Content will include a spoken version of the on-screen text read by the BBC's Zeb Soanes who has personal connections to the town and church.
There is a unique element to this interpretation project: the church tower is a recognised nesting site for kittiwakes, an endangered sea bird on the RSPB's 'red list'. The ledges, nooks and crannies of the Victorian tower make this an ideal, safe nesting site for these members of the gull family and the church is delighted its building is helping preserve this bit of creation. Our interpretation will include live footage from web-cams carefully positioned on the tower to capture all the action and drama of the breeding season, as well as information about the birds so visitors can learn more about them and the conservation programme.
More traditional elements will include interpretation of the art and symbolism ebodied in the church interior, improving understanding of the iconography as well as the function of different elements in the worshipping life of the church.