Fascinating Fenland Ark story revived for OuseFest

Floating church

Floating church - Credit: Archant

The fascinating story of the Fenland Ark a unique floating church which served the parishes of Holme and Manea at the turn of the 20th century is being told at a special event next Thursday (July 23).

Floating church

Floating church - Credit: Archant

Its story has been told through the diaries of Rev George Broke and the book by John Bennett.

On Thursday the story will be retold by John’s daughter Kirsten Bennett, who is Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire ACRE.

The Fenland Ark also known as St Withburga’s The Floating Church of Holme & Manea, started its life in 1897 and was conceived as a unique method of taking the church to the people of isolated Fenland communities. The evening will tell the remarkable story of the church and give much insight into life in Fenland communities at the turn of the 20th Century.

This special event takes place at Manea Village Hall on Thursday July 23 at 7pm to 8.30pm.


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It is free to attend and refreshments will be served.

It is hosted by the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership and Cambridgeshire ACRE, and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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Sara Marshall, Countryside Engagement & Marketing Officer at the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership said: “The Fenland Ark is an intriguing and little known piece of the Ouse Washes Landscape’s cultural heritage. We’re incredibly excited that St Withburga’s unique story will be told as part of our varied OuseFest programme”.

The Fenland Ark talk takes place as part of OuseFest, a whole fortnight of over 60 local events celebrating the Ouse Washes Landscape and Communities happening between Monday July 20 and Sunday August 2. Check out the full OuseFest programme here: www.ousewashes.org.uk/ousefest, or pick one up in hundreds of shops, cafes, pubs and other venues near you.

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