Memoirs of the Church

St Clement’s Church, Fore Street, has been redundant for a number of years. It is the last of the medieval churches to find a new use. A dedicated team of volunteers are tirelessly working to establish the church as an Arts Centre and have opened the church to visitors whenever possible. 

In September 2017, the church was opened to the public for the heritage open day. Whilst there, visitors commented upon how their parents had been married at the church and the idea for the Memories Project was born. 

Established in July 2018, with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Ipswich Arts Centre Memories Project has been working with various organisations within the local community to gain oral history accounts of those with connections to the church and the surrounding area.   

The project aims to capture people’s stories alongside documents and photographs as a reminder of the importance the church once had for the local community and with its change of use, will once again. 

Do you have any memories of St Clement’s Church or the surrounding area that you could share with the project? The project will display their findings at an exhibition at the University of Suffolk on 27th February-1st March 2019.  

We are running Memory Cafés to answer any questions you may have about the project and share our progress with you. The next café will run on 12th January 2019, 11am-1pm, at the Suffolk Record Office, Gatacre Road and will include a light lunch. To book a place at the memory café or to share your stories please contact the project manager, Nicola Brand at   

Christmas Carol Service

Back in the summer, we thought it would be a good idea to hold a Carol Service at Christmas and so myself, Tom Rout - Vicar of the Waterfront Churches which includes St Luke’s in Cliff Lane - and members from the Margaret Catchpole Bowls Club met to discuss the idea, and subsequently on Christmas Eve, on the front of the Bowls Club, we held the very first Rivers Community Carol Service. 

The service was conducted by Paul Rout and we were lucky to have the school choir from Cliff Lane Primary and the Ipswich Hospital Band join us. There were loads of sausage rolls, mince pies and homemade Christmas biscuits all helped down with a glass of mulled wine.  

There was an amazing turn out in excess of 400 local residents all singing their hearts
out. So we will definitely be doing it again next year.