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History students carry out work experience at Great St Mary’s

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autumn stamford

Autumn Stamford

Two History A level students, Autumn Stamford and Tomas Fernandez, gained valuable work experience in the heritage industry when they spent time at Great St Mary’s Church in Cambridge.

The first church on the site was built in 1205, but it had to rebuilt after a fire in 1290. Great St Mary’s is the official church for the University of Cambridge, hosts the “University Sermons” and houses the University Organ and the University Clock.

tomas fernandez

Tomas Fernandez

The opportunity for work experience came about when two History teachers, Miranda Perkins and Laura Williams, visited the church as part of our LINKs project. This involves staff members spending one day at a local company or organisation.

Miranda and Laura spoke to Rosie Sharkey, the Heritage Officer at Great St Mary’s, about careers in the heritage industry, and the possibility of developing work experience links for Long Road students.

Autumn and Tomas report on their work experience:

“We worked on the children’s summer programme, playing with them and showing them around the church,” says Autumn. “We also took part in the opening of the new education centre, including serving drinks. I also helped at the Christmas craft day.”

“As well as the summer programme and various craft days, I helped at the Oliver Cromwell Day in September,” adds Tomas. “Oliver Cromwell was the MP for Cambridge, and Great St Mary’s was caught between the Royalist university academics and its Puritan parishioners. There were re-enactments with people dressed up as Royalists and Puritans. I also helped out at a talk on World War I, helping people to their seats and serving drinks. The talk was very interesting because it also dealt with ‘conchies’ or conscientious objectors, who refused to fight.

“The experience was very interesting and worthwhile,” concludes Tomas.