Renewing the vows between church and community: The REACH Ely Project

Posted on Thursday 16 May 2019
Everywhere you turn in the British Isles you see church spires reaching towards the celestial firmament. The presence of churches and their friendly towers are especially noticeable as one travels through the flat fen land of Cambridgeshire.

Proudly announcing their presence in the city of Cambridge are many historical churches, all within walking distance of each other; it is not an exaggeration to say the spires of the medieval colleges probably equal the number of churches. Besides their primary function as places of worship, historically, parish church buildings were orientating markers of the territory, reminders of a Christian country, and iconic symbols of the local communities they belonged to. 

To better understand the church’s place in both the physical and metaphorical heart of the community, the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation is working with the Diocese of Ely, with support from Allchurches Trust and Historic England, to develop and implement a project that re-imagines churches as community assets.

REACH Ely (Re-imagining Churches as Community Assets for the Common Good) is a three-year project to help communities make fuller use of their historic churches.The project is implemented by the Diocese of Ely and Cambridge Judge Business School with the support of Allchurches Trust and Historic England.

Dr Timur Alexandrov, Research Associate (Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation) has been working on the project and has writien a great update as to what he has found so far. 

To read the article go to:

For more information about REACH Ely please visit