An historic Ipswich church is to become a paradise for teddy bears and their owners on Sunday 15th July, as the beautiful 14th century St Mary at Quay plays host to a Family Fun Day.
The Family Fun Day is part of a summer-long drive to raise £30,000 towards the £142,000 required to secure the future of the currently unused church and convert it into a Community Wellbeing Heritage Centre. It invites families from around Ipswich to join in a number of fun, teddy bear themed activities ideal for three to ten year old children and get the summer holidays off to a magical start.
The St Mary at Quay Family Fun Day, which runs from 10am to 4pm, will all be based around a weatherproof indoors Teddy Bears’ Picnic, including a Teddy Bear Hospital, Magic Castle, Bouncy Castle and Best Dressed Teddy Competition. For more adventurous teddy bear lovers there will also be an Ipswich Treasure Hunt, a 1-2 hour treasure trail around the town which starts and finishes at the church and offers the chance to win free family entry to Colchester Zoo for a year.
Entry to Family Fun Day at St Mary at Quay will be £6 per adult and £3 per child, with one free adult ticket provided for every paying child. Entering the Ipswich Treasure Hunt will cost £10 per family. Throughout the Family Fun Day food and drinks stalls will be on site at the church to provide refreshments and for anyone feeling lucky there will also be activities such as the Teddy Bear Hoop game, as well as a prize raffle.
All funds raised by the Family Fun Day will go towards the community fundraising target for the Community Wellbeing Heritage Centre. This project is a collaboration between mental health charity, Suffolk Mind and national charity, The Churches Conservation Trust, who own St Mary at the Quay, that will bring an ancient building back into regular use and preserve it for the long term benefit of everyone in the community. While telling the fascinating story of the Ipswich Waterfront, it will also act as an oasis of tranquillity in a busy town, providing a calm environment where visitors can take time out and access life-enriching community activities.
Suffolk Mind’s business development director, Sue Gray, said: “It may have been a less than perfect summer so far this year, but the weather won’t matter this time because we’re holding the Family Fun Day indoors in the lovely surroundings of one of Ipswich’s oldest and most beautiful buildings. We’re very much looking forward to getting the community into the space. It should be a fun activity to start off the summer holidays, and give families coming along an idea of what they can expect from the Community Wellbeing Heritage Centre when it opens.”
Peter Aiers, Churches Conservation Trust regional director, added: “It’s wonderful to see St Mary at Quay in use again, and events like the Family Fun Day show how the church is useful and relevant to Ipswich and the local community. With the help and enthusiasm of local people we will secure a long-term use for St Mary at Quay that will once again make it an essential part of life in the town and the docks.”