Church extension update November 2018

Trevor Swainson writes:  The Church Extension Project is very close to commencement but awaiting formal approval from the Diocese.  With our existing planning permission expiring on 13th January 2019 and the Festive period in between now and then, the PCC has been advised to apply again for Planning and Listed Building Consent before expiry with the same documents already consented under the 2016 approval.  It is the same proposal to which parishioners have already agreed.  It is our sincere hope that building will commence early in 2019.

Church Extension Fund: Fundraising.  As everyone can see from the thermometer, the funds raised so far stand at an impressive total of £290,000.  Whilst this is a fantastic achievement, we are still £40,000 short of our revised target and, in order to complete the construction work, we will have to bridge this funding gap.

In fairness to the large number of people who have contributed so generously from across the whole community, we are not planning any more major public appeals.  Instead we are pursuing a number of new grant applications that, hopefully, will help to bridge the gap.  That does not mean that we do not want any additional donations; such donations will be very welcome, so don’t feel shy at donating at this late stage.

We will be continuing our very successful programme of social events and we hope that everyone will continue to support us.  If we do not reach our target of £330,000, we have a “cunning plan” as Baldrick would say but this would only come into play if absolutely necessary.

Every penny that we have raised for the project is “squirrelled away” and will only be spent on the project as and when required.

Thank you to each and every one of you for supporting the Extension Project.  The response has been remarkable from our relatively small community.

Church Extension Fund: Building.

We are currently bogged down by paperwork and procedures and, frustratingly,  we have not made any visible process in the last few weeks.  Currently we are waiting for the granting of a faculty from the Diocesan Chancellor; this is a form of consent that is required before any work can start.  Unfortunately there are no set timescales for this process so it is a question of being patient.

We appreciate that it looks like there is little progress but, under the surface at least, there has been hectic activity to make the required submissions to the Diocesan Chancellor. Consideration of such submissions is a lengthy and timeconsuming process, but we are “in the system” with, so far, no significant queries about our submission.

Once a faculty is granted, there will be immediate work to carry out archaeological and soil surveys to establish if there might be any problems of hidden graves etc., and also to establish the type of foundations required for the new building work.

This will be followed by work to lay the drainage pipes from the Church building down the footpath to the west gate (opposite the Manor House).  This will cause that footpath to be closed temporarily while the work is done, and access to the Church will be restricted to the entrance by the lych gate. The area of work will be clearly signposted and the path itself will be blocked off.  We apologise for any inconvenience that may be caused.

Work on the demolition of the existing vestry and the construction of the new building will commence in the New Year, but in order to avoid weather delays, this may be deferred until mid/late February.  The period for construction will be approximately six months.  During this entire period of work the footpath from the lych gate will be closed and access will be restricted to the path to/from the west gate.

None of this work will affect the interior of the Church and normal services etc., will be able to continue with only minor disruption.  Discussions and negotiations are in progress with the two short listed contractors.  The work, as described above, will be split into two separate but linked contracts.  The final quotations for each phase will be evaluated independently before contracts are awarded.