Provisions for the local community
In October 2017 I received a phone call from the Heritage Lottery informing me that our application for urgent repairs and a heritage project focussing on some of the church’s key features had been successful.
For me the process had started back in February when God nudged me to offer to help with grant applications for our ‘Building for the Future’ project, masterminded by our then vicar and her husband. I’d been off the PCC for a few years, so came to the project with fresh eyes. A two phased project was planned and permissions from the Diocese (faculty), among others, had been granted. We had just had lead stolen from the roof for a second time and spirits were low. The first phase of the project was to carry out urgent repairs to the roof, drainage, attend to cracks in the chancel arch and work in the tower. The second was to convert the back of the church so that we had a warm meeting room and space for a village vending machine; to install underfloor heating and untethering the pews from the Victorian ‘stays’ to create a more flexible space. We were mindful of the medieval pew ends. The total cost of the project was estimated to be in the region of £400,000.
Some grants had already been applied for to develop the plans for the reordering.
I was allotted the Heritage Lottery application – there is an enormous amount of guidance to help you. First you have to put in a ‘project enquiry form’ and then you are assigned a project advisor. I was invited to the Heritage Lottery offices for an information session. It was useful in terms of the process, cutting through the reams of paper guidance, and interesting to hear of the other projects being planned. Our project was for under £100,000 and we were advised to apply, in the end, under the Our Heritage scheme. It really helped that we had permissions, architects reports, photographs, evidence of need, at risk status and costings already. Then it was a question of ensuring that we met the criteria for heritage and that meant planning a project to promote the heritage of the church to the wider community and the film project was ‘born’. I found a film company in Norwich who gave me a quote for the equipment and training we would need to produce short films – all ‘fuel’ for the form! At all times one needs to consider how the lottery players would benefit from the project we were proposing. We had to put together a timetable. Then there was the wait! We were told eight weeks and I received the call within six weeks, so I wasn’t expecting it – it was such a relief. Phase one could commence! The post grant awarding process has been quite straightforward. Progress reports need to be submitted before the next phase of funding is released. We are now galvanising ourselves to resume the process with other grant awarding bodies for the second phase… watch this space!
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Articles in this issue...
Twinkling bright in Sheringham
I’m now in my tenth year of ministry in Sheringham and it was soon after my arrival that I thought a Christmas Tree Festival would look wonderful in the light, wide-open spaces of St Peter’s Church.More
Orienteering and the Nativity
To mark the season of Advent, Victory Villages and St Mary’s Church, North Elmham last year had a nativity trail.More
Classic return of the tea towel!
The Advent and Christmas period in Cawston is a very lively time for the church.More
School children involved in Church graffiti
With leaking roofs, rusting downpipes and gutters with large holes, St. John the Baptist Parish Church was urgently in need of repair.More
Food safety law & church activities – a brief guide
Food provided by churches is subject to food law and must be safe to eat.More
Welcome to ‘OUR’ parish
St Mary’s Church likes to give a Welcome Bag to new people moving into the parish of Watton, as a means of introducing the Church and its activities, enclosing other items to welcome the new residents to the community.More
Serious about entertaining
The process starts with a visit to your local council office to register your interest, obtain the necessary forms but most importantly seek their help and advice!More
No bullrushes, but a catwalk and basket!
Recently I was asked to swap the aisle for the catwalk, I can assure you it was all in a good cause.More
Licensing law & church activities – a brief guide
The Licensing Act 2003 may affect some church events, regulating entertainment and the sale of alcohol. Fortunately, it makes exceptions for some occasional activities.More
A welcome addition at our event
Having a ‘Temporary Events Notice’ (TENs) allows you to legally sell alcohol on your premises ie church hall/rooms. Without a TENs you cannot sell alcohol, only give it away!More