How ‘good’ can come out of a ‘bad’ situation
The lovely church of St Mary’s, Northrepps in North Norfolk had lead stolen from the chancel and vestry roof in 2017.
Sadly, the CCTV that was already on order had not yet been installed and so the insurers would only contribute £7,500 to the £27,000 bill.
Lesson One – always get CCTV installed as it deters burglars! Insurers are also more likely to cover the cost.
The very small congregation was faced with a very large bill and no structural funds in the reserves to pay for it, having just paid to repair the nave windows.
We approached Geoff Freeman, then one of the Diocesan Parish Funding Support Officers, who gave us invaluable advice about potential sources of funding and critically suggested we appeal to everyone in the village to help. Our then vicar David Roper excelled in leading the fund-raising effort.
Lesson Two – you are not on your own – the Diocesan Parish Funding Support Officers are there to help you.
The Norfolk Churches Trust, The Paul Basham Charitable Trust and the Geoffrey Watling Charity kindly gave us invaluable support but we were still £13,000 short.
Lesson Three – there are a number of potential sources of grants depending upon your need and the project. The Diocese can help you identify these and do use the online Diocesan Grant Finder – but grants will never cover everything. You need first to make the effort to raise funds locally.
With Geoff’s assistance we drew up a small leaflet that we put through every door in the village asking people to help.
The response has been extraordinary. Not only did people from across the village donate over £5,000 but there was a highly successful open gardens weekend in 2018 which raised £6,000; and villagers, from every denomination and none organised a wide variety of events from coffee mornings to afternoon teas.
A weekend resident even brought his band ‘Top Banana’ up from St Albans to play in the village hall to raise funds for the roof! We raised the balance needed.
Lesson Four – just because people do not come regularly to church it does not mean they do not love and respect their church.
David Lemon, our architect, who now works for Spire went over and beyond to get quotes and then, when the money was raised, ensured the work was done properly.
Lesson Five – do ask Spire to quote to manage the work.
Out of a terrible act of theft the village has come together as never before. Not only is the roof now mended but we have a closer community.
This article is from...
Articles in this issue...
Ready, steady, welcome
With Spring imminent and the tourist system started, you may wish to, if you haven’t already, consider getting your church ready for visitors. Don’t forget welcoming is an important mission opportunity.More
The Children, Youth & Families (CYF) Task Force is currently comprised of fourteen members from around the Diocese representing key projects and specific areas of ministry relating to children, young people and families e.g. Schools and Mission Work, Open the Book, Under 5’s.More
Relief easily achieved online – obtaining a faculty
Just over twelve months ago the PCC at All Saints, Beeston Regis agreed that, if it was possible, we should proceed with the installation of a disabled friendly toilet inside the church and a local firm of architects drew up some sketch plans.More
A faculty or not a faculty? That is the question
What does and doesn’t require a faculty?More
Arriving easily at our destination – the Route B way
Every time I raise the issue of repairs to the church with my PCC, you see their eyes roll and hear mutterings along the lines of “not another faculty – it’ll be years before we get anything done”.More
Ensure your church website is compliant with safeguarding policy
The Church of England’s Parish Safeguarding Handbook (available at www.DofN.org/safeguardinghandbook) which all parishes and clergy are required to comply with, states that parishes must “ensure that safeguarding arrangements are clearly visible on the front page of the parish website”.More
Confusion reigns – is the PCC a charity?
Yes! all PCC are charities. Currently PCCs with incomes over £100,000 a year need to register with the Charity Commission.More
Could this ‘Special Person’ be you?
As a major way forward for our churches I cannot emphasise enough how important it is that we get a Legacy Officer on each PCC.More
A guiding hand, The Church Building Ambassador network
As a Diocese, we are committed to growth in discipleship, service and numbers.More
A mission project that involves a building
During the early part of last summer, I drove over to Blakeney to hear a workshop led by Dr Nigel Walter who, by profession, is not only an architect but also a theologian.More