I believe the Transformation Project will greatly benefit our community as well as those who already use the Church on a regular basis. It will make this wonderful, historic building capable of having a greater role in Wivenhoe.
It is exciting to see this vision which has evolved over several years to soon becoming a reality. We launched the Appeal in May 2018 and the money has now been found to begin work on building this vision through the generosity of many people, including the people who have left a legacy to St Mary’s after they have passed on.
This building, started in 1254, has gone through many changes in its lifetime, each transformative in its own way. The South Porch for example was only added after 1861. The pews in the Nave also similarly date from that period and are therefore only a fairly recent introduction in the long history of this building. The older, more important pews in the Chancel, up by the altar, are not being touched though.
So, yes the inside of the Church will look different with lightweight chairs and not fixed pews but I am excited by the possibilities it gives to see the church used not just for worship but potentially by many more people, for differing purposes, and being used by the wider community of Wivenhoe. Having new toilets, including one for people with disabilities, will be much better for everybody too.
The banner, now on the hoardings around the works shows the pictures of what the Transformation Project is about.
A kitchen and a large room opening out onto the churchyard opens up other opportunities too. And instead of a very scruffy courtyard by the fish and chip shop off East Street, we will have different view of the Church across a landscaped courtyard.
I feel sure we will all get used to the Annexe, designed to be different to the old church building yet having links with it, with its corners of dressed stone. With quality materials being used in its construction, certainly Heritage England and all of the Planners who have been involved with the design of it have been happy with what is now being built.
There is still the need to raise some more money to pay for ‘extras’ like we hope to have a new, locally-designed stained glass window in the Annexe.
There are several ways you can still donate to this Appeal. Please follow the links on this website. Thank you.