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 become better used for many different purposes.
Thanks to the generosity of many people, as of 31 January 2020 in excess of £356,000 has already been raised or pledged towards the cost of the completion of the Transformation Project since the Appeal was officially launched in May 2018.
Based on budgetary estimates of just under £500,000, this means we have £141,000 to raise. Raising this sum will mean we can achieve our vision of:
1. The Annexe giving new level access to the Church, a Lobby, two WC facilities including a toilet for people with disabilities and baby changing facilities, a 45-seat Community Room and a small kitchen
2. The Nave – with changes to make it a more flexible community space with modern seating and a new, wooden floor. (We are also investigating the possibility of providing much needed level access to the main entrance to the church via the north door).
3. Re-decoration of the church interior
4. Landscaping of the Carolin Garden
Work has also been progressing towards getting more accurate figures for the costs of all of these items – putting us in a more confident position to apply for grants – and we have already had one successful application! We are now finding, however, that grant-making trusts are quite understandably focussing their support on projects with a Covid-19 emphasis.
Approval for all of these improvements requires the permission of the Diocesan authorities in Chelmsford. The applications to the Diocese, called a Faculty, were submitted some time ago and we understand are well on their way.
Work has also been progressing towards getting more accurate figures for the costs of all of these items as putting us in a confident position of applying for grants.
Thank you very much if you have already supported our Appeal. All further donations of any amount will of course be very welcome. Continuing support is vital. We feel that with £356,000 towards the Appeal target, Rev Erwin Lammens and all of the people involved in this great ambition to have better facilities at St Mary’s Church, believe the Project is achievable. I hope you feel it is too.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me to discuss them.