In 2014 it was obvious to the Parochial Church Council that the future for the church was in the balance financially. Congregations were reducing in size, but expenditure on insurance and running costs was increasing.
We decided to take the building “back to the future” – to make it what it once was in Anglo-Saxon times – a building for the whole parish, and others. It would not just be a place for worship on a Sunday, but a community hub for the local area, available every day for many and varied activities. By doing this, we hope that the church will become a place that can sustain itself financially, and also become a popular base / location for many different people and organisations to make use of the facilities provided.
Why we made our decisions
The Project Team had many different and sometimes difficult decisions to make. Ones that came into the “easy” category were to make the church building fully accessible for people of all abilities, to make the building warm, light and comfortable to use, and to ensure that the fabric of the building was conserved and protected for future generations. One difficult decision included; do we cover up the heritage of grave plaques in the old floor by placing a new floor over the top?
One of the easier decisions that was taken included moving the 14th century font from the back of the church to the east end of the north aisle. This makes it far more visible to our visitors and baptism parties.
Another difficult decision was the introduction of very modern lights. These have a “wow” factor that we feel complements the heritage of the church.
Every decision was taken carefully, and by everyone on the Project Team. We are happy that we have made the right decisions, but only time will tell!