Churches nationally are facing real threats to their long-term futures. Reductions in congregation size and shortages of funding for repair work, especially for historic churches such as St Peter’s, are increasingly challenging the sustainability of the buildings.
Part of the answer, as set out in the Taylor Review, is to broaden the use of the church. The core purpose of the church in promoting worship remains; but developing the building as a community resource, where a wider range of community activities can take place, will help St Peter’s generate revenue on a long-term basis.
“The long-term survival of Church of England church buildings requires a change in the way many communities regard these buildings. To survive, a church building must be both valued by, and useful to its community”
The Taylor Review: Sustainability of English Churches and Cathedrals - P15 - DCMS, Dec 2017
The Church needs to continue to serve as a place of worship but also now needs to become a hub for wider activity across the whole of the local community. But, it is increasingly difficult to plan for either without the presence of some key facilities on site – the church has no kitchen or toilet facilities for example. In addition, there are a number of priority repairs required to the fabric of the building, to ensure its continued sustainability.
Provisional estimates suggest we will need in total around £180k. The PCC has only limited funds available and so has begun a large scale fundraising programme.
The full project has been split into two phases in order to make fundraising more manageable, given the external circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic and the availability of current funding streams.
Phase 1 – (see plan) estimated at around £90k ex VAT, it will comprise the new features of toilet, kitchen and modified lobby, together with relevant enabling works (drainage, water supply, removal of some of the pews, re-location of the font). This will mean a more achievable initial fundraising target; but will also allow the church to take early advantage of these key new facilities, and open the doors to wider community activities. This in turn will help with further fundraising efforts. The initial range of activities is likely to include;
- A rehearsal space for a local choir who are interested in the excellent acoustic qualities the Church has
- An additional local community market – a market is held monthly at the shared Village Hall, but this is some 3 miles from the village. We would complement that arrangement with a more locally accessed service
- An exhibition space for the various existing local craft businesses based in the village
- A potential location for a sculpture trail in the churchyard
- A venue for a wide range of local meetings
Phase 2 – also estimated at around £90k, the urgent repairs needed to ensure the continued operation of the building have been identified in successive Quinquennial reviews. These include replacing the existing drains and installing French drains to the perimeter walls (without this, the main fabric of the Church would be at risk of further damage by water and its use in the long term become potentially restricted); together with the replacement of the heating system.
Completion of this work will enable the Church to continue to function as a place of worship and become a centre for increased local activity. In the process, it will ensure the longer term continuation of St Peter’s by creating a regular source of recurring income, helping to fund the further maintenance of the church.
How much have we raised?
We would like to thank everyone who has donated so far or who has given us a commitment to provide funds. As at July 2022 we have raised £66,500 towards our Phase 1 target of £90,000. This has come from a variety of sources, set out below and we have included links where appropriate;
The work continues to raise the rest.
Your help in supporting our work will make a real difference and ensure that St Peter’s church remains a vital part of the local community for the next millennium.
Fundraising, payments and donations will be processed and administered by the National Funding Scheme (Charity No: 1149800), operating as DONATE. Texts will be charged at your standard network rate. For Terms & Conditions, see easydonate.org
The Church of St Peter's, Stanton Lacy needs to raise funds for this and for other charitable purposes.