A View From The Park

THE CHURCH BUILDING

WHAT IS HAPPENING???

 

The water is coming in! The rose window is falling out! The cold is awful! What on earth is happening to the church? Why doesn’t someone do something about it?
These are questions many people ask and to which few have the complete answer.

The church leadership is very aware of the concerns that everyone has about the state of the church building and the need to start dealing with the long list of necessary repairs. However it also knows that these problems are the result of 20+ years of neglect and lack of proper maintenance. For this reason, the church wants to take a different approach from the past.
The PCC discussed the matter at length at its 16 October meeting and re-affirmed its earlier decision; rather than just carry out a series of patch repairs, there was unanimous agreement that the church should aim higher and pursue a transformational strategy for the building. The objective is not only to produce a warm and attractive place of worship on Sundays but a building that also can be used by the community throughout the week.
The Church Architects have already produced plans for this transformation. These have been costed at around £1million at current prices. The figure is daunting and represents a major challenge to the church community. However, with God’s help, and the generosity and hard work of many, it is achievable.
The PCC recognises that the transformation can only be achieved in stages and possibly over a long period. However the objective has now been set and everyone in the church is invited to join in to help achieve it.
The building needs first to be made wind and water-tight. Lengthy discussions have taken place with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in Leeds about possible grants. They have advised that priority should be given to the north transept rose window which is in a very poor state of repair. The church has accepted this advice and an application for over £60,000 of grant is due to be made by the end of October. Many organisations and individuals are supporting this application including Cllr Keith Aspden, Fulford Parish Council, Imphal Barracks, and St Oswalds Primary School. If the grant application is successful works should start next summer (2019).

The next stage potentially is to apply for a grant for the roof repairs. In the meantime, the church is looking to carry out limited repairs to avoid any further water ingress.
The congregation made a full-hearted response to the Project 150+ Pledge Sunday fund raising exercise last year and, consequently we now have only around £850k to find to fulfill the project. The PCC thanks everyone for this.

The PCC is now working out a detailed programme of works which will make the best use of the money raised to achieve long-lasting improvements to the building, including the heating. Where possible, grants will be sought from a wide range of organisations to supplement this money. A particular focus will be given to raising money from the wider Fulford community, including local businesses.

The repair and transformation of the church building will not take place overnight. It is challenging and patience will be required. However, with God’s help and everyone’s hard work and generosity, it can and will be achieved - making our Church building and premises once again fit for purpose, to the glory of God and for the benefit of this and future generations.

Michael Courcier

Michael Courcier and Maurice Bell are leading the PCC’s 150+ Grant Funding applications group (following in the steps of Tony Myers, whose initial HLF application last year was unsuccessful due to the flood of applications to beat the deadline as changes were made to the scheme for Churches).

 

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