Occasionally it takes something as dramatic as the falling masonry at Little Paxton to take an “engage” project on to the next step. The repair, using experienced architects, has meant the churchyard path can be re-opened to the public who can now continue to appreciate and use this wonderful recently re-developed building and again, this project has acted as a spring-board to the forthcoming Wall to Wall scheme to repoint the whoel church. The ‘pop-up’ tea room was a marvellous idea – well done for repairing this iconic building.
For some PCCs a church loo and servery has stopped being a luxury and become a necessity. St Nicholas’s has a wonderful suite of facilities very neatly installed at the west end. The clear glass balustrade of the ringing floor is striking in its simplicity and allows those the nave to have a clear view of the west window but also to admire the technique of the ringers. But there’s more to this project than that: with a toilet and modest kitchen the role of the church building can expand witnessed by the pre-service breakfasts and the other groups able to enjoy the building whether for concerts or meetings.
The sound of a bell calling the community to worship is one of the evocative sounds of the English countryside. How different and quiet the area round Mepal St Mary must have been during the forced silence of the bell. But after this project the bell rings out again – Halleluiah! In addition, the community spirit roused with the success of this project seems to be the spur for further proposed alterations to the building. Well done Mepal.
Children of Mepal & Witcham C of E Primary School arriving at St Mary’s for a service (thanks to the school for the photo)
It is very satisfying to repair a roof which will last for the next 100 years. We’re all custodians and being able to pass a church to the next generation in an improved condition is an aim we all aspire to. Somersham PCC has done it and secured a sound building for the amazing range of community groups it hosts. With a new lighting system last year and the roof this – what will next year bring?
The photograph tells the story. Before the lighting scheme the chancel looked dark and the altar was barely visible. Now your eye moves east to the wonderfully lit sanctuary. The spin-off of additional weddings demonstrates how adapting lighting brings massive change to churches. I suspect the worshippers as well as community groups – including the highly successful flower festival –will reap the benefits for years to come.
What a transformation! Not only has the PCC converted a rather dowdy church hall into something very special but it has offered its community a superb venue for a wide range of activities – some of which seemed to have started as a result of the refurbishment. This is an excellent example of the Church engaging with the community.