All posts by Bethany Eckley

Gearing up to Giving Sunday

Inspired by passing the £100k mark, the project team are now working out how to get to £200k!

We hope we’ll get a good boost towards this from our Gift Day Sunday on 15 June. In the weeks before this service we will be handing out pledge forms and asking people to prayerfully reflect on how much they would like to give towards the new community hub – anything from £2 to £100 a month. We hope that many people in the church will be moved to give what they can.

We will also be talking to local businesses, to ask for their support. An article in 24-7 magazine will help us get the message out there.

If anyone reading this knows any local business that will be supportive – please do get in touch!

Our straw bale building needs the support of the whole church and community… we hope that you will join us in thinking about the part you can play in making it a reality.


Full Steam Ahead

Following the visit of the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) on 28 January, our straw bale project is moving full steam ahead!

The DAC spent a morning with Richard, Barbara Jones from Straw Works, a representative from English Heritage and members of the project team. After inspecting the site and asking lots of questions, Stephen Craven of the DAC wrote: ‘The Committee as a whole strongly supports the intention of the project, and commends the parish for taking environmental sustainability seriously.’

We took a moment to celebrate and then signed the contract with Barbara, who is now drawing up designs for the community hall and arranging for all the different surveys to take place.

The next important step is to plan our fundraising strategy. Hilary and Richard are working together on this, thinking of different ways to involve people from the community in the project. Would you like to become a bale builder? If you’re interested, ask Richard for a leaflet. If you have any other fundraising ideas just get in touch!

One step closer…

The Straw Bale Project Team had its second meeting last night and there was a real sense of making progress.

The Diocesan Advisory Committee (the group that will give us the go-ahead on the project) have confirmed their visit on 28 January, so we were keen to get everything ready for them.

Over the next few weeks we will be working on our statement of significance (a document that outlines the historic significance of the church building) and the statement of need (a document that shows how the proposal will help us to meet our needs).

We will also continue to develop our fundraising strategy (thank you Hilary!) and our business plan (thank you Jim and Aileen!)

We’re still looking for a patron for this project. We heard back last week from the Prince of Wales, who said that unfortunately he couldn’t take this role. The letter said, ‘His Royal Highness much appreciated your thoughtful invitation and was interested to hear about the project. He has asked me to send you his best wishes.’

The next project team meeting is scheduled for 10 February.

We’ll let you know how the DAC visit goes.