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!
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.
On Monday 2nd December Holy Trinity PCC agreed to expand our original plan to include a strip of Upper Rooms in
the roof space of the hall. This is now seen as an absolutely necessary step in order to get permission for building. Without the extra Upper Rooms, the hall will only partially meet our needs. In short, we would still have to hire space beyond the church plant every week for our Children’s Provision.
Although providing for our own children’s ministry is only part of the vision, it is an important one – ongoing into the future. Our previous plan, which left only the hope of a second building was simply not secure enough.
Building rooms into the roof space will definitely be more expensive, but it will be much more cost-effective than a second building, and it will provide a much neater, more economic solution. For more information, see Our Most Up-To-Date Plan
With this and other factors in mind, we have revised our fund-raising target to £380,000
Although we’ve been working and praying towards this for nearly 40 years one way or another, we now feel that we’re on the brink of a wonderful venture. Of course we’ve felt like this before, but now we seem to have something that’s both attainable and “right”.
On October 21st 2013, the Church Council decided to move forward to the initial design phase, and on Sunday 27th October, our Project Team was commissioned in the morning service.