In our last article written in April this year for the 2015 APCM Report we concluded with the positive promise below:
THIS PROJECT WILL HAPPEN!
Though some may have had their doubts we have now even more confidence that this will be the case. Heartened by the tremendous support within the parish for the project , with lots of great funding ideas, events, pledges and more, members of the development group have continued to plug away – looking again at the figures and the plans, engaging with the architects and the diocese, and seeking out further possible funding sources.
Slimming down the project whilst keeping its essential elements – a barrier free toilet and a separate community room with kitchen facilities – meant that in April we were able to show we were around half way there and this, together with the clear evidence of our own parish’s efforts, brought a much more positive response from potential funders.
Although we have faced disappointment along the way at what appeared to be a slow rate of progress, our perseverance has recently paid off handsomely. In April we were reporting that the project had raised just over £30,000; by August with some major donations from the National Churches Trust, the All Churches Trust and the Garfield Weston Foundation that sum had gone up to an amazing £50,055. We know there is more to do to reach the finish line, we are still pursuing outside funding and we are looking to the Parish Walk and other events to continue the important in-house fund-raising, but we are now, at last, able to invite Tenders for the building works. This process we hope will be completed over the next couple of months – giving us a possible start date before or maybe just after Christmas.
Living through it, the three years from the December 2012 launch of the LAST project may seem a long time - looking back I guess we will see it as but a short, if important, time in the history of the church.
Secretary to the Development Group