The Hundred Year Plan has been several years in development
The PCC consulted extensively and eventually in 2012 decided on a plan described here.
Provision of facilities inside the church was considered using a discreet cupboard like enclosure but toilets would inevitably impinge on the beautiful internal symmetry of the building. We were concerned that noises from toilets and kitchen in the building could not be sufficiently muffled. It is much more acceptable to slip quietly outside from an exit at the back of the church. The church is sometimes full to overflowing and we do not wish to reduce the internal space in any way. We went to view what had been done in other churches and did not like what we saw in places where additions had been made inside buildings. It was decided that provision in an external extension was a way to preserve both the integrity and usefulness of the beautiful building.
Outside the church are graves close against the walls. Only in one place is there a space free of tombs. That is in the northwest corner where the ancient coke burner existed in a cellar and now an oil burner exists in a solid concrete block building. This was chosen as an out of the way corner far from public view by our predecessors well over a century ago. They chose this corner for the same reasons that we fixed on that corner as the best location for an extension.
The drawing above shows the location of the new access to the proposed extension. The new door behind the font and under the window would be screened by a curtain.
When we had the plan agreed we held a community consultation in October 2012 at which we presented our ideas to local people and representatives of other village organisations. There was enthusiastic support from the gathering since everyone can appreciate the benefits of the provision of modern facilities.
Such plans rarely run smoothly. The start of the plan was delayed by lead thefts from our church roof which in 2011 left us with no reserves. Since then there have been major interruptions to our plans with a heating crisis and roof failure. In 2017 we cleared our debts and started again to raise money for the provision of facilities. Another crisis arose when all the metal downspouts were found to be insecure and dangerous. We removed, repaired, treated and painted all the metal downspouts which had deteriorated and become insecure.
Then in 2019, problems with the bells led to an inspection by Taylors of Loughborough. They urged complete restoration at their works with the fitting of new ringing-wheels, clappers, bearings, and headstocks. Then replacement back at the tower in a new steel frame. They pointed out the advantages of restoring the ringing floor which had not been replaced after the 1889 fire. Ringing from the new floor would be safer and easier. A flight of stairs against one wall would leave the substantial ground-floor space for modern provisions. The Church Committee decided on the 4th September 2019 to embark on this as the new plan and abandon the plan for an external extension.
Entered 19th November 2013, last updated 21st December 2019 by Bill Barlow