'WELCOME TO OUR FUTURE'

 

VISION 2020. Update. June 2017 Project Summary 

 

In January 2016 when the PCC of Stoulton with Drakes Broughton recognised that the future of St. Edmund’s (church and building) was under threat, it set out to find ways to give it a more sustainable future. This would be costly and none of the traditional ways churches have increased their income in the past seemed appropriate; the congregation was small and ageing; capital reserves were depleting; diocesan and other costs were rising; the oil fired heating system was old, inadequate, illegal, the oil was vulnerable to theft; there was no toilet or internal water supply, no external drainage, and very little parking. Despite its lack of amenities the building, which dates from about 1120, was well maintained, grade 2* listed and the focus of the Stoulton conservation area, it deserved to be better known and used. A decision was taken to share this situation with the wider community.

A community consultation on the future of St. Edmund’s was well attended and it was clear that those present felt the building to be iconic; they supported the idea that its amenities should be upgraded and spaces adapted to enable it to continue to function as a place of worship but also to be more widely available for additional and complementary uses. Those present undertook to help the PCC give St Edmund’s a more sustainable future, no details were discussed but an embryo Supporters Group was established, talents and skills were identified and the names of a potential Management Group collected.

A decision to use the building for Christian worship and additionally for art, music, history and heritage was accepted by the PCC not long after the consultation, but it has taken nearly a year to work out how this might be achieved. Finally in the ‘Stoulton 900’ plan there seems to be the makings of a project that might attract the funding to enable the capital works to be carried out and will also offer activities of interest to the wider community. An inquiry made by the PCC to the Heritage Lottery Fund about the appropriateness of the plan for HLF funding resulted in some interesting suggestions, the most important being that any funding application must come from the community not just the PCC.

As consequence the VISION 2020 ‘Stoulton 900’ Plan has been turned on it head, it has been adopted by the PCC on the understanding that it attracts sufficient and appropriate funding and is management by a group of people drawn from the Stoulton community - including representatives from the church

The task now is to set up that management group. The plan has been supported by the PCC, The Friends of Stoulton Church and the Village Hall Committee, it just needs the Parish Council to both support it and provide one, or two representatives on the management group. I envisage that this will entail three of four meetings a year. It purpose will be to help raise of the funds and then to oversee the project, specifically the legal and financial issues.

 

Sandy Marchant

Church Warden

 

This is the plan adopted by the PCC in February 2017 on the understanding that Vision 2020 would attract appropriate funding and would be run by a Management Group drawn from the Stoulton community.
VISION 2020 Stoulton 900.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 502.1 KB

 

May 24 2016

The PCC has now approved a motion to accept the recommendations put forward in the 'Welcome to Our Future" Paper and work is going ahead . or the necessary work create a Development Plan for " Vision 2020"

 

 The ideas contained in the ‘Welcome to our Future’ Report are those of a resident of Stoulton acting quite alone. They are the result of twenty five years of observing and engaging with life in a very special parish. 

 

The overarching hope is that St Edmund’s Church building can be adapted and preserved so that it can remain in sustainable use by both church and local community for the foreseeable future. 

 

This report was presented to the PCC of the ecclesiastical Parish of Stoulton with Drakes Broughton in January 2016. The intention now is to circulate it among individuals and organisations in and around the parish to stimulate ideas and to gather support which in the fullness of time can be translated into action for the benefit of Stoulton people in the future. 

 

Sandy Marchant.  January 2016

'WELCOME TO OUR FUTURE' EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 Successful fund raising requires a strong, easily understandable aim and relevant objectives, and then clear vision, good planning, and community ideas and support at every stage.

 

The overarching aim is to adapt and preserve St Edmund’s church building so that it can remain in sustainable use by both church and local community for the foreseeable future. 

 

A number of specific objectives needed to achieve this aim have been set out on pages 3-4 of this document. 

 

The task now is to develop the ideas so far set forward so that the maximum number of potentially interested parties can contribute to their development. Some Stoulton church members are already involved in this process but theirs are not the only voices that need to be heard.  Appendices 3 and 4 outline one idea for using the adapted church building as a Wayside Chapel. But that idea - even if fully implemented - will not attract the funding required. Funds will only be granted - now or in the more distant future - if it can be shown how the proposed new spaces and facilities within the building might actually be used by a range of individuals and/or groups, both Stoulton residents and regular or occasional visitors.

 

Developing the Vision - how you could help

So... here is an appeal to everyone to get thinking about this exciting possibility!  We need to find out what individuals and groups do or might exist that could use: 

  • A space big enough to seat 50-80 people (the main part of the church) to view a film/DVD, listen to a talk, listen to live or recorded music, hold a discussion, run a day or evening class, drama rehearsals/productions...
  •  A space small enough (West end, or ringing chamber) for committee meetings, book clubs, suitable hobby/craft activities, youth groups, music making, 
  • A Chancel - permanent sacred space for services, prayer, faith-related discussion groups.
  •  On-site comfort ad refreshment-making facilities (under tower plus West end space) for some of the above plus coffee /tea parties or drop-ins, harvest suppers.
  •  Display space for art, local history, current events/opportunities/information, networking.
  • A venue additional to the Village Hall for regular bookings, clashes in booking requests, very large gatherings (jubilee celebration or the like)... 

 

Any other ideas......

 

Please would you think about how the above suggestions might become reality and who could make them happen.  Any idea or comments (or questions) would be gratefully received, either direct to Sandy Marchant or use the paper (Appendix 5 is a blank sheet for this purpose) put in the box at the back of the church.  The idea of a Wayside Chapel is filled out in Appendix 3 and 4 as a model for developing other ideas but they don’t have to be spelled out in detail at this stage.  What’s needed is interest, imagination, and involvement, at whatever level you can offer. 

 

Thank you, in hope! 

 

 

'WELCOME TO OUR FUTURE' THE PAPER

St. Edmund’s: Sacred space in the heart of a Conservation area.

 St Edmund’s Church is a Grade 2* listed building at the heart of the Stoulton Conservation area. The story of Stoulton and its church is the subject of a research project that will mark two historic and significant events in the history of Stoulton: the sale of the Stoulton Estate by the Somers-Cocks family in 1917 and the 900th anniversary of the church building.  

 

St Edmund’s. The setting.

The village of Stoulton lies both sides of the busy B4048 just 2 miles from Junction 7 of the M5 motorway and about one mile from the proposed Worcester Parkway railway station which is due to be constructed in the adjoining parish of Norton, close to the boundary with Stoulton parish.  

 

Stoulton civil parish comprises 16 square miles of farmland and several scattered hamlets. The population is small, few who live in Stoulton today can remember the time when most people worked the land.  There are currently no great development plans for the parish so it is likely to remain something of a local backwater in the immediate future. However if the station is built, Stoulton will be well connected to towns and cities to the north, south, east and west. 

 

St. Edmund’s Church sits in its own grounds at the end of Church Lane just 200 yards from the B4048 from which it is signposted. The lane is narrow, there are no footpaths or street lighting. Outside the church there is very little parking space and beyond the church the lane peters out into private drives making turning difficult for drivers who fail to notice the cut de sac sign. 

 

The church building, which dates from Norman times, sits amid grassland and trees, mostly yew trees of no great age.  To the south and east is an open churchyard and to the north across the narrow tarmac road is the Old’ Vicarage, home to the vicar until 1959. Most of the properties in Church Lane speak of the past, the old school is now the Village Hall, and Manor Farm is a housing development and who would guess that the Old Malthouse which really was once a malthouse also housed a village shop and one of the first post office counters in the country!

 

The ecclesiastical parish extends beyond the civil parish to include the village of Drakes Broughton where there is a First and Middle School and a rapidly expanding population.  This village has its own church. For more information on the parish see appendix 1.

 

St. Edmund’s.  A structurally sound building.

The church dates from the early 12th century and is approximately 900 years old.  The walls, except for the 18th century east chancel wall which was built in brick, are the thick stone walls with pilaster buttresses and high windows built in Norman times. Many of the small Norman windows have been enlarged over the centuries and new larger windows have been inserted into the walls. There is evidence that the roof was raised at some time in the past, perhaps when an old thatched roof was replaced.  The tower, which was built in 1936 from Cotswold stone, is  a replacement for an earlier brick tower which probably replaced an even earlier tower.  Inside the tower is a peel of 6 bells some dating from the 17th century.

Generally the building is in a very good state of repair: the chancel roof was completely replaced and the nave roof repaired about 20 years ago and the gutters and gullies are sound and well maintained.  Most of the window glass has been re-leaded in recent years. 

The biggest threat to the building comes from water; rain water and ground water.  The blue lias stonework has a tendency to split in wet and frosty weather and is beginning to suffer from the increasingly heavy rainfall of recent years.  Stoulton also has an exceptionally high water table, heavy rain and saturated ground causes water to permeate through the Norman shallow foundations and up the walls causing the internal plaster to fail. A Quinquennial inspection is due in 2016

 

St. Edmund’s.  A much loved worship space.

St. Edmund’s is ‘home’ to a small, loyal but ageing congregation which has worked hard to keep the building clean and bright.  But in the depths of winter it is difficult and expensive to heat and with only two services a month increasingly damp. In recent years the PCC has worked to re-order the space creating a smaller but fully functioning worship area in the chancel, the full church still being available for weddings, funerals and other festivals. 

 

The congregation has no appetite for the church to close, indeed the current congregation loyally continues to support the church even though many no longer live in the ecclesiastical parish of Stoulton with Drakes Broughton. There is some acceptance that in the fullness of time this may be the inevitable outcome as the church’s income decreases, costs continue to increase and financial reserves are used up in supporting revenue spending. This raises inevitable questions:

  • What will happen when the reserves run out?
  • What will happen to the building when no one is left to look after it?
  • Is there anything we can do now to hold back these outcomes?
  • St. Edmund’s. 
  • The challenge is to build a sustainable future.

 

The church is leaking funds from its deposit accounts.  At the current rate, money in the Stoulton deposit accounts will be used up by 2021/2022.  In addition the CBF an additional £25K of investments, the PCC  might consider this money better used to pump prime funding from external sources to enable the building to be prepared for a more sustainable future. 

 

St. Edmund’s: The need

The report presented by Sandy Marchant to the PCC of Stoulton with Drakes Broughton in January 2016 (Appendix 2) listed of series actions that might help relieve the financial situation facing members of Stoulton Church.  

Whatever action the PCC decides to take the people of Stoulton have in their midst a 900 year old building that needs upgrading and enhancing to enable it to offer useable community space into the future.

 

The proposals offered in this paper look at the building and how the space within and around it might be used as a place of Christian worship and as space available for appropriate wider community use given that the small community of Stoulton also successfully and voluntarily maintains and uses its old school as a Village Hall.

Flexible space ready for multi-use

A building ready for additional/multi use needs to be divided into appropriate and useable spaces, easily heated, comfortable, have at least one toilet and a facility to serve light refreshments.  

THE CURRENT SITUATION: THE SPACES

The chancel. Work to make the chancel into a worship space for small congregations was completed a few years ago.  It works well except in cold weather when despite being well heated cold air from the nave whistles through the chancel arch. 

 

The nave is still available for larger congregations, weddings and funerals. It is not used as often as it could be if it were equipped for additional use.

 

The space to the west of the entrance door has occasionally been used for meetings but the space is too large to heat quickly and efficiently.   

 

The ringing chamber. For many years the bell ringers have been asking for a screen to separate the ringing chamber from the nave.  This space is has electric heating.

 

The Vestry space is under used.

 

The space under the tower is considerable but inefficiently used

The heating. The current hot water heating system uses a large oil fired condensing boiler installed in the tower in the early years of the 21st century.  It functions well but rarely do temperatures reach levels expected of public buildings. When the boiler needs to be replaced the system itself will have to be totally updated as the current system is already considered illegal as there is no piped water to feed the system. in addition the radiators are large and old fashioned and fed by large bored old-fashioned pipework.

 

Running water.  There is none. The church has an external tap used by visitors to the churchyard and for flower arranging and coffee making. Water for the central heating system is also brought in by bucket from this source and manually pumped up to the header tank..

 

Toilets.  The nearest public toilets are in the Village Hall, that space is rented out so it is not always convenient to arrange for this facility. A new electric heating system powered by solar energy would free up space for a composting toilet under the tower and enable the building to be adapted for future multi-use.

ADAPTING THE SPACE

Inside the tower 

Currently the church has no toilet or running water.  The space under the tower is an appropriate space for a toilet but at present that space is filled by a large boiler.  Installing a solar/electric heating system would make it possible to remover the boiler and instal a toilet in its place. 

Make a storage area for audio/visual equipment

 

At the west end of the church

Remove the oak vestry screens and the rear pews to make an open flexible space. 

Fit well crafted storage cupboards and a refreshment area against the south and west walls.

Make this space available for refreshments, small group discussions etc

 

In the nave

Keep the pews (permission to remove them might be difficult) and fit heated cushions on them.

Possibly fit a permanent screen and projector or have moveable equipment

Fit appropriate blackouts to the windows (this may not be necessary)

Use current sound system

Level out the flooring at the east end of the nave

Keep the pulpit and lectern

Offer this space for recitals, art, drama, rehearsal space for choirs, lectures and talks etc.

 

In the chancel

Keep this space as sacred space and make it available for quiet time, small discussion groups etc.

 

In the chancel arch

With the old heating pipes removed it should be possible to fill the arch with glass and within it craft a pair of beautiful doors that open inwards into the chancel making possible to to use all the space for weddings, funerals and major festivals.

 

In the Ringing Chamber

Given the finance it may also be possible to instal a glass partition between the nave and the Ringing Chamber and to make this space available for additional use as a meeting room.

 

Inside the tower 

Currently the church has no toilet or running water.  The space under the tower is an appropriate space for a toilet but at present that space is filled by a large boiler.  Installing a solar/electric heating system would make it possible to remover the boiler and instal a toilet in its place. 

Make a storage area for audio/visual equipment

 

At the west end of the church

Remove the oak vestry screens and the rear pews to make an open flexible space. 

Fit well crafted storage cupboards and a refreshment area against the south and west walls.

Make this space available for refreshments, small group discussions etc

WHERE WILL THE MONEY COME FROM?

There can be no change without additional funding.  Our current reserves may help pump prime this activity but there will be a need to raise the funds.  e.g. Currently there is a new round of LEADER funding in Worcestershire. From March to June they will be looking for bids that:

 

Enhance, restore and upgrade community, cultural and natural heritage

 

Isn’t that just what we want to do?  But wait, this European funding is designed to boost the economy of rural areas. I have checked and Stoulton qualifies as a rural area and our desire to upgrade our piece of cultural heritage seems to fit some of their other requirements but it requires a plan that describes how our proposals would also boost the Worcestershire economy. The time scale for this funding is probably beyond us but perhaps we should develop some ideas and get them properly costed and talk to the DAC so that if and when opportunities arise we will be able to jump.  Who knows St. Edmund’s may even become a space that earns its keep!

 

Successful fund raising requires a strong, easily understandable aim and relevant objectives, and then clear vision, good planning, and community ideas and support at every stage.

 

CONCLUSION

The overarching aim is to adapt and preserve St Edmund’s church building so that it can remain in sustainable use by both church and local community for the foreseeable future.

 

A number of specific objectives needed to achieve this aim have been set out on pages 5-6 of this document. 

The task now is to develop the ideas so far set forward so that the maximum number of potentially interested parties can contribute to their development. Some Stoulton church members are already involved in this process but theirs are not the only voices that need to be heard.

 

Funds will only be granted - now or in the more distant future - if it can be shown how the proposed new spaces and facilities within the building might actually be used by a range of individuals and/or groups, both Stoulton residents and regular or occasional visitors. 

 

Your contribution

Adapted as suggested above the building can be made be ready for many different activities. My hope is that together we can develop a vision that will enable the worship of God and the sharing of the gospel to remain at the heart of those activities so I have started the ball rolling by introducing the idea of a Wayside Church as something to think about. (Appendix 3 & 4)  I would love to hear more about your ideas, wherever you are coming from.  Phone me, email me or complete and return the form you will find in Appendix 5.

Thank you

Sandy Marchant   sandymarchant@uwclub.net

APPENDICES

APPENDIX 1: BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT THE PARISH

 

 

The parish of Stoulton with Drakes Broughton was created in 1922 when the District Church of St Barnabas, which had previously been a part of the Parish of Holy Cross, Pershore and the Parish Church of St. Edmund, Stoulton were joined as one parish with St. Edmund’s the Parish Church and St Barnabas a District Church.

Until the 1980s when the Croome Estate was broken up and sold Drakes Broughton was a very small community linked with Wadborough and Pirton. Together they became the civil Parish of Drakes Broughton, Wadborough and Pirton. All three rural areas were part of the historic “Croome Estate”. Lord Coventry had made land available for a school in the Victorian times.  

 

Massive development in Drakes Broughton followed the sale of the Croome estate and the population rose steeply and is continuing to rise as more land becomes developed. St. Barnabas school has grown with the population and is now a First and (major )Middle School for the area. The church was built in the 1850s and was served by the Vicar of Pershore until the outbreak of WW1 when the Vicar of Stoulton took over the running of services on an informal basis.  This situation was formalised by an Act of Parliament in 1922.

 

From the 17th to the early 20th century the Stoulton Estate was owned by the Somers-Cocks family from Easton Castle in Herefordshire.  The estate was broken up and sold in 1917 during WW1.  The Stoulton Estate was one of two estates in the parish.  The Wolverton Estate, the smaller of the two estates was owned by the Acton family. Over the centuries the larger, Stoulton Estate, has been in the hands of landlords who have not lived in the parish (The estate has been held by the Bishop of Worcester; Urse d’ Abitot, the Norman Sheriff of Worcester;  The Beauchamps of Elmley Castle;  the  Latimers and the Sandys of Ombersley  the Royalists who mortgaged it during the Civil War and then sold it to the ancestors of the Somers Cocks family).

 

St. Edmund’s Church Stoulton dates from the early 12th century (some say around 1120). It was built as a Chapel of Ease to St. Mary’s Kempsey.  After the Reformation it had its own perpetual curate and the Dean and Chapter of Worcester Cathedral were the rectors.  Lord Somers leased the Rectory from the Cathedral c.1820 for around 100 years before the parish was dissolved to be merged with the Drakes Broughton.

 

Stoulton has been a Civil Parish for over 100 years.  The parish remains agricultural but few residents work on the the land today.  Once again much of the land is owned by an absentee landlord, tenanted out and worked by contractors.  The difference today being that the housing is no longer tied, it is mostly privately owned and much improved.  The school which opened in the early 19th century was closed in 1932 the cost of upgrading the building was beyond the ten residents. 

Now children attend schools in Worcester or St. Barnabas First and Middle School in Drakes Broughton and Pershore High School.

 

The population of Stoulton has not changed much over the centuries, it comprises several small scattered, communities that developed around local farms. The village of Stoulton is dissected by the B4084.  Much of the Church Lane, The lane running from the main road to the church is designated a Conservation area with listed dwellings, dating from the 17th century and a Norman Church listed grade 2* They have no gas or mains drainage, slow broadband and a very high water table.  Stoulton is mentioned in the Domesday book and Low Hill on the parish boundary was once ‘the Place’ of the Hundred of Oswaldslow

APPENDIX 2. ST. EDMUND’S - IS THERE A FUTURE? A REPORT TO THE PCC. Jan 2016.

Stoulton church is living beyond its means and leaking money from its deposit funds, under current circumstances this situation is unsustainable. What should/can we do?

 

AN ANALYSIS OF THE COSTS OF RUNNING THE CHURCH

All institutions, clubs and societies have costs and need to raise income to pay their bills. It is no different in the parishes of the Church of England.

 

Here is a list of costs incurred by Stoulton Church in 2015.

 

1. The Parish Share  - this money goes to the diocese to pay for the clergy, the officers of the diocese and all costs involved in running the diocese. 

In 2015 the Parish Share cost Stoulton Church £5930. It will rise considerably in the near future.

2. The cost of worship and the work of the church

The working expenses of the Incumbent and the cost of relief clergy to cover holidays etc.

The costs involved in staging services - candles, wafers etc.

The cost of Sunday School, youth work, parish training and mission.

The cost of heat, water and light.

3. The costs of the church building 

General annual maintenance - boiler, lightening conductor, fire extinguishers, PAT testing, gutter cleaning etc.

Insurance

The maintenance of the churchyard

Stoulton Parish Council pays to cut the grass.

Building repair and maintenance relating to Quinquennial inspections - every five years every church has, by law, to be inspected by the church architect/surveyor.  He/she produces a report which should schedule all the work that needs to be done to the building over the next five years, and roughly how much it will cost.  It can be expensive! e.g. roof repairs, gutter painting, re-leading glass windows. Churches frequently have to draw on their reserves to cover the cost of this work but it is important that it is done especially if the building is listed for its heritage value.  Stoulton, with its Norman walls and decorated is listed Grade 2*.

4. The cost of administration and church management

The cost of compliance: e.g. complying with all the legislation - health & safety, the protection of children and vulnerable adults etc.

In 2015, the fifth year of the current Quinquennial period when building related costs were low, the cost of running Stoulton Church was £9532.05.   In 2016 there is a Quinquennial Inspection. Building related costs are bound to rise, the amount in the Fabric Fund deposit account will fall.

 

HOW WAS THE MONEY RAISED?

Congregations/supporters voluntarily joined together to raise this money

Cash and money in envelopes on the church plate

Individual standing orders made out to the church

Tax recoverable Gift Aid

Fees from wedding and funerals

Donations and appeals

Fund raising activities

Dividends and bank interest

Stoulton Church raised £6924.23 in this way.  The income achieved was considerably less than the expenditure so the deficit had to be made up from other funds, including the Fabric (deposit) fund.The more this happens the less secure is the financial future of Stoulton church.

 

CONCLUSION  Stoulton Church is living beyond its means, using up it reserves and potentially relying on financial assistance from St Barnabas Drakes Broughton. 

 

WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THIS SITUATION?

1. Should the PCC can appeal to the congregation to increase its giving to the Church

The average attendance at church services in 2015 was 12, including families and couples.

If 12 people give £5 per week throughout the year the income will be £ 3120

If 12 people give £10 per week throughout the year the income will be £ 6240

If 12 people give £15 per week throughout the year the income will be £ 9360

If 12 people give £20 per week throughout the year the income will be £12,480

Note.  The current shortfall is £2607.82

Any money Gift Aided by a tax payer benefits the church as the tax is recoverable.

It is always recognised that people’s circumstances vary considerably and all contributions are very gratefully received.

2. Should the PCC can promote the church for weddings and funerals.

Note.  The parking of cars in Stoulton is difficult any publicity material should make this clear and suggest alternatives arrangements e.g. that guests meet and park their cars at the reception venue and travel to the church by coach. Local coach firms can be promoted on publicity material.

Everyone, especially the vicar, needs to be prepared for the extra work needed to prepare for and carry out these ceremonies.

3. Should the PCC can check its investments to ensure they get the best possible return

Note. Most of the church’s investments are with the CBF.

4. Should the PCC and the congregation instigate fund raising activities.

Historically the church has run regular Church Fetes and held fund raising suppers.

Note. The age of the congregation makes these activities less appropriate.

5. Should the PCC earn income by making space available for additional use?  If so what activities might be acceptable?

Note. This would appear to be the perceived wisdom in many quarters, unfortunately Stoulton Church can offer near running water nor a toilet.  This, plus the cost of heating and lack of parking may render the idea impractical.

6. The PCC restricts to the times the church is used e.g. to the summer months. 

Note.  This would reduce costs but would probably also thin out the congregation

7.  The PCC closes Stoulton Church

 

Note.  The PCC needs to debate these issues.  The sooner this takes place the better.

If the result is to close the church, so be it.

If the result is to endeavour to keep the church open its should be for a specific length of time and the be reassessed in the light of the then current circumstances. 

At the present rate of spend Stoulton church has funding to last for five or six years.  I would like to present a case for keeping the building open for that period.

( it would include its 900th anniversary).  I propose that during that time the church functions as though its future were assured and that the PCC works positively towards ensuring a sustainable future for St. Edmunds as a Chapel of Easer, or whatever type of set up that evokes from the current national discussions surrounding the future of church buildings. We then reassess in 2021. I would like your agreement to begin this process now as I introduce my vision document,

“WELCOME TO OUR FUTURE” I hope that it will unlock more ideas and that we can discuss them at the next meeting of the PCC.

 

Sandy Marchant. 

Appendix 3 WHAT IS A WAYSIDE CHAPEL?

‘WAYSIDE CHAPELS’ 

 

Stopping places in a busy and uncertain world.

 

Beautiful but simple places - where prayer has been valid

 

Places with a purpose - to keep alive the idea of God and to share the gospel of Christ.

- a meeting place

- a listening place

Open for everyone and promoted as a destination

 

Places of encounter

Places that contain very little “stuff” but have access to the whole world

Places where walls can speak

 

Places of discovery

Places that share drama, art and music

Place where people share thoughts and ideas

 

Connected places

Places that connect to the world.

Places that help connect visitors to the spiritual

Spaces that become sacred places in the eyes off those who visit them. 

APPENDIX 4. SOME OF THE THOUGHTS THAT UNDERPIN THE IDEA OF WAYSIDE CHAPELS.

An awareness that the world, like the people in it, is on journey 

An acceptance that things change 

An understanding that change can be for the better

A hope that we can help to bring out the good.

An acceptance that we live in a fast moving and digital world where there is often a need to stop and reflect.

A determination to use the opportunities that technology offers in a life enhancing and responsible way.

A recognition that people in our busy world many people are often lonely and afraid.

A hope that a Wayside Chapel can be a non confrontational space in which to be.

 

Preparing a Wayside Chapel

Wayside churches are not redundant church buildings they are an active 

expressions of the Ministry of Welcome in the Church in England. 

The buildings need to be clean, welcoming and obviously but unobtrusively cared for.

They should only be locked at night.

They offer committed people a new form of ministry of care and hospitality, this is an active and involving, on the ground, kind of ministry

It can lead to encounters of all kinds

It should engage with and connect to many groups and networks of people

 

A Wayside Chapel in Action

A Wayside Chapel should always expect visitors 

They may be places of discovery and/or destinations in their own right. 

Visitors should find an “appropriate” welcome

Wayside chapel should be full of interest and none!

They should offer opportunities for prayer and be a place of celebration

They should share and participate in the life of the wider church

 

Paying for a Wayside Chapel

Wayside churches should remain the responsibility of the local PCC

The PCC should be prepared to make realistic charges for its space, activities and events

It should be prepared to work in collaboration with other groups

APPENDIX 5: WELCOME TO OUR FUTURE. YOUR CONTRIBUTION.

What’s needed is your interest, imagination, and involvement, at whatever level you can offer.  Please would you think about how the suggestions below might become reality and who could make them happen. It would be particularly helpful if you would suggest names and contact details of people to talk. Thank you.

 

 

The church could be adapted to give the following spaces.

 

A space big enough for 50-80 people (the main part of the church) to view a film/DVD, listen to a talk, listen to live or recorded music, hold a discussion, run a day or evening class, drama rehearsals/productions...

 

A space small enough (West end, or ringing chamber) for committee meetings, book clubs, suitable hobby/craft activities, youth groups, music making, ...

 

A chancel as permanent sacred space for services, prayer, faith-related discussion groups…

 

On-site comfort and refreshment-making facilities (under tower plus West end space) for some of the above plus coffee /tea parties or drop-ins, harvest suppers...

 

A venue to complement the Village Hall for regular bookings, clashes in booking requests, very large gatherings (jubilee celebration or the like).

 

Display space for art, local history, current events/opportunities/information, networking.

 

Any other ideas......

 

Send you comments and ideas to sandymarchant@uwclub.net