"Like many people I view this old building with pride and concern....."
STOULTON'S HERITAGE TREASURE
In Stoulton lies one of the nations great national heritage treasures it's a Grade 2* listed church built in Norman times - If it's walls could speak what stories could it tell about life in Stoulton over those 900 years!
Like many people I view this old building with pride and concern. What place can it have in the 21st century? There is no internal water supply, no drainage and no toilets, it's often cold and draughty, the oil fired heating system would not be acceptable if installed today and outside there is very little space for parking cars. Yet this much loved place is where people still congregate to celebrate the high points in their lives and to support each other through the low. The churchyard offers solace to the bereaved and life to all manner of birds and small animals, the whole place is probably better cared for today than it has ever been. Together the church and churchyard contribute to all that makes Stoulton such a special place to live, work in and visit.
STOULTON'S COMMUNITY BUILDINGS
In the twenty six years my husband and I have lived here in Stoulton we have come to value how community buildings help bring together people from all walks of life in ways that would not otherwise be possible, they help build up that sense of welcome and community so much valued by people moving in to the parish. The problem is that in Stoulton we have two such buildings, a church and a village hall, and caring for them is quite a commitment for such a small community.
Some will question whether we need or can afford both but the fact is that we have them, the challenge is to make them both sustainable. Currently Stoulton Village Hall is flourishing, a situation hard won and precious. Might it be possible to update and adapt the church building for additional uses and make it sustainable?
In an attempt to start this thinking I have put some thoughts and ideas into a discussion paper entitled 'Welcome to our future'. The ideas included in the paper are mine and mine alone, in no way am I advocating closing the church or setting up in opposition to the Village Hall. As you will see if you read the paper there is space and opportunity for you to share your reactions and offer your own thoughts and ideas.
The paper 'Welcome to our Future' ( click here to read online) has been presented to the PCC of Stoulton and Drakes Broughton as in the end the responsibility for implementing any changes will lie with the PCC in conjunction with the Diocese of Worcester.
A Consultation will take place in March and April 2016.
to consider the ideas for the reordering and adapting Stoulton Church for additional use as outlined in the 'Welcome to our Future' paper and
to collect ideas about how the adapted space might be used,
You are invited to share your views, ideas and suggestions at a special meeting in St Edmund's Church on Tuesday April 25 at 7.30 pm
I will be reporting back to the PCC in early May.