Unfortunately after much hard work of fundraising the money raised from community based funds was insufficient for our needs. As a result the pared down project would have been unsuitable for our needs and so was rejected. The PCC decided to apply for Heritage Lottery funding and our initial application was accepted. We were advised by Lottery officials that they expect part of our claim for money to include a professional manager to organise our application, so we appointed James Mellish who has a track record of successful bids for Lottery funding for other clients.
The architect and builders are resubmitting their fees and plans for the project as time has elapsed. The project now includes a toilet, servery, air pump and radiant central heating, replace pews with chairs, redecoration and major quinquennial inspection repairs. A survey of our three church bells shows that they are historically very important. They were cast in a foundry off Ber Street in about 1450 and are an early example of their type. The frame and floor in the tower are in poor condition. Whether we can include this in our project or leave it as a separate project has yet to be decided until all the estimates are in. We held a public consultation in the church recently and it was well attended despite the lack of heating and pouring rain. Many positive comments were made and offers of help were given.
We plan to submit our full bid to the Heritage Lottery in June and if all is well, we could start work in the Autumn.