A message from the Parochial Church Council and the Friends of St Juthware & St Mary concerning the improvements to church facilities
As many of you will know, a series of well-attended meetings was held during 2016 at which a wide variety of views were expressed, all broadly supportive of the need to protect our village church as an important landmark in the community and to ensure it will continue to provide for the changing requirements, both spiritual and social, of everyone in Halstock in the years to come.
Having listened to this consensus, a steering group was set up to develop a wish list of improvements based on
the feedback from the meetings including basics such as toilets and more effective heating, plus the ability to share fellowship and hospitality over coffee after services and other events, via a small servery. Longer term ideas could include the exchanging of the pews for more flexible seating to enable a wider variety of uses from worship to children’s work, and to increase the seating capacity for worthwhile fundraising concerts, such as the highly successful event held recently, showcasing the Sherborne Girls’ School Choir.
To date, through a competitive process, the steering group has selected architects, Donald Insall Associates of Bath who, now approved by the PCC, will submit ideas and costings and prepare a set of submission documents, together with cost estimates needed to apply for formal approval by the various relevant approving bodies.
The progressing of these proposals through to final planning approval will only happen when the PCC and the Friends are happy that the plans fit both the defined objectives and the fund-raising strategies. This it is hoped will happen around the end of this year.
To that end, an open consultation event will fairly soon take place, on a date as yet to be confirmed, at which more details will be placed before the public, and the architects’ presentation and other documents will be available. Members of the steering group will also be on hand at that meeting to receive your comments and respond to your questions.
When the date is announced, please make it a priority to come along and give your views to ensure all voices and interests in the village are heard and included.
Documents and updates, as they come available, will be on display in the Halstock Community Shop, beginning with information about the selected architects and the selection process.