Thank you to all those who came to the village presentation last month – the Community Hall was full and people seemed both interested and excited by the plans. The picture here shows the architect’s model of the new design for the North side of the church (the South side will look largely the same as before) with its new gables and extensions. We are currently exploring the heating options, still with a view to having an environmentally friendly system if we can, and the drainage system. Do have a look on the website, where we have put the ground plan, and more pictures of the new church model from different aspects.
A small fund-raising team has now met and there are some exciting plans for various events and initiatives, including metal-detecting in local farmland (the first of which has already raised £240) and a concert in May by the Village Voices choir. We are also planning to make opportunities for people to make a donation for specific items in the church – more of that in due course. If you have any ideas for an event or fund-raising activity, please get in touch with Don Simpson. He is coordinating all these initiatives so that we don’t have things that clash. His number is: 01926 426652
So here’s a date for your diary – Saturday May 15th : Community Hall, The Village Voices Concert. More details will follow in due course.
If anyone would like to make a donation to the Restoration Fund, now that we have a target, this can be done too by making a cheque payable to “St Nicholas Restoration Fund” and giving it to a church member, or sending it to me by post (1 Manor Rd, Bishops Itchington, Warks, CV47 2QJ).
As you know from previous bulletins, we are looking at a budget shortfall of around £90,000. However, we may also have to face a VAT bill of unknown size on top of this. At the moment, the government has a scheme by which VAT can be reclaimed for work on heritage buildings (of which the church is one). Sadly this scheme is due to end in March 2011, and although there are some strong lobbies at the moment, there is no indication of whether this scheme will be extended or renewed, or not. Last week the General Synod of the Church of England put in a strong plea to extend the scheme, and I have written to both Bishops, urging them to add their weight to the lobby.
If you want to write to the local MP to encourage the extension of the scheme, that would help enormously. Until we know what is happening with this question, we will not know the extent of any extra amount we might have to find in addition to the £90,000 we know about.
I have just delivered the first of many Faculty applications to the Diocese – these are requests for permission from the church’s planning authority for work on the building. We need to have permission at each stage, and it will inevitably slow the process a little, but in keeping the Diocesan authorities up to speed with developments, we hope to minimise any loss of time. For those who missed the village meeting, the expected timescale for rebuilding is that, with a year’s worth of physical building work, we are aiming at an opening of the new church in July 2012. That means this year will be spent setting the plans, getting all the permissions in place and raising the extra funding needed. There is much to do, but we can do it if we work together.
Rev Martin Green