The Origins of the Project
Three years ago, a Church architect’s report revealed that the church building was in a poor state of repair. To preserve All Saints Church Gresham for future generations of villagers and visitors to enjoy and use, it needed, in the near future:
A completely new rainwater disposal system, including a new surface water drainage system.
All roofs repaired and the north slope of the chancel roof completely re-tiled
All external walls repaired
Work on the tower roof and interior.
Some windows releaded and repaired.
Nave and porch internal walls re-rendered and re-lime-washed.
Some floor repair
Other work was recommended, including internal conservation and improving the churchyard. The cost would be high.
In January of 2018, the church architect returned to update her original report.
Fortunately nothing extra substantial was recommended but, of course, costs had risen.
The Parochial Church Council of All Saints was aware that a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund would be successful only if the village supported the project by raising some funds towards the cost. Therefore The Friends group was revived with many involved who, while not committed Christians, are anxious to ensure the heritage represented by the church building and its history, is preserved for their grandchildren to appreciate. The Friends Committee first met in January 2018 and slowly a programme of events has developed.
On April 17th 2018, a preliminary Form was delivered to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), their response to which should give us some indication as to whether we could be successful. We had expected their feedback within 10 days as the HLF website promised. However, we received a supplementary message stating that demand was heavy at present and that our form would be considered as soon as possible.
December 2018 update:
Helpful feedback was eventually received giving us encouragement that our community focus would help our cause with HLF, but stating that we needed to identify and plan for some Heritage Learning Outcomes as a consequence of the whole project.
We have taken this advice and spent considerable time getting ready and from November we felt set to press ahead. The church architect has written the detail of the building project and several tenders have been received.
Meanwhile we have begun to complete the bid which requires very detailed information of our plans. We expect our bid to be completed and submitted mid-way through January 2019.
Further updates will follow as information is available through 2019.
What The Friends have done so far:
- We have contacted all Gresham residents by letter, delivering to every house in the village, outlining the challenge presented by the architect’s report on the church.
- We asked those wishing to support the project to repair the church to become Friends, completing and returning a form enclosed with the letter…more than 20 people replied promptly and other returns were received later. The number of households on our database now stands at 40.
- We asked for suggestions for fundraising you will see wide range of events detailed below for 2018
- We set up our dedicated bank account with the support of the Parochial Church Council.
- A Pancake Day celebration was our first fundraiser on February 13th and raised £328.00.
- A Folk and Friends Concert was held in All Saints Church on February 17th and raised £330.00
- Two coffee mornings have been held by Committee members raised a total of £394.00
- 20th May: Picnic in the Park raised a total of £146.70
- 23rd May: Social afternoon in the Village Hall £23.00
- 23rd June: Classic Vehicle Show and Vintage Fair, with hot food and strawberry teas £1751.00
- 28th July: Concert of Baroque music in the church £105.90
- 27th October: Concert by a local choir in the church £306.12
- 24th November: Lighters in concert £123.44
- 5th December: Village Hall afternoon social tea and cakes £91.30
The Friends gratefully acknowledge the several donations which have been made by individuals to support our events and our project.
If you would like to help us raise more, or donate, please join as a Friend. Details of how to Gift Aid any donation are available on the “Join as a Friend” page. Finally, we are pleased that we have raised the profile of our project, too in May 2018, the Chair was asked to speak at the Annual Parish Meeting about our work.