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Forward Momentum Newsletter Issue 5

Several things have happened since the last newsletter. We cleared the loft in the vestry and found amongst other things, an ancient hat stand, two nativity cribs, old fluorescent tubes, tubs of Play Doh, plenty of dust and a few cross spiders.

We have received the grant of faculty

We were very pleased recently to receive the grant of faculty from the Diocese of Chelmsford. This is basically planning permission to make changes to a church building. It came in the form of a covering letter with a 19 page detailed letter behind it! Oh, and a bill to pay for it! However, as there have been a few changes since this was first submitted, we now await permission for the “amendments”.

We had also requested planning permission from Uttlesford District Council for the new LPG tank which will house the fuel to heat the church. This was required as it was originally to be a partially buried tank. However, the makers of the tank (Calor) now insist this has to be a fully buried tank and as such, does not require planning permission. But it does require permission from the DAC (the Diocesan Advisory Committee) and approval from the Diocesan Archeologist.

The principal contractor has now been chosen

Having interviewed some specialist building companies to carry out the renovation work (obviously subject to lottery funding), the principal contractor, has now been chosen and the company is Bakers of Danbury. We are delighted about this, since Bakers has a long history of restoring churches (among other things), as well as an army of experienced professionals. Their website makes for an interesting read.

The project is also putting tenders out for specialist companies for restoring the wall painting, specialist archeologists and specialist ecologists who will be employed during the capital works to the church. This may seem premature to some, since we do not have confirmation of the funding, but these have to be in place ready to go next year when we do!

With regards to funding, we are also awaiting decisions from some other grant making bodies who we hope will help us with the project. We have someone in the Diocese who researches and fills in the applications for us and 16 applications for varying amounts have been submitted. The NLHF fund 90% of the amount we need and we have to make up the rest from other sources.

There has been more document writing going on - this time it’s a completion report and an evaluation report for the NLHF. We are grateful to the Stebbing congregation and Stebbing PCC for filling in the surveys that were sent out. The results of these form part of the evaluation report. There were may helpful insights from the surveys, particularly concerning communication and where there are gaps. If anyone is interested in reading the evaluation report, please

On the subject of communication

We would be grateful for users of Facebook and YouTube to follow, like, and share posts in order to widen the reach on social media. Currently, it is building a foundation for more information to go out once the capital works and activity plan get underway.

For Facebook, please search for 'The Way Forward Project at St Mary's Church, Stebbing' and click 'Follow'. If a post comes up in your feed, please click 'like' and 'share' to get the message to more people. You could even comment if you wish to!

For YouTube, please search for 'The Way Forward Project, Stebbing Church' and become a subscriber. You can 'share' and post comments there too.

Keep an eye out for The Way Forward Project on Instagram. Coming soon!

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