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Forward Momentum Newsletter Issue 3

Since April's issue, the Way Forward project has seen the finalisation of architectural drawings which are now available to view in the church. Why not pop along and have a look? In June, the project team met with representatives from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF). They visited the church and were given a tour of the building and the heritage assets. As this was their first visit to St Mary’s, they found it helpful to be shown why the church needs lottery funding and what the renovation work will look like. It was also an opportunity for them to ask us questions about our application documents and give us feedback on where we need to make changes.

We passed and are on track for our application for funding!

It felt a bit like an exam but thankfully we “passed”, and we are on track for submitting our application for funding in August (known as our "second round bid"). This is for a very large sum of money to enable the required renovations, the heritage to be better explained and to deliver an exciting programme of activities for the community over the next three years.

Therefore several large documents are being tweaked per the comments from the NLHF:

  • (1) Activity Plan,
  • (2) Business Plan,
  • (3) Marketing & Communications Plan,
  • (4) Conservation & Maintenance Plan plus other items such as job roles, risk registers, timescales and budgets.

They all need to cross reference one another and be accurate, which is quite a job when reading through almost 400 pages of A4. 

When our application for funding is submitted in August, we come to the end of the "development phase" and enter the "second round bid". We will hear in December if our application is successful. 

What will happen if we're successful?

If our application for funding from the NLHF is successful, there will be six paid employment positions that we will recruit for the duration of the "delivery phase" of the Way Forward project and to help deliver the Activity Plan. The "delivery phase"commences in January 2024 and ends in June 2027. It incorporates the renovation work to the church and all the new activities that will follow.

The titles of these jobs are:

  • (1) ProjectAdministrator,
  • (2) Heritage Engagement Officer,
  • (3) Volunteer & Training Co-Ordinator,
  • (4) Evaluation Consultant,
  • (5) Historian in Residence,
  • (6) Ecologist in Residence.

Information on these positions will be made available early next year if grant funding is secured.

The Activity Plan contains many exciting events and activities that will be for community participation and enjoyment.It will enable the church to engage not just with its congregation but also local people, youngsters, the more mature generation, and everyone in between! The church’s amazing building and its heritage will be explained and celebrated.

There will be specific learning opportunities for schools, the development of a village heritage and nature walk, Easter and Christmas activity days, art exhibitions, heritage tours, a “pop up” café in the church for when there are stay and play events, concerts, performances, craft workshops and more.

All of these will enable great opportunities for volunteering and connecting with new faces, forming new friendships, helping one another and enjoying all sorts of new things!

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