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Droxford Village Community

Droxford Community Hub

Droxford Church Community Hub

Update January 2018

St Mary and All Saints, the Church in Droxford, has at last been given permission, both by Winchester City Council and the Church of England, to build the extension on the north side of the Church to house a much-needed kitchen and toilets. This is the culmination of five years of hard work by the Parochial Church Council (PCC) and Friends of Droxford Church (FODC).

The first task we faced was to save the Church, which was in danger of being closed and mothballed. An intense campaign of fundraising was undertaken, and the result was spectacular, over £250,000 was raised, largely from a successful application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).  These funds have enabled the Church to be saved and repairs to the roof, tower, eastern walls and drains were completed last year.

An integral commitment in the successful HLF application was the promise of a community room to make the Church accessible to the wider community in Droxford.  The north chapel has already been prepared for transformation into a community room. Do look at the stylish glass screens, if you have not seen them yet, and you can see the potential of this space for the planned volunteer-run café.

Now, we turn our focus towards building the promised extension on the North side of the church to house the kitchen, office and toilets.  These are the standard facilities expected to support a public building and church in the 21st century, but more than this, it will make the whole church building fit for purpose:

  • as a sacred space that is accessible and hospitable to all who enter the door, regardless of disability or need;  
  • as a worthy centre for the great transitions of life - baptisms, weddings and funerals 
  • as a community resource where groups can meet for learning, fellowship and refreshment, or simply enjoy a cup of coffee with friends and neighbours
  • as a venue for concerts, exhibitions, heritage interpretation, and social activity
  • and fit to fulfill our vision of a building that is the heart of a friendly, supportive and caring community.

 

A model of the church with the new extension on the North side.

This is also about making our contribution to the 900-year history of our village church which has been adapted and extended throughout the centuries. Each generation has done their bit to ensure the building is fit for purpose for their own particular time. We feel strongly that our task is to build this extension to enable the church to fulfill its role in the 21st Century.  How fitting if we can accomplish this task during 2018 – the 750th anniversary of the birth of John of Drockensford, sometime Bishop of Bath and Wells, Chancellor and Regent of England, and Droxford’s most illustrious son.

Fundraising for building this extension has already started, and we have funding pledged by a number of public bodies including Heritage Lottery Fund, Hampshire County Council and South Downs National Park Authority. We are well over half way to the funds we need, but we are not there yet, and need every bit of help from the community we can get. Watch out for events throughout 2018 which we are planning to support this project.

An information leaflet inviting feedback will be available shortly. Meanwhile please let us know your thoughts, ideas and suggestions for fund-raising by e-mailing info@friendsofdroxfordchurch.org.uk.  We’d love to hear from you.

John Symes

Chairman, Friends of Droxford Church