Living Stones Appeal
Woolton Hill Church Hall
Woolton Hill Church Hall has provided a facility within our village for more than 100 years and during that time it has been, and continues to be, well used. Currently it provides a home for Woolton Hill Pre-School, the Village Market, Brownies, Rainbows, local clubs and societies, Zumba, private parties, Sunday School, church youth group and many other events.
It is also used as the local polling station for local and general elections.
The challenge… Despite much good work in recent years to maintain the hall it is now in need of much essential maintenance and improvement to secure its future as a hub and facility for our community. All facilities are at the end of their life and are no longer fit for purpose; heating, lighting and storage are all inadequate and our main users find the space in, and arrangement of, the hall restricts their activities.
There is a plan… Following much consultation and significant initial fundraising we have secured planning permission for an ambitious scheme to improve the hall. An extension to the side will provide a new entrance, additional storage, new toilets and cloakrooms and a small meeting room. Space in the main hall will be extended by removing the stage; heating and lighting will all be updated. The kitchen will be refurbished and a new hatch to the hall added to enable refreshments to be served directly to those in the hall. The existing meeting room will also be refurbished. Plans for this work are available for inspection and have been on display at many village events.
What will it cost? Initial quotations suggest it will cost £400,000.
What next? …the hard work continues with…
…fundraising, applying for grants and obtaining formal tenders for the work.
St Thomas’ Church
St Thomas’ Church has served the parish of Woolton Hill for more than 160 years. In addition to services on Sundays, at festivals and for schools – many have celebrated the happiest moments of their lives at St Thomas’, at weddings, christenings and confirmations. It has also been a place where comfort and peace have been found in times of sadness or difficulty. The church also has often been a venue for concerts, village events and groups.
The challenge… The heating system in the church has reached the end of its life, and despite work in recent years it no longer adequately heats the church, in addition the running expenses of the old oil fired system are very high and likely to increase further. Other essential maintenance is also needed.
The plan… Our research has shown that the most effective, efficient and environmentally friendly way to heat the church would be to install underfloor heating. This work would require a new floor; creating the opportunity to level the floor, thus providing easy access for all and making the space flexible for use for worship, groups, concerts and community events. We believe it is time to take this opportunity and reimagine the interior arrangement of the church to ensure it also is fit for purpose.
What next? This part of the Living Stones Project is in the early stages. Members of the Parochial Church Council are considering options and seeking to learn from the experience of other churches where such work has been undertaken. Proposals for wider consultation will in due course be made available. Initial estimates suggest that installing underfloor heating and a new floor and necessary insulation could cost in excess of £100,000, with costs for other essential maintenance and improvements to the interior of the church in addition. In anticipation of this work the church community has begun raising funds and, to date (October 2012) we have raised just over £17,000.
The care and upkeep of St Thomas’ Church and Woolton Hill Church Hall are the responsibility of Woolton Hill Parochial Church Council. The Living Stones Appeal has been set up by the Parochial Church Council and funds given to the Living Stones Appeal may be specified by the donor to support work at either the hall or the church or both. Fund raised from events such as the ‘Race to the Pole’ evening or from merchandise will be held in the Living Stones Appeal for allocation by the PCC to either project as need arises.
Please see the complete version of the development plan in the attachment below -