Set within a rural farming community near the Chew Valley Lake, the church is the central heart of the village and with no other community facilities, the members of the church were desperate to make use of their only community building – to provide a space for community use, comfort to visitors or just a place for quiet contemplation.
The church is of traditional plan, with a tower to the west, chancel to the east and a north and south aisle either side of the Nave. The layout of pews left little room for other uses other than formal services.
In July-2009, the PCC instructed their architects to look in to the provision of community facilities within the church. A scheme was put forward for agreement in early 2010 to allow for the reordering of the south aisle, removing some pews while others were rearranged around the walls, with the fine Font placed as center-focus in the new aisle-space. The repositioning of the organ, allowed for new facilities to be design within the south transept, providing a small servery and disabled Wc to serve the south aisle.
Detailed drawings were put to the DAC in January 2011, followed by an application to the FSCC for a grant to help towards the alteration costs in November 2011 At their January 2012 meeting, the FSCC was able to offer a small grant towards the provision of these community facilities – making this the first grant of this kind offered by the Friends. Work began on Ascension Day (06/02/12) and took 3 months to complete.
The result of the church member’s efforts is that the south aisle is now supported by a small Servery and Disabled Loo Unit, both screened, with the latter sound-proofed, and contained within the South Transept. A scheme that is so important for Community and Church, for believers and non-believers alike, as it provides space and comfort to whoever wants to call in or just to be quiet in the church building.
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