'Room for Improvement!'
Stone’s historic and beautiful Grade I listed church has stood here for over 750 years. It is a unique and irreplaceable part of our community’s past, present and future.
But to serve in the modern day it badly needs updating. It has no toilet, no kitchen, and no heating. This is a constant problem for both regular worshippers and the many other visitors who come here. Visitors who attend special events and services, weddings, baptisms, funerals, bell ringing, school services, concerts, historical or photographic visits, or are simply tourists who come to admire this magnificent church.
At the same time the existing church hall, with its minimal and somewhat antiquated facilities, is nowhere near the church and is falling down.
St Mary’s desperately needs its new church room. The new church room is to be built in the churchyard, next to the church itself.
We have had the plans drawn up, have the Planning consent, have the approval from the Diocese and all the other relevant bodies with an interest in the Grade 1 status of St Mary's but to build the new room we need to raise in the region of £300,000
We will, in due course, sell the old church hall site to raise funds, but know that the proceeds from this will not cover the cost of the new build. We are actively seeking grants to help meet the shortfall between the cost of a new building and the proceeds of the old site.
We are also actively fundraising from among our own regular congregation and other users and supporters of St Mary's. Fundraising events take place regularly and include concerts, fashion shows, race nights, dinner dances, quiz nights, coffee mornings, a garden party, and our own version of 'open gardens', a sponsored walk to Lincoln, and another to Westminster Abbey, with more functions being planned.
But you can help too. Whether you are a regular worshipper or occasional visitor, have been to a christening or carol service, wedding or funeral, and if you want St Mary’s to survive into the future as a place that can be used by this community, please donate.
Building firm foundations
At last, after many years of planning, fundraising and prayer, by the Spring of 2017 significant progress has been made on this very complex project to build a new Church Room.
Although still a somewhat uninspiring sight this concrete floor slab is the firm foundation for the new Church Room which, once funding allows, will be built on it within the near future.
In June 2017 a specially engraved marble foundation stone, kindly donated to St Mary’s, was laid by the Bishop of Rochester,
James Langstaff, who then blessed the whole site with evident pleasure.
Profound and grateful thanks are extended to all those who have worked so hard over many years to achieve the completion of this first, extremely complex phase of the Church Room Project.
Now, during Summer 2017, begins Phase 2 of the project - raising sufficient funds for the construction of the building itself and the fitting out costs - updates to follow.
Donations to the new Church Room project can still be made directly at church (using the special Gift Aid envelopes provided if you are a tax payer), through Just Giving
or by texting stma£10 to 70070