Droxford Church Community Hub and Heritage Project
Restoration and interior works
Our prime contractor, R J Smith, completed the second phase of the Community Hub Project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Friends of Droxford Church (FODC) which involves the repair of the tower floors and the eastern walls of the church, and some drainage improvements.
These improvements are less visible than the first phase (restoring the tower and the south roof) but are no less important to the long term sustainability of the church building.
The contract for the installation of glass screens in the North Chapel area is also now complete and the area has been partially cleared. This enclosure has created the space for a Community Room and Café in the north chapel.
The Heritage group coordinated by Michael Chandler has made an application to South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) for additional heritage funding and we are delighted to report that our project has been awarded up to £10,000, which complements a similar sum contributed by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Heritage group held a consultation meeting in March 2017 and the proposals presented to this meeting are displayed in the newly enclosed North Chapel.
Subject to the granting of necessary permissions by the PCC, the Diocese and Historic England, the implementation of the heritage programme in the church could start in early 2018.
For further information concerning the heritage activities please contact Michael Chandler on 01489 878741 or email email@example.com.
Church Community Hub
An Open Meeting was held on Thursday 6th October, to provide an update on the restoration works and plans for the Community Hub. An audience of approximately 50 local people heard presentations by Jeff Hooper for the PCC, Tony Hoile (restoration works), John Symes (project plans and funding) and John Jack (community hub). The meeting was chaired by Revd Tony Forrest. The presentations were very well received and the audience contributed to an interesting Q and A session before Tony summed up reflecting on the widespread support for the project.
Note: The Community Hub extension to house the kitchen, toilets, storage and administration, is an essential condition of the Heritage Lottery Fund grant, and fund-raising is continuing. The project is supported by Hampshire County Council and has been awarded up to £75,000.
Bulletin no 8
Our contractor, R J Smith is making good progress with the first phase of the Community Hub Project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Friends. Visitors will have noticed the scaffolding and fenced area around the west and south sides of the church while the tower and the south roof are being repaired. Additional maintenance work was authorised to repair the dormer windows on the south roof, and this needed scaffolding towers inside the church. Repairs are also being made to the clock and weather vane. A video record of the restoration work is being made by Emma Stock.
The restoration work is expected to be completed by mid October, following which the glazing and conversion of the north chapel will commence in order to create the space for a Community Room and Café in the north chapel. Further consultations will be arranged in the autumn to discuss how to furnish, equip, and use this space. An Open Meeting is planned on Thursday 6th October – so please mark your diaries now.
Michael Chandler is coordinating a small group to deliver a programme of activities which will engage people with the heritage of the church and local area. This group is building on the output from the heritage workstream led by Val Bott in 2015.
Application is being made to South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) for additional heritage funding and the working group has met with three potential suppliers, one of which is likely to be selected to carry out heritage related work in the church and surrounding area. Their proposals include the creation of interpretation panels and signage, and potentially the use of electronic equipment, to facilitate heritage-related displays and presentations. The working group will consider submissions from the three potential suppliers before making recommendations to the PCC. The SDNPA decision on funding is expected by the end of September, and subject to the PCC decision, further consultations and the granting of necessary permissions by the Diocese and Historic England, the implementation of the heritage programme could start in early 2017.
If you have any questions or comments in relation to the heritage activities please contact Michael Chandler on 01489 878741 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fund-raising is continuing for the Community Hub extension to house the kitchen, toilets, storage and administration, which is an essential condition of the Heritage Lottery Fund grant. We are delighted to report that our grant application to the Community Buildings Capital Fund (CCBS grants) at Hampshire County Council has been successful and we have been awarded 27% of the building costs up to a maximum of £75,000. A full update will be available in advance of the Open Meeting on 6th October.
Bulletin No 7
Early in 2016, we announced that our application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) had been successful. A confirmed grant of up to £188,300 has been awarded, bringing the total contribution to the Community Hub Project from the Heritage Lottery Fund to £222,200.
The contractor, RJ Smith started work as planned on 4th April, and visitors will have notice the scaffolding and fenced area around the west and south sides of the church. The first phase of the urgent work is to restore the batons on the South roof.
Later this year glazed screens will be installed in the north chapel in order to create a Community Room and Café. Michael Chandler is coordinating a small group to deliver a programme of activities which will engage people with the heritage of the church and local area.
Fund-raising is continuing for an extension to house the kitchen, toilets, storage and administration, which is an essential condition of the HLF grant. As reported last month a grant application is in process with Hampshire County Council to the Community Buildings Capital Fund (CCBS grants) for a substantial proportion of the building costs. The decision on this application has been deferred until June, and will be critical to the timely completion of the Community Hub facilities and our commitment to HLF.
John Symes – for the Project Management Committee
Droxford Church Community Hub and Heritage Centre Project
Bulletin No 6
We have been informed that our application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (Grants for places of Worship) had been successful. A grant of up to £188,300 has been awarded, bringing the total contribution to the Hub Project from HLF to £222,200. Together with other contributions and our own funds we have now reached over 50% of the estimated capital cost of the total Hub Project.
What does this grant mean for Droxford Church and the Community Hub?
The PCC can now plan to start work in April on the approved schedule of works for this phase of the project.
Contractors have been appointed for the major works which are expected to last 5 months.
Fund-raising is continuing for the capital cost of an extension to house the kitchen, toilets, storage and administration, and as reported last month a grant application is in process with Hampshire County Council to the Community Buildings Capital Fund (CCBS grants) for a substantial proportion of the new building costs.
Droxford Church Community Hub and Heritage Centre Project
Bulletin No 5
Heritage Lottery Fund – Grants for Places of Worship
Our second round application for funds to carry out the urgent structural repairs to the tower, roof and exterior walls of the Church, has been received by the Heritage Lottery Fund and is under consideration by the HLF advised by Historic England. Their decision criteria are be based on heritage conservation and also delivery of the community outcomes promised in the application. The decision will be made by a meeting on 21st December 2015, and if successful, the works could start in April 2016 and are expected to last up to five months.
Hampshire County Council – CCBS Community Capital Grants
The Project has also been short-listed for a Community Buildings Capital Fund Grant from HCC which would be used towards an extension to house the kitchen, toilets and office/storage as described in last month’s update. The key criteria are
We shall be consulting widely in the community in the next two months before making a full application in January. The Rector’s survey of community needs (distributed with this Bridge and available online) is an important part of this process and we urge everyone to complete and return the survey.
For more information on CCBS grants visit: http://www3.hants.gov.uk/grants/ccbs-grants/community-buildings-capital-fund.htm
Droxford Church Community Hub and Heritage Centre Project
Bulletin No 4
St Mary and All Saints, Droxford’s Grade-1 listed Norman church, is in urgent need of repair. There are some major structural defects: currently the tower is in need of restoration both inside and out. Scaffolding has been erected to brace and secure the outside flints and an exclusion area at the base has been fenced. The eastern walls need repair, the drainage needs improvement, and tiles on the south roof are slipping. The church was placed on the ‘at risk’ register by Historic England in 2014, and we have applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for funds to restore the fabric.
Our project addresses these repairs, and aims to enhance the church to make it suitable for a wider variety of both large and small community events. We will improve the display of our church heritage, and that of the Meon Valley to attract many more visitors to experience the splendour and spirituality of the restored Church building in the South Downs National Park.
Community and Heritage
Discussion with community stakeholders in the village has confirmed the continuing need to use the full capacity of the building for secular and religious events, and also a requirement for a community room in which committees, councils, discussion and social groups, and community service groups could meet in a comfortable, café-style environment. These uses would be complementary to the Village Hall and are being developed in close cooperation with the Village Hall Management Committee.
In addition there is an opportunity for a permanent Heritage Centre to facilitate the growing interest in local history. In this way the church building can become a gateway for more visitors of all ages to explore and engage with the heritage of Droxford, the church and the surrounding Meon Valley.
The biggest hurdle to increasing the use of the church for a variety of community events is the lack of toilets and elementary catering. After extensive consultations, the option which has been approved in outline by Historic England, Winchester City Council and the Diocesan Advisory Committee, is to site the new facilities in a sympathetic extension located over the existing boiler room, with access to the north aisle through a new doorway in an existing window.
The North Chapel has recently been occupied by the Organ and vestry cupboards and a small cold-water sink. A key objective of the project is to clear this space, restore its heritage and use it for the benefit of the community. The addition of internal glazing between this room and the chancel will permit the use of the space independently of the main Church. An Activity Plan has been approved by the PCC, and volunteers are being recruited to support a community café modelled on ‘Barnaby’s’ cafe in Swanmore. This will provide useful refreshment and toilets to users of the South Downs National Park and nearby trails (Wayfarers Walk, Meon Valley Trail), as well for parents picking up children from Droxford Junior School. This can also become a source of income to support the maintenance of the Church.
Droxford and the surrounding area are rich in history from the arrival of the Saxons and the mission of St Wilfrid, through to the famous meetings of Churchill and Allied Commanders at Droxford Station on the eve of D-Day in June 1944. In June 2014 celebrations of the D-Day events excited both local residents and numerous visitors. In April 2015 a talk on Admiral Sturdee, victor of the Falklands naval battle in 1914 was well attended. Collaboration with Droxford Junior School will ensure that educational opportunities are not missed. Our project will provide a focus for the heritage of Droxford and the surrounding Meon villages, and support a resource centre as well as permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Current Application to the Heritage Lottery Fund
This application (under the Grants for Places of Worship scheme) is for urgent structural repairs and restoration work to the Norman Church. In October 2014, it was announced that the Project has been awarded a first-round pass by the HLF, including development funding of £33,900. We have consulted widely – since October three public meetings and four heritage workshops have been held – and we are applying for the full grant of £217,500 in September 2015. You can follow progress on our websites below.
The HLF require that the project shall deliver community outcomes so that more people, and a wider range of people, will use the church in the future. We aim to achieve this by developing an active community hub and heritage centre. Additional funds will be needed to complete the kitchen and toilet facilities necessary to support these activities, and a comprehensive fund-raising plan is in preparation.
Friends of Droxford Church
Droxford Church Community Hub and Heritage Project
Bulletin no 3
HLF/GPOW Development Phase Grant Status
The Development Phase is nearing completion. Tender responses for the urgent structural repairs were returned in early May for evaluation by the PMC and the Church Architect, Julian Livingstone. A Faculty for these works was displayed in the church for 28 days during April. English Heritage have been on site during the early investigations and also to advise on locating new facilities (i.e. toilets, kitchen, heritage and storage) including the option of an extension on the North side of the church.
Our heritage consultant, Val Bott MBE, has organised workshops on the Lady Chapel and the presentation of our Heritage. She also made a short presentation at the Open meeting on 26th March. The output from the workshops will contribute to the second round application to the HLF/GPOW scheme to secure the grant for urgent structural repairs, and also to a Faculty application for improvements to the Lady Chapel.
The ‘crypt’ under the North Chapel has excavated. It is planned to make arrangements for viewing the vault during the Country Fair for a small charge.
Community consultation continued with a second Open Meeting held on 26 March. This was well attended and the presentations were well received. A model of the church building was exhibited, and a draft Activity Plan supported by the PCC and FODC was presented for consultation in the community. Volunteers are being recruited to deliver the activities. (Volunteer forms are available in the church.)
Speakers included Val Bott (Heritage Consultant), Norman Chapman (Deanery Synod), Nicholas Ridge (PCC Treasurer) and Julian Livingstone (Church Architect), followed by a Q and A.
The PCC have a called a public meeting on Thursday 11th June to report on the second round grant application, which we are aiming to submit by the end of June. Updates will continue to be posted in the Church, on our websites, and in the Bridge magazine.
Bulletin no 2
Development Phase Status
The Development Phase of our Project is well underway. All the building and ecology consultants are engaged and the reports and invoices received. Investigations into the restoration requirements are complete and have been evaluated by our professionals and are with English Heritage for their assessment. The beam in the North Chapel has been passed as structurally safe and the scaffolding taken down. Additional urgent repairs have been identified to the South roof, and English Heritage informed – the cost of these repairs is expected to be absorbed within the Delivery phase grant. Tender documents have been prepared ready for competitive tendering under the management of our Church Architect, Julian Livingstone, and is due to start on 13th March. English Heritage have been on site during the early investigations and also to advise on considerations for locating new facilities (including toilets, kitchen, heritage and storage) which are being evaluated to support the community Activity Plan (see below).
An eminent heritage consultant, Val Bott MBE, has been engaged. She visited the church in February and developed a revised proposal for her assignment, which is displayed on the church board. Val Bott has agreed to make a short presentation at the Open meeting on 26th March.
Expert advice has been sought on the conservation of the wall painting fragments in the North Chapel. In February, the ‘crypt’ under the North Chapel was excavated in the presence of archaeologists Michael Chandler and Dick Whinney (DAC). A brick-lined vault with three lead coffins was revealed under a yard of rubble from the last excavation in 1973. Investigations are on-going and Michael will be publishing a report. It is planned to make arrangements for viewing the vault in the near future.
Community consultation is ongoing with a second village open meeting planned for 26 March. A draft Activity Plan has been agreed by the PCC and Project Management Team for wider consultation in the community and volunteers are being recruited to deliver the activities. Work is about to start on the Management and Maintenance plan. These two plans are required for the application for the main grant (Delivery Phase) in May 2015.
Please mark your diaries for the Open Meeting at 7pm in Droxford Church on Thursday 26th March. Speakers include Val Bott (Heritage Consultant), Norman Chapman (Deanery Synod), Nicholas Ridge (PCC Treasurer) and Julian Livingstone (Church Architect), followed by a Q and A. See separate notice or visit www.friendsofdroxfordchurch.org.uk.
Droxford Church Community Hub and Heritage Project
Project Management Committee
The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded the Droxford PCC and Friends of Droxford Church a ‘first round pass’ for the Droxford Church Community Hub and Heritage Project. Development funding of £33,900 has also been awarded to help progress the partnership’s plans to apply for a full grant of £217,500 next year.
For the full announcement please click here – Press release 29 Oct ’14 Droxford Church
The application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a Grant under the Grants for Places of Worship scheme was submitted on 26th November 2013, and was reviewed in March 2014. Although not successful that time we were invited to re-submit the application in May. We engaged with English Heritage to define the urgent works more precisely, and re-submitted our Application on 27th May 2014.
The full application (9000 words!) can be downloaded as a PDF document from here Droxford HLF Application.
The Friends are fully supporting an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund, Grants for Places of Worship, for funds to restore and enhance the Church for a wider variety of religious and community uses. A timetable for this application was agreed with the Parochial Church Council (PCC – responsible for upkeep and development of the buildings) on 23rd September 2013. See News and Events for full details of the grant application timetable.
In addition the PCC have accepted the Report and Recommendations of the Steering Group on the Future Strategy for Droxford Church.
Presented to the PCC on 23rd September, 2013
PCC: Stuart Holt, Alan Hibbert, Sheila
Matthissen, Ann Symes, Paul Harris.
FODC: John Symes, John Jack, Tony Hoile.
Church Architect: Julian Livingstone.
This Report is available for download here.
The application will be made to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), based on the extensive guidance available from the HLF website, and a meeting with their development officer (DO) for the SouthEast:
The General Guidance notes can be downloaded from the HLF website – How to Apply. Our Development Officer (South East Region) the DO has highlighted the following points:
Outcome for Heritage – With our investment, heritage will be in a better condition
Outcome for Communities – With our investment, more people and a wide range of people will have engaged with heritage.
In the secular world that is England in the 21st Century we have to look to the widest possible community use for our churches if they are to survive as functioning buildings. Droxford Church has a fine record for weddings and christenings, and the exceptional acoustics make it perfect for concerts and other performing events. The world has changed since the 12th Century and nowadays people expect a degree of comfort when they attend a Service or Concert, or even smaller gatherings such as ‘dropping-in’ for a coffee morning, or attending a committee meeting. People look for the same facilities that we naturally provide guests in our own homes, and facilities such as toilets, kitchen and comfortable seating are essential for all religious and secular events.
The Friends of Droxford Church has been established as an independent organisation with the support and encouragement of the Parochial Church Council (PCC), to realise the vision of this unique building at the centre of our community. The objective is to raise funds for its restoration and development as a community venue, through subscriptions, grant applications, and fund-raising events. Outline plans for the addition of toilet and kitchen facilities have been discussed with English Heritage and Winchester City Council, and members of the Diocesan Advisory Committee have visited the church. The plans have been modified in the light of comments and there is an emerging consensus that these facilities could be placed over the existing boiler room. Drawings of these proposals can viewed in our Gallery.
FODC is fully supported by the Rector and the Parochial Church Council, which is represented on the FODC committee. Messages of support for the Community Hub Project have been received from the major stakeholders in our community – Support and Correspondence. Contrary to popular belief the Church of England does not financially support its church buildings and St Mary’s costs some £10,000 a year to run and open daily. Funds raised by FODC will be held separately from the PCC funds and will only be used for the enhancement and preservation of the church building and its churchyard. At this time when major repairs are also required to preserve the roof and tower, the coordination of both the fund-raising and the building projects is paramount.
If you, personally, care about the future of our village and the ancient building that is at the heart of it, and you would like that building to continue to serve our community as well as be available for the christenings, weddings and funerals of generations still to come, please join the Friends by clicking here and completing the form on our membership page.