Church campaign to raise £310,000 for extensionBy Laura Nightingale
March 01, 2013
A CHURCH in Eversley needs to raise an ambitious £310,000 to extend to meet the needs of its growing community.
An additional mezzanine floor in the church hall, plus a glass corridor linking the hall with the main part of the church building, is planned for St Mary’s Church in Glaston Hill Road.
Planning consent for the project has been granted by Hart District Council but the church, which relies solely on donations, is now facing a large fundraising target.
Reverend Mike Saunders, rector of St Mary’s Church, said: “Our next step is to raise the money and we hope and pray that we can achieve this. We urge anyone with a big back pocket feeling generous to come forward, but also our members to continue to support us.”
Up to 90% of the funding the church receives comes from plate donations on a Sunday service, Mr Saunders said.
The building project will be split into two phases, the first being a short-term solution costing £36,000 and the second being the main development of the extension costing the remainder of the total. A temporary timber building will be erected directly next to the church for 36 months during the fundraising and construction phases of the project and will be removed once the project is complete.
“No doubt we will organise some specific fundraising events such as the lamb roast day we hold each year in the spring which attracts 200 people,” Mr Saunders added.
The new first floor over the existing hall would allow for an additional meeting area and associated storage.
The extended glass corridor will provide greater access to less-abled bodied users and better provisions for children through to the elderly.
The church, dating back to 1724, now caters for a wide range of age groups, with children of all ages attending, increasing the pressure for a larger number of smaller and more flexible spaces, or meeting rooms.
“When I first arrived here, we had six people in the Sunday school and now we have 30,” Mr Saunders said. “The church is growing stronger but the building is not, which is an inconvenience but also good for us.
“We hope to build a mezzanine floor for the church hall and we plan to do it in two phases. We want to provide for the members of the church in the short-term as well as the long-term.”
Planning consent for the extension runs out in three years and if the building work has not started by then, the church will need to request permission again. In the conditions set out by Hart District Council, the temporary building has to be removed by February 2016.