“At its recent meeting, the PCC decided that during the interregnum, Valerie Gaskell, who will have finished her term as churchwarden, will become Pastoral Coordinator and take responsibility for the ministry rota. Nigel Birkett is stepping down as Treasurer and will be succeeded by Christopher Mainstone. Nigel has agreed to be Project Manager for the outstanding work we have to do, which includes enlarging the coffee shop.
Also at that meeting we PCC meeting, Nigel gave us some challenging news. Following an abseil survey, the resulting report has highlighted some serious problems with the tower. The remedial work that needs to be completed in the next five years will cost approximately £610,000. The church tower will need to be inspected yearly to check that it continues to be safe. Therefore, today, I am launching the Tower Appeal. Although it is hoped that grant giving bodies will contribute significantly, the church will have to raise funds. One of the ways we propose to do this, is to allocate the profit from our coffee shop to the appeal. We will need to think of creative ways of raising money too, and to this end, we are setting up a Tower Appeal Group. Nigel and I are looking for volunteers who will help get our appeal off the ground. Please see us if you can help.
This is not good news but we have, as a church, worked together very successfully in the past, and we are hopeful that what Simon Jenkins calls, in his seminal book, “England’s Thousand Best Churches”, “… the noblest parish church tower in England” will be restored to its former glory.
The PCC also passed the design suggested for a new cross above the pulpit. This will be made by a local blacksmith and will be paid for by a legacy. We are in the process of submitting a faculty application.
We are living in a time of change and we need to keep praying for all the ministry and mission that goes on here at St Mary Magdalene.”
Rod Corke, Vicar