St Lawrence Church parochial church council (PCC) has launched an appeal to raise funds for the essential repair / maintenance of the church, which sadly follows many years of neglect, simply because the funds just were not in the kitty.
Whether you are a regular church goer, just go once or twice a year or never go, the church is literally at the heart of the village and is most deserving of our attention, particularly if like me you wish to see it stand proudly in place for another hundred or so years.
Please do what you can to support the cause - see details below - and with luck our grand children and their grand children will be able to benefit from the presence of this magnificent building. In the meantime it is hoped that St Lawrence will be used for more events in the future, perhaps like the recent hugely successful History Society Musical Soiree which attracted 112 paying guests, all in aid of this appeal.
Please also refer the separate tab heading showing (some) of the many pictures evidencing the decay caused by the ravages of time and inadequate past maintenance.
Many thanks for your support.
St Lawrence's Church Appeal
The church of St Lawrence lies at the heart of our village community:
- In the spiritual sense, for the community who worship there
- In the historical sense, for groups like the Little Waldingfield History Society (LWHS), who have researched its role in the village community through a chapter in their recent book
- In the architectural and aesthetic sense that there are few villagers who cannot see the church or its tower from their home or who do not pass the church as they go about their daily routine
- In the practical sense, for those who have been baptised, married or had the funeral services of their relatives there.
Our church is the largest Grade 1 Listed Building in our village and its significance is recorded by historians such as Pevsner, in his book, The Buildings of England, and by more contemporary admirers such as Simon Knott, in his internet pages on Suffolk Churches. ( http://www.suffolkchurches.co.uk/).
The current church has its origins as a place of community worship dating back to the Domesday Book. However the architectural style that we see today dates from the late 1400s and early 1500s, making some parts of the structure in excess of 500 years old. Unfortunately, our lovely church is showing its grand age and is now in desperate need of some “TLC”.
The congregation of just 12-15 regular worshippers is committed to doing all that it can to help preserve the church, but is realistic that, alone, it cannot achieve this goal. We hope to make 2015 a milestone on the future of our church. The Quinqennial report is due in 2016. This report is required by the church authorities to be prepared every five years to identify structural and ongoing maintenance issues that are essential to preserve the fabric of the Grade 1 listed building. The church receives no state or local authority funding to implement the findings of the report.
The previous report, in 2011, recommended urgent works costing in excess £35k (see the breakdown of figures at the end of the leaflet), but unfortunately due to limited finance, little progress was made in carrying out the works. Taking account of inflation alone, the 2016 report is likely to recommend urgent works in excess of £35k and we anticipate that it will identify additional issues that have arisen since 2011. We currently have a particularly serious issue, with damp affecting the south aisle below the windows, that is becoming particularly urgent if the damp is not to affect other surrounding areas.
The LWHS have donated all the profits from the sale of their excellent book to the church and this has the potential, eventually, to generate funds in excess of £10k. This donation is ring-fenced, to be used to preserve the fabric of the building only, and will not be used for the day-to-day running of the church or to provide for the parish share to the diocese.
We feel that the LWHS donation can be a catalyst for the wider community to come together and make a once in a generation difference, not only to preserve what we have in our church, but also to sustain its future for the next 30 or 40 years - primarily as a place of worship, but also as a community facility that can be both enjoyed and endure for future generations in our village, seven days a week.
This is where we as a church council (PCC) need your help and support.
Our target is to raise £32,000 in the next 12 months,
(in addition to LWHS donation.)
For example, if up to 100 villagers generously to donated £1 per working day for twelve months - that's £5 per week, or £260 over twelve months. If 100 or more villagers can commit to this, we would raise in excess of £26,000. If they were able to gift-aid their donations, this would boost the total to our target of £32,000 within the year.
If we can show that, as a community, we have the ability to raise funds independently, we will also improve our chances when we approach charitable organisations such as the Garfield Weston Trust or the National Churches Trust. These bodies will potentially contribute to, or in some cases match funds for, projects which preserve ecclesiastical buildings.
We make the commitment that any money raised through this campaign will be ring-fenced and only used in connection with the fabric fund.
Money raised in our village will stay here and be invested in our beautiful village church.
The last church clean, Operation Cobweb, showed what a great sense of community spirit there is in Little Waldingfield and what pride we, as a community, take in our church. We sincerely hope that you will support our efforts in 2015.
Details of how to make a contribution care enclosed. At the back of the church where you will see some photographs of the areas of our church that are in desperate need of repair or restoration. These photographs are also on the village website under the Church section.
There is a real risk in the next few years that we could lose our church as a place of worship and at best the building would become a lifeless memorial to the past. We want our church not just to have had a glorious past but to have a vibrant future, at the heart of our community.
Please help us in any way that you can to achieve this.
Any donation you feel able to make will be greatly appreciated!