WINDOWS of OPPORTUNITY PROJECT
Watch a video, below, as our Assistant Curate, Reverend Steve Jones, talks about our Windows of Opportunity Project and shows you around the building.
SINCE THE REBUILDING of the church following the 1976 fire, we have sadly already needed to replace the church roof, and also the worship area floor. Some of the areas where works will take place are shown in the photographs below:
We are now in the process of replacing all ten of our side windows. These tall windows were originally set in a wooden sub-frame, secured by a fibre-glass window surround. Over the years, however, the fibre-glass surround has failed and allowed water inside, which has rotted all of the sub-frames. We have been on Historic England’s ‘At Risk Register’ for several years, due to the poor condition of the windows and the potential that one or more of them may fail.
The interior of the church has been cleared in preparation for our contractor, Bovey Construction from Ashburton, to start the works.
In addition to replacing the windows, we are also undertaking a remodelling of one of the two interior blocks on the ground floor…
This block currently houses a female toilet, and a poor quality small kitchen in the corner of a vestry room. Within this block we are now creating two self-contained unisex toilet units, one of which will be fully accessible to those with disabilities and special needs.
We are equipping a state-of-the art new larger kitchen with a servery, opening out into the foyer area of the church.
Both of these additional upgrades will make St John’s a much more accessible and welcoming facility for our regular users and visitors.
In December 2016, we were encouraged to receive a first-round pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund with a funding offer of £148,000. Since then, we have been successful in receiving the following generous grants:
- £3,450 from the Allchurches Trust
- £10,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation
- £1,000 from the Alan Evans Memorial Trust
- £2,000 from the 29th May 1961 Charity
- £4,000 from the Devon Historic Churches Trust
- £10,000 from the Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation
- £5,000 from the Beatrice Laing Trust
- £20,000 from SHDC Community Re-investment Projects Fund
- £19,823 from Viridor Credits
- £2,500 from the John S.Cohen Foundation
- £1,000 from local councillors’ discretionary grants
To raise further funds, in January 2018 a Sponsored Epiphany Pilgrimage (pictured above) was held around the nine parish churches of the Totnes Team. This pilgrimage raised another £12,500. A further £16,000 has come from other fundraising events, and £4,500 has come from individual gifts.
Thankfully, we have now, also, received the second-round pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund and we have their permission to start the project. We plan that the work will begin in July 2018.
The budget for our project is £284,000. We still have a shortfall of approximately £24,000 (£5,000 for the conservation work and £19,000 for community facilities). However, we are confident that by faith, hard work and the kindness of our funders, we will be able to make our target.
At St John’s, we are treating the Windows of Opportunity Project as a starting point for the renewal and upgrading of our entire building. We are currently developing a Five-Year Strategy to make the building fit for its present-day and future purposes.
If you would like to consider giving towards the Windows of Opportunity Project, please read more about what we have been doing on our Just Giving page.
• quick link: How to find St John’s Church