INTRODUCTION January 2017
THE ST MARY’S CHURCH PROJECT
The Parish Church of St Mary’s, based in the centre of Totnes, is in need of substantial restoration, refurbishment and reordering in order to ensure it is fully safe, fit for purpose and sustainable both as a place of worship and for future wider community use.
This project, which is at its development stage, will benefit the residents of Totnes and surrounding communities and visitors to the area.
St Mary’s Church, being the most prominent Christian building in Totnes, currently receives over 50,000 visitors a year. Its wider community use includes school visits, U3A historic visits, children’s orchestra, community coffee mornings, choir, bell ringers, concerts and exhibitions. The Church is also in early stage talks with a number of arts organisations about their use of the building for rehearsing and performance.
The lasting impact of the project will be to revive St Mary’s Church as a vibrant, inclusive and accessible multi-functional space and landmark venue at the heart of Totnes to serve the Town, its surrounding community and visiting tourists.
The proposed reordering and renovation works will contribute to the sustainability of other local community organisation activities as well as enhancing the capacity of its own congregation to regularly come together to support each other. The enhanced space will also be able to comfortably host arts and music events for up to 300 people in a unique setting with wonderful acoustics.
The St Mary’s Church renovation and refurbishment project is running in parallel with the St Mary’s Heritage Area Project. St Mary’s is working closely with the Totnes Trust in the development of its project:
• to create better access to an improved green churchyard public amenity area;
• to create improved access to the historic Guildhall;
• and to make the area in front of St Mary’s Church into a magnificent town square fitting of its location at the heart of the town.