Church Reordering Project Update 26 November 2021
We have some exciting news…. After some 15 years of planning, negotiating, fundraising, and calling upon the skills, knowledge, services, and amazing generosity of so many people, the church reordering project here at All Saints Church Longstanton is entering the final stages of completion.
Way back in 2006 there was a widely held belief that in order to make the church in Longstanton more open, usable, and accessible to the local and wider community, significant changes would have to made to the interior of the church building.
The vision being to reach out by bringing the church closer to the community, and the community closer to the church.
To facilitate that vision the church building would have to undergo a significant modernisation programme, without doubt the most profound since the church including the spire, were restored in 1886-8
Following some lengthy and thoughtful discussions, the PCC agreed [the vision] that the church would embark upon an internal reordering project that would entail the installation of toilets, a meeting room, mezzanine and kitchen area and much improved bell ringing facilities within the church building.
Such a modernisation programme would achieve the wider aims of the church by making the building more open, accessible, and available.
As with all such projects and especially those involving listed buildings and those of historical interest, such as the church here in Longstanton, there was a requirement to formulate and agree a plan as well as decide how best to raise the required funds to finance the project.
There was also a need to seek consent as well as engage the services of specialists such as an Architect and Builders and most importantly to agree the formation and setting up of an able Project Team to see the project through.
Along with many other tasks, those key undertaking were put in place, and 15 years on, the amazing news is that on 3 December 2021 the PCC will formally take back possession of the site area within the church building signifying the completion of the Church Reordering Project.
It has been a long and at times arduous journey to get us to where we are today. No one at the time envisaged that it would take us 15 years.
For those closely involved in steering the project through its various stages and to its completion, it has been a considerable personal undertaking demanding significant amounts of their time, energy, skills, and knowledge to make it happen.
The journey has had its ups and downs as well as the obligatory two paces forward and three paces back, often testing the resolve of the most devout within the team. But resolve is a God given gift and fortunately the team were gifted with an abundance of it and are pleased to report a successful conclusion to a project envisioned some 15 years ago.
However, it must be said that the vision for the church first imagined in 2006 and the ensuing building works could not have been achieved without the amazing support provided over the years by so many, in so many different ways.
Along with local fundraising, grant funding, the sale of some church assets and the amazing generosity and support of the church congregation and wider community, the church building is now a place that has been tastefully modernised and will meet the varying needs of all within our community for many years to come.
It may be the end of the project, but we are hopeful that its ending signifies the start of a new and exciting chapter in the life of All Saints Church Longstanton and the community it seeks to serve for many years to come.
Since our last update in relation to the church reordering project, much has moved on in terms of the practical building works currently taking place within the Church building.
The Project Team felt that rather than provide you with a written report, a second [YouTube] visual update would be of more interest to you.
You will see from the short [YouTube] video clip that significant progress is being made in relation to the second and final phase of the reordering project.
Project update link: https://youtu.be/xGObBb9egvs
We are pleased with the quality of work and progress to-date and we are of the view that in terms of the project timeline, we remain on target for a completion date in early August 2021.
It is our intention to provide you with regular updates [next one in early June], keeping you fully informed of the progress being made. If you do have any questions in relation to the project, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We hope you enjoy this second visual update.
After some 15 years of planning, negotiating, local fundraising, and calls upon the skills, knowledge, services, and amazing generosity of so many people, the church reordering project here at All Saints Church Longstanton has been completed.
We also wish to acknowledge the generous grant we received from the Amey Community Fund (part of the Landfill Communities Fund) which has significantly contributed towards the overall cost of the church reordering project.
The March issue of Church Heritage is now out– download it on our website here - https://www.elydiocese.org/parish-support/church-buildings/
This is the newsletter from the Church Buildings Team at the Diocese of Ely.
Church Reordering Project update 26 October 2021
Some very good news; the church reordering project is edging ever closer to finalisation.
You will see from the short update video below that the main infrastructure required to support the new mezzanine area, kitchen and stairway access to the Bell Tower is now in place.
The repositioning of the font has been completed, as has the plastering of the walls and ceilings of the new build. The electrical cabling and wiring works are in the final stages of completion and the stonemasons are currently finishing off laying tiles within the font floor areas.
Over the past couple of weeks, the glazing specialist have been on site installing the mezzanine glass balustrades and the new stairway leading to the Bell Tower has been stained with preservatives.
Unfortunately, there has been some slight delays in securing specialist materials to include the bi-fold doors, which has meant we are now looking at a project completion date of around mid-November 2021.
These are exciting times for the church here in Longstanton as it edges towards the end of its reordering project, enabling it to share with the wider community the much-improved facilities offered within the church building.
We are pleased to say that work on the church reordering project continues in accordance with the agreed building works programme.
You will see from the short update video that much of the internal infrastructure required to support the new mezzanine area, kitchen, and stairway access to the Bell Tower is now in place.
Specialist carpentry work is ongoing, and the plastering of the walls and ceilings is well underway, as is the electrical cabling and wiring work.
Over the past week the glazing specialist have been on site preparing for the installation of the mezzanine glass balustrades.
Unfortunately, there has been a bit of a delay in securing some specialist materials, such as floor tiles, and bi-fold door fitting, which has meant that we are now looking at a completion date around mid-October 2021.
Click link for video update: https://youtu.be/HYBYzjucTkM
completed, the reordering project will provide additional space and a meeting facility,
not only for the church here in Longstanton but also for use by the wider
Our vision has always been to open the church to the community and open the community to the church. Come October 2021, with the support of grant funding, local fundraising within the community and the amazing generosity of many friends, we will have fulfilled that vision.
If you are a regular visitor to the church, you will have noticed that phase one of the church reordering project has been completed. That work involved the removal of the pipe organ, the installation of two toilets, a newly raised bell tower, a partly fitted new kitchen area and the installation of a new electricity junction box.
The work was completed in April 2019, within budget [£84,000] and we extend a special thanks to Fred Turner whose vast experience in the field of civil engineering ensured the tightest of controls were maintained on all the technical issues associated with the phase 1 build.
Since the completion of the first phase of the project, our Project Team have been working on a whole range of new issues linked towards the start of the second and final phase of the project.
That work has involved looking at how we might raise the required finances to complete the project, negotiate a number of changes to the original reordering plans, which has necessitated the need for a new faculty, as well as seeking advice and guidance on the complex issues surrounding the sale of church land and how the proceeds from the sale may be used.
2. Financial aspects of the project:
The overall cost of the final phase of the project is £152,385.
We have been fortunate in our fund-raising efforts to secure grant funding from the Amey Community Fund of up to £65,000. Alongside successful grant funding, there are other available funds to include monies acquired [£104,000] from the sale of church land, as well as our own church funds, financial support from the ‘Friends’ , and personal donations that collectively provide us with the necessary finances to complete the project.
Through the amazing generosity of many who worship at the church as well as the wider community, along with grant funding and monies arising from the sale of church land, we have managed to secure the funds required to complete the project in its entirety.
We extend our thanks to Arthur Savage who throughout the whole project has exercised a high degree of financial professionalism and prudence in accounting for all costs associated with the project.
3. Sale of Church Land:
The sale of church land is a very complicated process and has demanded a high degree of research and the gathering of legal advice and guidance to ensure that the correct rules in relation to the sale of church land are adhered to. Over the past year the team has also been involved in the marketing and selling of church land as well as the issues surrounding how on completion of a sale the church is able to use the monies secured from the sale.
This has involved obtaining legal advice from Ely Diocesan Board of Finance, especially in relation to the completion of a number of formal resolutions involving the PCC, the Clergy and our Church Wardens.
The markets value for both plots of land, provided by Qualified Surveyors [Carter Jonas] acting on behalf of the PCC has exceed expectations and by the time you read this update, the sale of one of the plots of land will have completed and the sale of the second plot will be at an advanced stage of completion.
We are indebted to Patrick Combes who during the whole process has lent his Chartered Surveyors experience in the detailed negotiations leading to the sale of the plots of land.
4. Use of monies from land sale:
It is the churches intention to use the net sale proceeds from the sale of two parcels of church land to help finance the completion of the church reordering project.
Once the sale of church land has been completed and the net sale proceeds invested, the Trustees [Revd Dr Simon Gill & Church Wardens] will need to meet and formally vary the restricted purpose originally created by way of a Section 275 Resolution.
In plain English a Section 275 of the Charities Act 2011 is a formal resolution that replaces or amends the purposes of an original resolution linked to a plot of land bequeathed to the church. The Charity Trustees [Priest in Charge and Church Wardens] may if they so wish change or modify the original purposes of a covenant providing a number of specific conditions are meet.
This means that by a formal resolution the Trustees [Revd Dr Simon Gill and our Church Wardens] can modify or extend the interpretation of the original wording ‘maintenance of the parish church’ to ‘maintenance, improvement and modification of the parish church’
Such a change, if unopposed would allow the church to use the proceeds from the sale of church land for purposes other than ‘maintenance of the parish church’. i.e. for the completion of the church reordering [improvements and modification] project.
5. Changes to the original Church reordering plans:
Following a review of the project, the PCC agreed to make a number of amendments to the original reordering plans. Those changes involved a simplification in the initial design of the stairs leading to the bell tower and the newly built mezzanine area.
It was also agreed that the partitioning wall to be constructed between the newly built ground floor meeting room and main area of the church be replaced with bi-fold doors providing much greater access and flexibility in the use of the space.
Detailed discussions and negotiations have taken place with our Architect [Whitworth Chartered Architects & Building Surveyors] and the Builders [Lodge & Sons] seeking to agree and finalise the particulars of the requirements associated with the changes to the original plans.
There have also been discussions around timelines for the start and completion of the final phase of the project. A new tender for the work has been received and is currently being studied and discussed with the Architect.
6. Submission of new Faculty:
A faculty is a permissive right to undertake works to a church building or its contents. It is the duty of the minister and churchwardens to obtain a faculty before carrying out any significant alterations in or outside of the church.
Having completed and agreed the relevant changes and gained approval of those changes from the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC), we are in the process of finalising a new faculty, which will be completed online and forward to the Registrar for their approval. The new faculty will provide the Registrar with details of the changes that have been made to the original plans as well as an update on how the church will fund the remainder of the project.
7. Phase 2 - Start and completion dates:
The Project Team is now in the process of pulling together all the various strands of work linked to the project.
We are hopeful that work will begin at the end of this current year or early January 2021, with a completion by the end of May 2021.
8. The end is in sight - Thank you!
We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the
Project Team members for their tireless work getting us to where we are
today. We also thank everyone who through their remarkable generosity in their giving
and unwavering support have made the project possible. The end is in sight
Food for thought!!
“At its best, the church building is at the heart of the community it serves, an enclosed space that has many uses. Primary among these is the regular celebration of the eucharist and the daily prayer of the church. But, in the hours when the church is not being used, the building is a community resource for drama, music, children’s work, conferences, workshops, retreats, etc. If the community is coming into the building, in my experience, the worshipping life of that church is enriched and the numbers attending worship grow.”
“If the church is to survive, she must be a living organic body of people, dwelling in the communion of saints, active in the world, bringing the love of Jesus to all, not locked in a reliquary of dry and dusty history. As a trained architect I have a huge love of beautiful architecture and art, but I would much rather worship God on the village green and have the community share with me in the bread and the wine than do it on my own in a museum.”
Priest in the Anglo-Catholic tradition for 42 years
Some amazing news, work has now commenced on the final phase of the church building reordering project.
It has been a long and at times arduous journey to get to where we are today and only made possible because of the amazing support and generosity of our church parishioners, the local community, and our ability to secure funding from church resources and grant funding.
Once completed the church will be fully equipped with modern toilet, kitchen and community meeting facilities that will allow the building to be used much more extensively as it seeks to become more accessible to the wider community.
As well as a place of Christian worship, a safe place of quiet reflection, our aim has always been to transform the church building into a place that becomes the hub of social life within the community, where meetings, gatherings and activities spanning a whole range of local interests can be facilitated.
In the Middle Ages, churches were used for a variety of functions such as courtroom, school and library, and hosted meetings, elections, debates, plays and festivities. In fact, until relatively recently, churches were multifunctional community centres.
Our reordering project seeks to revisit some of those Middle Age notions by extending the use of the church buildings so that it can be utilised for community and cultural activities, such as exhibitions, drama performances, rehearsals, and concerts.
We may wish to host a café, farmers market, or other community services like mother and toddler groups, playgroups, drop-ins for youth groups or the elderly.
We believe that by installing modern community facilities into the church building, we will be providing a place that further enriches the life of the Church as well as the local community it seeks to serve.
Work on the final phase of the project started on Monday 12 April and is expected to be completed in early August 2021.
These are exciting times for the Church, and we thank you for your ongoing generosity and support.
The church reordering project seeks to allow the Church to play a full part within the community, supporting, involving, and enriching the lives of those it seeks to serve. However, there is a drawback, the church has no toilet, no adequate kitchen amenities, or meeting room space, thereby seriously limiting the wider and extended use of the building.
To enable the Church building to facilitate and accommodate the social, community and spiritual needs of an incoming Northstowe community, we have embarked upon a church reordering [internal modernisation] project that will see the installation of much needed all available toilets, modern kitchen facilities and a modern meeting room, at the west end of the building.
The project will provide a meeting area and public facilities that will open the Church building to much greater use by the wider community.
These new essential facilities are designed to meet the communal needs of a rapidly expanding local community, including the new inhabitants of the nearby Northstowe development, part of which is within Longstanton parish.
All Saints Church Reordering Project
An update on the Church reordering project -January 2019
If you have been in the Church recently you will have noticed that finally the first phase of our Church reordering project with the installation of toilets and new kitchen facilities is underway.
This will allow the Church building to be used, not only as a place of worship, but also for a variety of local activities, which will benefit the wider community as well as the Church. The first phase of the project will be completed by Easter 2019.
To get us to this point in the project, a huge amount of detailed planning and work has gone on behind the scenes, involving many people over a considerable length of time. There has also been a huge amount of personal giving by many people, who have been kind enough to not only give of their time and expertise but have also donated significant funds towards its cost. We are truly thankful for such involvement and support.
Without such generosity and personal commitment from inside the Church as well as from our local community, we would not be where we are today in terms of making a difference to the Church, in order that the Church can make a difference within the community. As they say ‘it’s not over yet’, so our fundraising efforts will continue well into 2019 and beyond.
The work now underway is only the start of the project. We still need to go on fundraising so that we are able to not only complete the first phase but also finish the project in its entirety, thereby safeguarding the spiritual life and sustainability of the Church for many years to come.
The Friends of All Saints Church Longstanton
This is the second Newsletter providing you with an update of where we are in relation to our Church Re-ordering Project. You will remember that to make the project more affordable and achievable, we agreed to carry out the church reordering works in two phases.
The first phase will be the removal of the current pipe organ and the purchase of a replacement electronic organ, the raising of the bell tower flooring area to make space for the installation of much needed toilets, as well as the installation of part of the new kitchen area.
The second phase of the project will include the completion of the kitchen area, the repositioning of the baptism font, installation of spiral staircase to an upper floor seating area and provision of a separate meeting room at the rear of the Church.
Church Reordering Work - Tenders
The tenders for work on the first phase of the Project have been sent out to four building contractors with specialist knowledge of working on churches and other historic buildings. The priced tenders are to be returned to the Architects by August 8th, who will evaluate each one and submit their findings and recommendations to the Project Team and PCC for their consideration.
National Churches Trust – Grant Application
As well as working on the tender documents, we have also been engaged in submitting a grant application for additional funding towards our project, to the National Churches Trust.
This is our second submission for this funding and has required us to provide a significant amount of detailed information and costings in support of our request.
We thank everyone who contributed to the completion of the grant application, which was submitted on 30 June.
We will not know if our application to the NCT has been successful until November 2018.
However, we feel that we have a strong case for grant funding and hopefully our second bite at the cherry will be fruitful.
We have been looking at other funding streams, to include applications to Landfill Communities Fund, the Bishop Radford Trust, Historic Churches Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation as well as Section 106 Funding.
Church Assets – Land
We have also been taking a close look at the assets which the Church has, especially the land that is held in trust by the Vicar and Church Wardens. Our aim is to explore the possibility of selling one or more pieces of Church land which would raise capital to support the financing of the reordering project.
This work is extremely complex and requires us to engage with several key organisations, such as the Ely Diocesan Board of Finance (EDBF), which holds our assets as Custodian in Trust.
Since the Church is a registered charity, we will also have close dealings with the Charity Commission to meet the requirements of the Charities Act 2011/2013.
This will necessitate us appointing a Chartered Surveyor to provide a certified valuation of any land which is proposed for sale.
The PCC has already submitted to Ely Diocesan Board of Finance an overview of its proposal and we are awaiting more detailed advice from EDBF on the next steps that need to be taken on this issue.
We are continuing to raise much need funds towards the financing of the Church reordering project. Over the last twelve months we have received a significant boost to our overall finances by way of fundraising as well the receipt of several very generous donations.
Obviously, we continue to seek further funding towards the completion of the whole project and along with support from the Friends of All Saints Church Longstanton, fundraising will continue to be our priority, with key events and activities being planned for the coming year, as well as bringing to the attention of our community what an amazing and valuable asset we have within our midst.
Keeping ahead of the game….
It is interesting to note that the Diocese of Ely and the Cambridge Judge Business School
has just launched a three-year project to help communities make fuller use of their historic churches. You could say that we are ahead of the game! For many years now we have had a vision that recognises the need for us to modernise and revitalise our church building here in Longstanton that makes it more accessible, more available and more useable by the wider community.
The good news is that we are now at the point of making that distant vision a reality and our success in getting to this point has been down to your continued support, encouragement, and generosity.
For more information on the project, please contact one of our Church Wardens.
Sue Gamon: firstname.lastname@example.org
Claire Brockelsby: email@example.com
or John Frost at All Saints Church Longstanton on firstname.lastname@example.org 01954-782782
THE FRIENDS OF ALL SAINTS CHURCH LONGSTANTON is a charity and has been entered onto the Register of Charities with the Registered Charity Number 1115069