FUNDRAISING to refurbish the main west entrance to St. Augustine’s Church is already under way. Yorkshire Water granted £5,000 from its Saltend Community Fund in February towards the project but as church architect Matthew Thomas explained last week, it is about more than just replacing the existing porch area which is in poor condition.
The natural main entrance to St. Augustine’s is via its main west-facing door, but mostly it stays shut and locked. When open for formal church events it lets draughts in and the heating out. The views of the church interior from the threshold are restricted with the result that it acts as more of a barrier than a doorway. The whole issue of the entrance was discussed by churchgoers at an event on Friday hosted by church vicar the Reverend Jon Wright.
“The existing access and porch area is no longer adequate for the 21st century,” explained chartered architect Matthew Thomas whose job involves him inspecting church buildings to assess their condition. “The need today is for engaging entrance areas that allow in more natural light, that are welcoming and say ‘come on in’, and encourage people to actually do that,” said Mr Thomas in his presentation.
“The new access area will have a glass inner doorway enabling more light and pleasing views. It will allow for the outer doors to be open encouraging people to walk into the church with the option to have the inner doors locked or unlocked depending on the activities taking place. Even if the inner doors are locked, visitors will still be able to see inside and get an impression of the church.”
Dorothy Winter from the parochial church council spoke enthusiastically about the plan: “We need to remove the barriers to people coming into the church. People do want to look around the church and this is a way of encouraging that and opening it up to the public. The more people who visit, the more the church will be used. And we’ll get more people involved. It’s got positive implications for everyone who supports the church.”
“It’ll retain the heat which is an important factor impacting on our running costs,” added Dorothy “and it will also help keep the birds out of the church which can be a worry too.”
The whole project is expected to cost around £25,000, but because of the ongoing struggle to keep the church running, Dorothy appealed for extra efforts to be made to raise the necessary funding. “Whilst the Yorkshire Water funding gets us off to a good start, we really have to have some brainwaves about fundraising; we need some good ideas on raising the cash. I hope people can help us with this.”
Got some good fundraising ideas? Can you help with fundraising for St. Augustine’s Church?