St Mary's Urgent Repairs
Why and what?
A building inspection of St Mary’s highlighted a growing need to make effective repairs to the exterior to ensure that the building remains watertight, does not deteriorate further, and is fit for purpose.
The mortar is in need of extensive repointing where it has become worn and ‘friable’ – particularly on the walls of the tower, and the south and north vestry elevations. Also needed are repairs to stonework, roof coverings, valley gutters, and miscellaneous work to the exterior décor and fabric of the building. Rainwater goods will also need overhauling, and damaged sections replaced. The resulting project is a significant undertaking but can be achieved in phases, with Phase 1 quoted to come at a cost of around £135,000.
For several generations the people of Bishopstoke have been served by St Mary’s Church, built 130 years ago. People’s generosity then made it possible for others and us to attend, worship and serve God here throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Now it is our turn to repair the fabric of this lovely building, which we hope will serve people in this parish well for generations to come.
~ Raising faith ~
Every day our church is in the business of faith – we don’t do things in our strength alone but by trusting God. An essential aspect of this building project is therefore our faith together, which is built through prayer. We would value your prayers for this work and the fundraising. Much can be achieved through trusting in God, and as we see it happen, we should come to trust God even more!
~ Raising funds ~
There are several ways in which you can help raise funds for this project:
Donations Practical help doesn’t necessarily mean pledging money, but if you are able to do that, we would be most grateful. We encourage you to Gift Aid your donations if you are a taxpayer, so that we can claim an additional 25p for every £1 that you give – at no extra cost to you!
Fundraising Do you have ideas for running an activity, an event, or an enterprise – whether to take place in the Church or elsewhere – with the proceeds going towards this project? We would also be grateful for enthusiastic organisers and helping hands!
Grant applications Could you give your time and ability to find grantors who might part-fund this project, and then to complete applications to them? Successful grants could really help!
St Mary’s is for everyone!
A watertight and attractive church in Bishopstoke is for everyone who comes along on whatever occasion – a baptism, a wedding or renewal of vows, a funeral or memorial service, Christmas and Easter, All Souls, youth work, Tots & Tinies, a social event... and so much more that we could do in St Mary’s if we safeguard the building for future use. We need a church here for the future, but it must be in good repair and well maintained. Only through our giving and hard work today will this be possible and lasting.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
Through these words, the prophet Isaiah gave both a practical and spiritual message from God. Through our practical work today, may we be able to support people, restoring and refreshing their lives where necessary, now and into the future.
We would be most grateful if you could consider the ways in which you might help.
If you can help financially, you may donate here:
If you would prefer to give by cash or cheque, please put your donation in a collection in a church service (in an envelope marked 'Urgent Repairs') or post to The Rectory, 10 Stoke Park Road, Bishopstoke. SO50 6DA.
If you would like to offer help in other ways, please contact us.
A ‘St Mary’s Urgent Repairs’ fund has been created, which will remain open until the project is fully financed. In November 2023 we already had £80,000 in this fund, with more donations pledged and fundraising activities planned. That is a great start and gives us confidence to believe that we can do this, but clearly there is also a long way to go.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Thank you so much for whatever you are able to give, and if you are already contributing to this project, then thank you for that too.