So many people say what a wonderful welcome they receive in our churches. That is of course a credit to everyone. But buildings play their part in the welcome we offer as well.
Currently those visiting the St James' Church building have to cross the road to Church House to access refreshments or toilet facilities. This is far from ideal - the road can get very busy, and sometimes other activities are going on in Church House which can make access difficult.
So we're working to upgrade the facilities in St James' - so we can offer even more of a welcome to everyone who comes into the building.
Please read on to find out more about the project - and how you can get involved.
We have plans to add a toilet and a small kitchen facility to make it easier serve teas and coffees and other light refreshments. These will be situated in the South transept (the wider area on the left as you look from the main entrance) – the area where we currently serve refreshments after our Sunday services.
The toilet will be fully accessible and meet all disability requirements. The kitchen will be a ‘cupboard kitchen’ with storage units, work surfaces, a sink and a small fridge, concealed behind doors which can be opened fully when the kitchen is in use.
The construction will be a pod type construction – essentially a “building within the building” which will minimise any structural work.
The plans that our architect has drawn up are here.....
Artist's impression of the pod in place in the South transept, showing the side of the entrance porch on the far left, the side of the toilet in the centre, and the closed doors of the kitchenette unit on the right.
Plan of the pod, again showing the the entrance porch on the left, with the entrance to the toilet facing the cleaners' cupboard, and the layout of the kitchenette.
Drinks and other refreshments will be served from free-standing tables in front of the kitchenette.
We have obtained all the necessary permissions, so we are now getting quotations for the work. Initial estimates are in the order of £45,000.
We are confident that if we raise £20,000 as a parish we can apply to various specialist trust funds for the remainder, so we have set ourselves the target to raise this by the end of October so that we can begin construction early in the New Year.
This can only be done if we all play our part!
How can I help?
You can make a donation - online or in person. Scroll down the page or click here to find out how.
You can support one of our fundraising activities
Paul and Kate's Wee Wall Walk - Sponsor Paul and Kate as they walk Hadrian's Wall between 19th and 25th September. Find out more here....
You can offer your time and/or talents to run or support some other activity. Speak to Paul or Richard or contact Chris in the office with your idea.
If you pay tax, you can Gift Aid your giving, which allows us to claim 25p for every £1 you give - at no cost to you. Click here to find out how...
How can I donate to the project?
Via our secure ‘Give a Little’ page accessed here. You can select one of the options available, or choose you own amount. You will be given the option to Gift Aid your donation if you wish to do so.
By cheque payable to Shirley Parish PCC.
Please place in an envelope labelled “the Pod Project” and hand in to the Parish Office, or post through the Parish Office door. Cash donations may be made in the same way.
Donations may also be made via the ‘Convenience Collection Point’ at the back of St James before and after services.
Please use the Gift Aid scheme if you pay tax.
Thank you very much.
What's Gift Aid and how do I do it?
Donating with Gift Aid means we can claim an extra 25p for every £1 you give at no cost to you.
If you have not already completed a Gift Aid form for Shirley Parish, please download and complete the form available here and include it with your donation, or post it through the Parish Office door. The registered name of the charity is "The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of Shirley."
Gift Aid forms are also available at the back of St James'.