New community centre for church
- Credit: Archant
A Suffolk village is celebrating after winning a major grant towards the cost of new community facilities for its historic church.
Hitcham has received £68,000 from the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF) towards its £100,000 target to create a Community Hub at All Saints church.
The money will be used to build an equal access toilet and servery in a room recently constructed at the base of the church tower. It will also connect the church to the main drains.
Nicola Currie, the secretary of The Friends of Hitcham Church group which worked with Hitcham Parochial Church Council to apply for the grant, said: “The village is absolutely delighted.
“All Saints is a magnificent medieval building which provides a huge space but we could never make full use of it because we didn’t have that all-important toilet, nor a kitchenette for providing refreshments.
“Now the whole community can use the church for all sorts of things from small informal groups to major concerts and exhibitions.”
The campaign has also received backing from the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust, the All Churches Trust and the Shadwell Estate, along with fundraising within the village.
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The village is also in the middle of restoring its church bells which has required a major reorganisation of the layout in the church and its tower.
Ms Currie said: “It was like the icing on the cake to hear that we can now complete all our plans to modernise the building.
“Keeping a medieval building sound requires sufficient funds to keep on top of repairs before they get out of hand.
“Now we can use the church for fundraising events, knowing everyone of all ages can be accommodated and made welcome without having to incur extra costs.”
The grant was awarded to the church via Viridor Credits, an independent, not-for-profit organisation which provides funding for community, heritage and biodiversity projects around the UK through the Landfill Communities Fund and Scottish Landfill Communities Fund.
Alison Salvador, general manager at Viridor Credits, said: “Providing quality community space for everyone to enjoy is a major aim of the LCF.
“At Viridor Credits, the board of trustees were delighted to support this important local facility. We look forward to seeing the finished renovation and the church being used by the whole of the local community, to its full potential.”