Because of the cost involved we have decided to divide the project into two parts:
1. An extension to the Chapel, a New Entrance and a new Office.
2. New Vestries with toilet and an extension to the Chapel where the present vestries are.
Over the last twenty years our church membership has increased from 89 to 215, we also have a Sunday School of about 40 children and young people - our present worship area has 120 seats.
While at present we have more Baptisms than funerals, those funerals that we have often are larger than our present capacity and the height of the entrance to both our building and the church do not allow a coffin to be carried into church, the funeral director's trolley has to be used in every case.
We identified that we were preventing from achieving our purposes because we needed a larger and more accessible worship space which we intend to rectify by this project which will add hopefully at least 40 further seats.
Basically this project will involve demolishing a) one of the church walls below the windows and b) the present main entrance and the office. From the opened wall a room will be erected over the present entrance with the roof below the church windows. The office will be moved north into a part of the social area with a hatch to allow communication into the new general entrance. The new entrance into the church will have a higher door frame to allow shouldered coffins to be carried into the church. The interface between the new room and the church will be with an open-able glass partition while the entrance end will be glazed with a door and a couple of steps to make the floor the same height as the church floor. This will allow the room to be treated as a separate "chapel/meeting room" or as a part of the main church. (We frequently have requests during the week for a prayer chapel, as we are one of the few local churches that is open during the week days.) As we normally use a projector in worship the room will need to have a repeat screen and audio input so that it could, for example, be used as a parent/toddler annex for those worrying about the noise their child makes during worship. The present office facilities will be moved into the new office.
We have costed this project out at £274,508.00 including the new seating and audio visual equipment and are therefore looking for funding. The possible grants we have so far found, and will apply for, amount to £140,000.00. What we have already raised and spent on things like, the plans, the planning permission and the new toilet off the vestibule come to about £17,000.00, which therefore leaves us with a gap of about £400 per member, some of whom could afford that but many can not.
We have therefore produced a Pledge Form for us to see where this money can come from, it suggests different ways in which the funds raised can be paid to us. Some of the grant givers ask how much the local church has pledged to raise, presumably to see how strongly the congregation is behind the project.
Gift Aid can help us tremendously. What is gift aid?
As a registered charity, (we are charity No. 1129942) we do not have to pay income tax or capital gains tax, as individuals most of us do. Let me give you an example.
I have to pay tax on my pension. This means that any money I give to the church has already paid tax, and the law allows the church to reclaim it. I pay tax at the basic rate so every £100.00 of what I should receive has 20% sent to the Inland Revenue and I only receive £80.00. So if I give that £80.00 to the church they can reslaim £20.00 from the Tax Office. If I give £400.00 the church can reclaim £100.00 but only as I have already filled in a form saying that I want the church to reclaim my tax. The church therefore needs to be able to show how much each taxpayer has given which is why we keep a record of gifts.
Please help us get a church which fits our congregation.