Have You Heard About St Barnabas’ Exciting Project?

Building, Charity, News

Have you heard about St Barnabas’ exciting project?

We have a plan to improve the usability of our Church buildings for a wider range of users. This involves lifting/lowering areas of flooring to allow level access between major sections  of the building. We also wish to improve accessibility from the exterior to the interior of the building with a new entrance porch and we intend to refurbish the Pastoral Centre.
We are delighted that we have received a legacy of £55,000 towards the work plus a £10,000 donation from a parishioner.

Thanks also to those grant-making bodies who are supporting us:

  • The Big Lottery Community Fund £10,000
  • Garfield Weston Foundation £10,000
  • The Co-op Charities £6,300
  • Bernard Sunley Foundation £5,000
  • The Gatwick Foundation Fund/Sussex Community Foundation £5,000
  • Allchurches Trust £3,000
  • Beatrice Laing Family Trust £2,500
  • Gatwick Airport Community Trust £2,500

Our project will cost £215,000 so we still need lots more funding.  Can you help? You can donate using our bank details which are: Worth PCC, Sort Code: 40-18-22 Account Number: 61223372. Please use the reference: “St B project”.

 

 

Memorial Garden Plans

Building, Churchyard, Remembrance

To most people, this photo is probably really rather dull; an empty field and a wooden fence. So what? However, there are those who remember that in 1994 the parish bought this land –  next to St Nicholas’ churchyard on the south and east side and once part of the Bishop’s Lodge kitchen garden – with a most generous donation from John Hillsley. This new fence replaces one put up at the time, as a condition of the purchase.

Since then, the land has remained unused and undeveloped and yet the original intention, that of creating a new addition to the churchyard for the interment of cremated remains, has never been lost nor forgotten. It was earlier this year that the old and rotten fence was replaced; likewise, the decrepit brick wall on the opposite side of the field has recently been spruced up and cleared of the ivy that had been damaging it including, in the winter storms, the ivy lifting off and bringing down two or three rows of loose bricks!

Along with some careful tree maintenance, preparations for the new Garden of Remembrance/Memorial Garden have been quietly progressing and, as we now have the support of both the local Crawley planners and the Diocesan authorities, we are all set to complete the garden. There will be a permeable resin bound path, 1.2 metres wide x 80 metres long, creating an enclosed space in the middle of the garden where unmarked interments will be and along the outer edge of the path, provision will be made for burial plots with granite tablets for other interments.  Some curved, two-seater oak benches will be placed along the path at suitable intervals and these, as well as a very few, carefully-selected mature trees will be available for people to purchase in memory of a loved one. Speak to Father Michael if you are interested in this – details are yet to be confirmed but the cost would probably be in the region of £400-£500.

Father Michael

A St Nicholas’ parishioner adds: “At the time of land purchase, there was a lot of parishioner participation even including clearing the ground and people also gave financially over some years for this project. In 2000, the Millennium Brass Band performed a concert on the designated land with money raised going into the pot as well. However, other things took priority and the land remained undeveloped. The Churchyard Maintenance team have been mowing the grass there in recent years and both they, and all who have contributed to this project in the past, will be very pleased to see this project coming to fruition.”

Joan Tick

 

 

Accessing Our Churches

Building, Churchyard, Covid-19, Prayers

At St Nicholas’

Scaffolding is being erected for urgent repairs to the spire and roof at St Nicholas’. Therefore, the churchyard is closed between 7.30am and 4pm, Monday to Friday for the next two weeks.

At St Barnabas’

We are pleased to say that the Narthex (the area separate from the main church) at St Barnabas’ is now open for private prayer from 10am – 4pm every day except Tuesdays when it will be open 11am – 4pm after our service on Facebook.

  • One person or ‘family bubble’ at a time please
  • Please keep this door open

 

News on the Refurbishment of St Barnabas’

Building

As you may know, we are undertaking a sizeable building project encompassing work at both St Nicholas’ and St Barnabas’.  A visit from the Crawley Planning Officer to St Barnabas’ in January advised us that the proposed size and position of our new porch were acceptable to the planning officers, but the material was a concern. Having revised our drawings and changed to a ‘brick and tiles’  porch, the work has gone out to tender with four contractors: Valley Builders, Corniche Construction Ltd, Dane Elliot Construction and Copperstones Projects Ltd.

Robin of Dane Elliot Construction and Darren of Corniche Construction Ltd were able to visit the church prior to the lockdown, with the remaining firms saying they would view the exterior as soon as possible, and see the interior at a later date.

It is with huge thanks to Phyl who has made several grant applications that we are delighted to announce:

  • The Beatrice Laing Family Trust have made a conditional offer of £2500 (once we have a project start date, and all other funding is in place)
  • The National Lottery Community Fund has granted us £10,000
  • The Gatwick Foundation Fund at Sussex Community Foundation has awarded us £5000

Of course, more funding is still needed and with the current situation, all our fundraising is on hold. Therefore, if you would like to support this project, all donations would be very gratefully received. Our bank details are: Worth PCC, Sort Code: 40-18-22 Account Number: 61223372 and please use the reference: “St B project”.

Accessing St Nicholas’

Architecture, Building, Project

IMG_1177When I arrived here as Rector in 2017, I immediately saw that many of our lovely congregation and visitors, of all ages, had problems accessing the wonderful Anglo-Saxon Grade I building that is St Nicholas’, and its beautiful churchyard. For more than fifteen years, this issue has been high on the Parish agenda and I cannot stress how important the question of access is – the path is steep and uneven where the tree roots have lifted it, and there are people who cannot physically come to our church. This saddens me greatly. We are an inclusive community and everyone should be able to enjoy our building and grounds.

As part of a parish wide project, we have plans to make both our churches accessible to all. At St Nicholas’, we are acutely aware of those visitors and within our congregation who, at present, are unable to make their way safely down the gradient of the current path and into the building. We would not remove trees without huge forethought and consideration of all the options.

Our immediate neighbours are in favour of the tree removal since they pose a threat to their historic house; they were planted too close and block the light while the lime tree sap damages the roof. Interestingly, these neighbours are directly descended from George Banks, Rector for 37 years, who died in 1896, and we believe George was responsible for planting the trees!

Of course, we truly sympathise with those who feel attached to the trees that line the access path (the only access to the church and churchyard), but would ask everyone to bear in mind that since they were only planted in Victorian times, they have been in existence for less than a tenth of the life of the church itself.  With some of the trees diseased, quite sizeable branches now fall in each wind and quite simply, we cannot rebuild the path if the trees remain where they are. People are prevented from accessing our buildings, and they damage the nearby properties.

Our plans make clear that we intend to replant thoughtfully and generously, with the hope of making this a welcoming, peaceful and safe place for all, for another 1000 years and beyond.

The access path will have a gentler incline than at present, with a permeable resin-bound surface wide enough for pushchairs and wheelchair users. This rebuilt path would continue around the church giving access to hitherto inaccessible parts of the churchyard and also to a new memorial garden, to be built on land provided for this specific purpose. This path will greatly assist those who come to the church aided by a stick, a walking frame, in a wheelchair or with a pushchair. It will also help at funerals, for those making their final journey along our path, and the peaceful memorial gardens and grounds will then be fully available to all who wish to visit.

Click here to read more about the accessible changes that will take place inside the building at St Nicholas’.