Christ Church is an open, friendly church and we are usually delighted to keep our doors open most days of the week (though restricted currently by the coronavirus). The 420 pupils of the local primary school use the church for their end of term services, concerts, carol services and festivals. Teachers often use the church as a teaching space, and Open the Book and Collective Worship run by the church is a regular part of the school week.
We also run a toddler group, and social groups and events (such as the weekly soup lunch), as well as hosting concerts. But while we have full disabled access, and hearing induction loop, as a Victorian building, we don't have a toilet (we are able to use the toilets in the nearby Mount Pleasant centre) and the only sink is in the vestry.
We are now planning exciting renovations so we can offer the church building as a community space with opportunities for more local groups to use the church. With a new kitchen and toilet facilities planned, this is a transitional time for this well loved church. Open meetings to discuss our plans included not only many local people but also the local preservation society, as Sir George Gilbert Scott designed the east end extension, and we have stained glass windows by well known makers. A community survey has also identified local support.
Architects are working closely with us to create this new phase for Christ Church. We also hope to be able to include some restoration work on the late Victorian wall paintings at the west end (those at the east end were restored in 2000-2001 as our Millenium project). Our three archangels Gabriel, Michael and Raphael are somewhat grubby.
Of course this will cost money, so we are embarking on a fundraising project. We have some funds from the sale of a nearby cottage used as the parish rooms, and we are working on grant applications, but donations of any size would help us reach our target sooner. So if you know Christ Church, maybe were baptised or married here, attended Sunday School or got to know us through our close links with the school, could you please consider helping our efforts by donating via our Give A Little campaign.
For further updates on this exciting transition please follow us on Facebook for news. (https://www.facebook.com/nboachurches/)