Newmarket All Saints Church seeks fund-raising push to help phase one of its refurbishment to begin
A church is making a fund-raising push to raise the money needed to start work on an extensive renovation project.
All Saints’ Church, in All Saints’ Road, Newmarket, already has planning permission for the Cornerstone project, which will begin with phase one; an updated kitchen, new toilets and an overhaul to the heating system.
Later phases of the plan will see the pews replaced with modern seating, a glass entrance constructed at the corner of the church and a first floor gallery and meeting rooms constructed.
Total costs for the refurbishment are expected to be around £900,000 and while the church already has two patrons on board and fund-raisjng under way, it is still a little short of being able to commence the first phase, having raised around half the costs at £150,000 so far
Ian Rees, chairman of the Cornerstone project, said: “We’re looking at relaunching our Just Giving page to make it more eye-catching and we have fund-raising still going on, with a plan to host an event in the run up to Christmas too. Our biggest hope for funding comes from major foundations, and those we’ve written to so far are happy to help, but we need to raise 50 per cent of the funds ourselves.
“Greer Harbinson did a wonderful job as chairman before me, appointing architects and drawing up plans and much more, but he said the project needed a younger man leading it, so I decided to take it forward.
“It’s been five years since the idea was first put forward by our former vicar, Max Osborne. We’ve come a long way since then and are hopeful we will soon have approval from the diocese.
“The glass entrance will be a great feature once it’s built, and will really bring the inside of the church out. People typically find churches mysterious, but with a glass corner entrance, people can see it is an interesting space filled with people socialising.”
The refurbishments would allow the church to welcome various groups and events in to the building and allow it to connect with the entire community, said Mr Rees.
“We want to cater to the needs of everyone and make the church an integral part of the community going forward,” he said.
“All Saints’ Church can be a shining light within Newmarket that brings the everyone together for social reasons, as well for religious reasons.”