Monday, 22 September 2014

Good news - Church change of use agreed

To create StJohns Place we need approval from the Church of England as well as the local planning authority.

Last Thursday there was a meeting at Church House in Westminster of the Church Closure and Re-use Committee to consider our case. They heard the very reasonable concerns of local residents about parking and noise and hours of use, and said that they felt that we could work these details out locally, and they were happy for the plans to go ahead.

It was a good reminder that as well as the building project we need to be working on how St.Johns Place will operate on a day to day basis, and making sure that everyone is involved in the discussions.

There's lots to be done in the next 12 months but we have now completed another hurdle and got one step closer to saving this building and making a great space for the whole community.

Thanks for all your support and involvement
And especial thanks to Ivy Picton - whose bric-a-brac sale in St.Johns last weekend raised £130.35. 
Do sing up to get regular email news bulletins. Things are beginning to move faster now.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Planning latest..

First - Don't forget the bric-a-brac sale in the porch - 1:00pm - Sat 13th Sept

Well, would you 'Adam and Eve' it? Not only did the Diocesan Director of Education retire last summer, depriving us a fruitful contact and leaving us to re-establish links and hang on to £50k of funding, but now our Planning Officer left the council! Why won't people stand still on our chess board?! What this means is that our plans, submitted on April 28th to Wiltshire Council, are in danger of just begin forgotten, and not dealt with for months. We don't have that time to spare, we need to be starting building by April 1st 2015, so we've asked our local councillor, John Walsh, to do something about it. We wait with interest.

Meanwhile next week I have a trip to Church House in London (its a bit like the Ministry for Magic in Harry Potter, but harder to find!) to persuade the committee that its really a good idea to close the church and re-use it as a community centre and worship space with the school. I've no idea how it will go, but if they say "no" it would seriously shipwreck our current plan. So here's hoping.

Good news is that I heard today we have another £25 k in grants, and an astonishingly generous funeral last week donated the collection of over £600 - so we are getting there. Thanks for all the support and encouragement. It will be so worth it to save this amazing building and to have a place for the community to meet at last.