St John’s is looking to continue developing the heart of our village by building ‘The Link’ on the north side of the church; attached to, but separate from, the present church building. The Link will provide a meeting area for small groups (30 seated), a servery for light refreshments, a fully accessible toilet and a Parish Office. There will be an entrance from the Link into the church, which will make the present building much more accessible.
The Link will provide the space for people to meet throughout the week and enjoy simple refreshments and hospitality. It will provide much needed facilities that the present church building, which was completed in 1880, cannot offer. It will also serve as a source of information for community programmes, host facilities such as a book lending service, and enable us to offer hospitality to the many who walk through the churchyard every day. The demographics of the village demonstrate the need for such a facility and a survey already undertaken showed support for the initiative across the age groups.
The Link forms part of our development plan at St John’s. The Parish Hub, opened eighteen months ago, is being widely used by the village, such that finding space for bookings is challenging. A theme that is emerging is its use by organisations working with young children. The Link would enable us to extend this programme with after school and holiday clubs, as well as offering more appropriate facilities for small gatherings such as the Bereavement and Carers groups and the Teenagers in the community. It is not proposed to charge voluntary community groups for the use of the Link, though donations towards refreshments would be requested.