Ford End church to get a new lease of life
PUBLISHED: 11:47 09 April 2015 | UPDATED: 11:47 09 April 2015
Parishioners and party-goers at St John the Evangelist in Ford End will no longer have to be directed to the village hall to use the facilities or carry over water for the washing up.
The church is to have a new servery and a toilet installed thanks to a £10,000 grant from the Friends of Essex Churches Trust. This is the first improvement grant awarded by the trust in its 60-year history. The new facilities will end years of the church’s reliance on Ford End village hall.
Churchwarden, Sheila Bearman, said: “We held a recent family event when the church was full. It was linked to the popular Frozen film and we had countless numbers of little girls dressed in Elsa outfits having to be escorted to the village hall toilets next door.
“We have a team of such willing helpers who at the moment carry water into the church and then after we have had an event or service, wash up what may be over 100 glasses or cups in a bowl heated by countless numbers of kettles.”
She added: “We can only hold events when the village hall is free so this is a challenge too as the hall is booked almost always in the week and often at weekends. This makes it terrible for any weekday funerals but now we will be able to offer everyone decent modern facilities and open a parent and toddler group.”
Reverend Rose Braisby, the assistant curate, said: “We are so grateful, and proud to be the first church to benefit from the trust’s new policy.”
Dr James Bettley, the chairman of the Friends of Essex Churches Trust, said: “This year sees a big change in our grant-making policy.
“We are now offering grants for church improvements as well as repairs. We have set aside £100,000 for this purpose in addition to £170,000 for repairs in this first year.
“The improvements that we will be funding are those which help to meet 21st century expectations.”