A View From the Rectory

Following the redecoration and repair work at St Peter’s Church, and the creation of a dedicated flexible space for prayer in St Michael’s Chapel that was carried out towards the end of 2015, we have been exploring ways in which we might enhance our church building as a place of worship, welcome and fellowship.

In a piece I wrote in last October’s issue of the magazine I explained that the Parochial Church Council (PCC) had approved the proposal to fit a glazed outer door for the south porch of the church – and I promised I would keep readers updated.

Designed in collaboration with the church architect, Mark Goodwill-Hodgson, this new feature will be an important element in the general refurbishment of the south porch to include also the redecoration of its interior, and sprucing up and – for better visibility – the lowering of the notice boards above the stone benches. Together with the inner door, the outer glazed door will provide, importantly, additional insulation for the church, and protect the porch itself from the elements, and thus create a more comfortable and versatile space.

We are passionate that our church should be seen as a place for all people in our community and beyond. It is, after all, fundamental to our mission as Christians. For some people, however, a closed church door can represent a real barrier to entering and joining a church family, and an added benefit of having an outer glazed door is that it will provide opportunities to leave open the inner wooden door and provide from the vantage point of the churchyard an inviting glimpse into the church and sense of welcome to villagers and visitors alike.

St Peter’s has evolved as a building over the centuries, and we see this proposal, with its clean, contemporary feel, as an exciting new development in the history of the church.

In the design for the glazed doors, St Peter is represented not only by the symbol of the crossed keys in the glass above the door, but also in the form of the cross created by the horizontal and vertical bars – for opening and closing the door – which stands for the inverted cross on which St Peter is said to have been crucified.

On behalf of the PCC, I am delighted to confirm that planning permission has now been obtained, and permission from the diocese by way of Faculty is shortly to be sought. We are establishing an appeal with the specific intention of raising the funds necessary for this project, and holding an open meeting at St Peter’s church with Mark Goodwill-Hodgson in June – on a date to be confirmed in the next issue – to provide an opportunity to find out more about the project and its background and to raise any questions you may have.

Yours, in Christ
Fr Oliver