ST BARTHOLOMEW'S, TONG
Work in Progress Beyond 2020
Our Twenty Twenty Vision nearly there – but more in the pipeline!
Restoring this splendid ancient building and making it a safe and welcoming place for both worshippers and visitors alike has already taken considerable time and resources. More than £750,000 has been raised since 2016, thanks to the many trusts and foundations and individuals that have given so generously:
➢ Allchurches Trust
➢ Arts Society Wrekin
➢ Edward Cadbury Charitable Trust
➢ Drapers’ Company
➢ P B Dumbell Trust
➢ WE Dunn Trust
➢ Headley Trust
➢ Ironmongers’ Company
➢ Beatrice Laing Charitable Trust
➢ The Leche Trust
➢ Leathersellers’ Company
➢ Diocese of Lichfield
➢ Listed Places of Worship Roof Fund
➢ Millichope Foundation
➢ Ratcliff Foundation
➢ Rowlands Trust
➢ Sharpe Trust
➢ South Shropshire Rural Development Fund
➢ Wolfson Foundation
➢ GJW Turner Trust
➢ Idlewild Trust
Work in progress or remaining to be done
Now that the major works to repair and weather proof the main structures are complete, our attention turns to making the church a more comfortable place both to visit and to worship in.
Parish ministry and public expectations in the 21st century are very different from that envisaged by Lady Isabel de Pembrugge in 1410 or even the Victorians, who were responsible for the last major restoration of the church interior.
If we are to welcome all-comers – old and young – able and differently-abled, people travelling from near and far, the building needs to adapt and modernise its facilities. Here is our ongoing wish-list:
New glass doors will soon be delivered and installed at the south entrance into the church to encourage visitors to step in and have a closer look.
This project has been delayed slightly due to challenges related to final designs on the glass, but we are now hopeful that they will be installed early in the new year.
The picture opposite shows the sub-frame that has been constructed ready to attach the doors when they arrive.
Restore and upgrade the heating system
At a recent PCC meeting in October we concentrated on the thorny matter of heating which has been on the anvil for 30 years if not more, and which we are really trying to crack. Robert Parry has put an immense amount of work into researching Ground Source heating helped by Malcolm Groom, but the meeting decided that both the necessary outlay of £150,000, (even with a government grant repayable over 20 years), and the somewhat problematical nature of what is fairly new technology and what it would deliver in the end decided in favour instead of an LPG heat source, but with all agreed new pipework installed in the building. As we had just received the go-ahead from the DAC for the Ground Source heating plan, it is back to nearly Square One. Other people have also been busy on the heating front too with visits to Kenilworth, Pattingham and Brewood and much hunting of the WWW. Our fund-raiser advises that we might be able to raise some funding for heating provided it is coupled with other community-type resources such as toilet and kitchenette ( with attendant sewage disposal and water). This will be our next big project!
Install an accessible toilet
We have no toilet facilities in the church and so this has to be a key priority that we hope to address in the near future.
We need a radical solution to ensure minimum impact on the beautiful interior, so we are now looking again at an exterior annexe in which to create a ‘hospitality corner’ with a fold-away servery counter, sink and drain – so we can continue to offer refreshments but with minimal set-up and clearing away.
Private prayer space
We plan to adapt the seating in the Golden Chapel for private prayer and counselling.
Would you like to support us?
The Tong Vision for 2020 and beyond has a target to raise £500,000 over the next 3 years in order to fund urgent and essential restoration work, and to ensure that all visitors and congregations can continue to enjoy this unique building! If you can offer your support either financially, in-kind or otherwise, please contact Revd Pippa Thorneycroft.
You can find us on Facebook: Tong Church
For Just Giving links, please see below.