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Ambitious All Saints' church projects given permission to start

Work to repair and improve All Saints' church can now begin after the National Lottery Heritage Fund – which awarded a the project a grant of nearly £500,000 last year – has given permission to start.

The permission means that the budgets and plans for the project – overseen by the town's PCC and the Friends of All Saints' – have been approved, so that professional services can now be paid for to carry out work including the renovation of the 97ft-high Tudor tower and the construction of an extension with an equal-acess toilet and kitchenette. Local building contractors will be used where possible to maintain the project's environmental responsibilities and adverts will appear soon inviting tenders.

The project also includes:

  • Being inclusive, removing barriers and reaching new audiences
  • Responding to environmental issues and promoting sustainability
  • Interpreting both the heritage of the ancient building and natural environment, alongside the maritime and community histories
  • Appointing an Activity Co-ordinator to engage a wider range of people in the heritage of the church and churchyard
  • Reaching out to pupils, parents & carers with educational activities
  • Recruiting more volunteers and offering training to them

The Lottery grant covers around two-thirds of the money required for the project and fund-raising is continuing. Last month the Bishop Radford Trust gave £1,000 and a sale of snowdrops, tea and cake by the Holy Mowers – local volunteers who maintain the churchyard – raised £340. Applications for funds are being considered by the Friends of Essex Churches Trust and also by Cornerstone, the National Churches Trust/Pilgrim Trust).

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