Caring for a Hidden Village Treasure

Posted by Admin on Sunday, 25th September 2011, 11:52

Caring for a Hidden Village Treasure

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Tucked away at the end of a quiet lane in Northwood is a place where people have come for hundreds of years and continue to come to mark significant events in their lives. It’s been a place of respite, care and nourishment for villagers for over 800 years. It’s a place of peace and serenity; it’s a place where you can walk down the path and have a sense of timelessness as you tread in the steps of the generations who have gone before us.
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It’s also an important historic structure, a building that was one of the first on the Island to be listed (17th August 1951) and has Grade 1 status. It attracts visitors from around the world, especially those researching their family history.
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It has been lovingly cared for across the generations and that faithful care and attention continues.

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What is it?

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It’s the village church, St John the Baptist, at the bottom of Chawton Lane and it is there for everyone who lives within the parish, not just those who come on Sundays. It is everyone’s church, everyone’s building, part of the history of this village.
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Caring for the fabric of this historic building is ongoing. It’s not like looking after the average house; buildings that are over 800 years old and are listed need special care and it all costs money.
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So, re the building, what has been happening recently? In the last five years stained glass windows and stonework have been restored (around £25,000); a new toilet (suitable for people of all abilities) has been put in (around £12,000) and that’s been a great relief. Most of the money for these projects has come from church resources and from the generosity of people like Steve Rumsey (Northwood Stores) who ran the London Marathon to raise funds and all of you who supported him.
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Now the church heating has come to the end of its life and has to be replaced – ideally with a system that will be inexpensive to run – for those who use the building now and for future generations – perhaps you, your children, your grandchildren – all of you are part of the story of the church!
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The Church Council has always tried to fund repairs and maintenance from its own resources and from fund-raising events. We’re not a wealthy parish; we are as affected in these tough times as many of you are – our running costs are rising, the cost of caring for the building is rising yet it’s important that we keep the building in good condition and continue to welcome people for christenings, weddings, funerals and Sunday worship.
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If you would like to help care for this village treasure, there are two ways to contribute:
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At our Harvest Festival we shall be having a Gift Day and special envelopes will be available in the church on 2nd October 2011; they can be taken home and brought back for presentation at our Harvest Festival service on 9th October, along with your Harvest gifts.
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The other way to contribute is to set up a standing order. If half of you reading this set up a standing order for £1 per month your joint contributions would make a huge difference to our ability to maintain and run the building.
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Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you would like to give a donation, set up a standing order or just want to know more, please contact the Churchwardens:

Peter Lambert on 01983 526385 or

Anne Brooker on 01983 296958.

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