ladderFollowing the very successful share offer raising funds specifically for the community shop, we are now looking for your support in providing modern standards of accessibility and facilities in both the church and the parish room in order to benefit all groups who use the building for religious purposes or otherwise. These groups include the Playgroup, Brownies, Guides, Pilates, Youth Group, School activities, Scottish dancing and Gardening Club; it is also an affordable and well-appointed venue for fund-raising activities for good causes and for private events.

The coherent package of improvements prioritised to achieve this include:

  • Refurbishment of the main steps
  • Safer access to the balcony as part of the alterations for the shop
  • Shop infrastructure
  • Accessible toilets in the current choir vestry – a facility essential for the café
  • An access ramp to the parish room
  • Accessible toilets in the parish room.

You can view the plans and you can see photographs of our progress.

We have already made great progress in raising funds and this is allowing us to make a start on the first phases of the work. Contractors are being appointed for church-funded work on the main steps, scheduled for late spring. This will hopefully be followed in the summer with the alterations in the church. Ideally the Parish Room work will follow on from this but that will be dependent on funding so it could slip into 2022.

Following the shop’s share offer, generous grants by Amberley Methodist Council and other charities, together with funds from the church’s own reserves and some generous offers from parishioners, we have raised £212,000 towards the cost of delivering this exciting and necessary programme of work.

However, based on initial quantity surveyor calculations, collectively we need to raise another £108,000 to complete the whole programme. We are applying to various trusts and funding bodies but, post Covid, there is a lot of competition for funding so we are sure that there will still be a gap to close after the funds already raised by the church and shop are exhausted.

This appeal aimed at both church members and the wider community as these upgraded facilities are a benefit to all in the community, the church congregation being only a small minority of those who will benefit. You may already have responded to the share issue by the shop but even if you have, we hope you will still feel able to make a contribution to this appeal.

These alterations are important as they will help make the building one that is suitable for the 21st century.

We hope you can be generous in your donations as they will enable the largest public building in Amberley to be accessible for whole community use and be fit for purpose for many years to come.