The Way Forward at St Mary’s Stebbing - A Project to safeguard the church for future generations
St Mary’s Church, Stebbing is approaching 700 years old. The building shows the signs of many phases of change and development with the most visible and most recent change being the major re-ordering carried out in 1884. Throughout the 20th Century heating and electrical systems have been added but the church currently retains its Victorian internal layout.
The Church community has spent the last five years considering the complex issues surrounding the preservation of this medieval place of worship, while ensuring the building serves the needs of the community now and into the future. Failing heating, unsafe electrical systems, collapsing Victorian heating ducts and a significant damp issue have become a major concern to those charged with the upkeep of the church.
While maintenance and heritage preservation are a key concern, the church has also carefully considered the practicality and current use of the building. As St Mary’s is the largest hall in Stebbing, and the only Grade 1 listed building in the village the building is a central amenity for the local community.
In addition to regular Sunday worship, St Mary’s is used for a wide range of activities. Music plays a big part in St Mary’s use; local bands and musicians rehearse in the building almost every week. The church hosts frequent concerts, ranging from Opera to Rock Choirs to Accordion Duos. A community ‘board gaming’ club has just started up in the building, and a thriving toddler group meets in the church one Sunday afternoon a month.
Almost every activity held in the church runs up against the limitations of the current facilities. Poor heating and damp make the building cold and unwelcoming for large parts of the year. Toddlers, the disabled and the elderly struggle with the uneven, dangerous floor; presenting a real accessibility issue. The lack of flexibility in the Victorian layout means groups struggle for enough space within what is a huge building.
This project aims to address the issues detailed here, preserving our heritage and creating an asset that serves the community now and into the future.
This project involves the whole community and we really do value what you have to say. Please do give us your feedback and suggestions on our plans by clicking here or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org