Volunteers Wanted for Next Phase of Church Transformation
A project to transform a derelict church in Brampton Abbotts near Ross-on-Wye is moving into its next phase. Herefordshire Council’s Planning Committee approved applications in August 2020 with ten votes in favour and one abstention, enabling the community project to move onto its next stage of fundraising.
The Brampton Abbotts Church Regeneration Group (BACRG) is a registered charity which was formed by local villagers in response to the closure of St Michael’s & All Angels Church in 2008. BACRG aims to save this medieval church from falling into a non-recoverable state of disrepair and to create a hub for the village by transforming the church into an artisan bakery, café and space for occasional worship.
Details of the project can be seen at About The Daily Bread
BACRG’s current trustees are Oliver Marshall, Jo Pilkington & Tom McCarthy, all of whom live in the village. Tom McCarthy commented,
‘Our family moved to the village just after the church was closed. I look out onto St Michaels from my front room. When I heard that the church was in effect derelict, I jumped at the opportunity to get involved in BACRG. To let
this beautiful church fall into a state of disrepair on our watch would be unforgivable.’
Jo Pilkington said that her motivation for getting involved included both the conservation aspect of the project but also the opportunity to create something that breathes new life into the village.
‘In centuries gone by St Michaels’ fulfilled a social role as well as religious and stood at the epicentre of village life. If Covid has taught us anything it is the importance of community. My hope is that St Michaels can once again become a community hub, a place where people come to socialise and enjoy our beautiful heritage asset, through this transformational project.’
For Oli Marshall, the project has a strong personal aspect. Oli grew up in the village, was christened in the church and remembers key events like Harvest, Christmas and Easter warmly.
‘I moved back to the village in 2020 to raise my children. St Michael’s was a central feature of village life during my childhood and I want my kids to have the same fond memories of the church as I do.’
In 2019, BACRG surveyed the village and surrounding communities regarding their views on the project. 82% of respondents expressed either support or strong support for the project (see 2019 Survey Results). Jo, Oli & Tom now want to lean on that support as they look to strengthen the BACRG team. Jo said,
‘Now that we have planning permission, we can up our activity levels – particularly in regard to fundraising – in order to make this transformation a reality. We are looking to recruit new members of the team and would love to hear from you if you would like to be involved.’
BACRG released the following statement:
‘The Board of Trustees is seeking to recruit up to 4 new Trustees to join the team taking forward this exciting and innovative project.
Applicants must be able to demonstrate a commitment to the project; an interest in developing creative and sustainable solutions for our Grade II* heritage building in line with our planning approval and business plan; energy and enthusiasm to push our ideas forward and to make The Daily Bread a reality for Brampton Abbotts, following 8+ years in development. If you would like to be considered to join the team, we would be delighted to
hear from you.
For an informal chat please contact Jo Pilkington; Oliver Marshall or Tom McCarthy in the village or for more information and an application form email email@example.com‘
2nd November 2020