The Heart of the Community project is central to our work at St Michael's Church. It's an audacious plan to take our vision of living to make a difference to a whole new level. Everyone is invited to play a part in making it happen.
Four key ambitions
Create a spacious modern meeting place in the centre of the village
Restore our historic church building for generations to come
Upgrade our existing community rooms
Fund outreach and anti-poverty projects locally, nationally and internationally
Each of these four elements is included specifically because it enables us to fulfil our vision of living to make a difference, through discipleship, outreach and serving the community.
Well on the way there
We have raised almost £2.75 million (including gift aid contributions). The vast majority of that figure has come from regular giving and one-off donations from individuals and families.
The first phase of the new church centre is up and running. The ground floor of the main auditorium opened in the spring of 2015, seating 300 people for all kinds of gathering and events. The first offices and meeting rooms on the ground floor are open for business too. And numerous outreach and anti-poverty projects have been funded.
But we still have a long way to go.
Project update Spring 2017
You can read the latest update here. Whether you're new to St Michael's or a longstanding member, it's an encouraging read and also details our plans for the future.
Project Update August 2016
Thanks to the amazing £565,000response to the Heart of the Community Gift Day in May, work is now underway on the next phase of the St Michael’s Centre as well as improvements to the church and Old School Rooms. – Our architects have re-designed the proposed toilet extension to the old church and we are seeking planning approval for the new design, which is slightly smaller . – The main entrance lobby and toilets in the Old School Rooms will be refurbished, including new flooring. – Work on the mechanical and electrical infrastructure for Phase 3 of the St Michael’s Centre will begin in September, with the installation of most of the underfloor heating, cabling and utilities to the arched barns area and the balcony.This will enable phased completion of the various rooms as further funds become available.We are also delighted that we will be able to repay the first Charities Aid Foundation loan of £150,000 in December.A tenth of all money donated by members of St Michael’s is being used to support building and development projects undertaken by our mission partners in the UK and overseas and will be allocated by the Mission Action Group.Thank you to everyone who is supporting the HOTC project through prayer, regular giving and one-off gifts.
This project update (May 2016) summarises the story of the Heart of the Community so far, and brings us up to date with the latest fundraising totals and targets. Whether you're a longstanding church member, new to St Michael's or just visiting, it's well worth a read.
Be part of it
Some say that community spirit is a thing of the past. Our vision says the opposite. We live to restore relationships, re-build community and enable more people to come together and discover the difference our lives can make.
We're inviting everyone to enjoy the new facilities, spread the word and to consider supporting the project. Together we can all play a part in making this vision a reality, completing every element of the project and really living to make a difference at the heart of the community.
Thanks to the amazing £565,000response to the Heart of the Community Gift Day in May, work is now underway on the next phase of the St Michael’s Centre as well as improvements to the church and Old School Rooms.
– Our architects have re-designed the proposed toilet extension to the old church and we are seeking planning approval for the new design, which is slightly smaller .
– The main entrance lobby and toilets in the Old School Rooms will be refurbished, including new flooring.
– Work on the mechanical and electrical infrastructure for Phase 3 of the St Michael’s Centre will begin in September, with the installation of most of the underfloor heating, cabling and utilities to the arched barns area and the balcony.
This will enable phased completion of the various rooms as further funds become available.
We are also delighted that we will be able to repay the first Charities Aid Foundation loan of £150,000 in December.
A tenth of all money donated by members of St Michael’s is being used to support building and development projects undertaken by our mission partners in the UK and overseas and will be allocated by the Mission Action Group.
Thank you to everyone who is supporting the HOTC project through prayer, regular giving and one-off gifts.
Latest HOTC Gift Day update…£565k including Gift Aid !
We continue to give thanks to God for His incredible provision through His people. At the meeting of the SMCC Trustees on 6thJune, it was decided that the funds should be allocated as follows:
£56k – 10% Mission Tithe.
£136k – Repayment of the first element (capital) of the CAF loan (4% loan).
£75k – Church improvements and toilets.
£298k – Mechanical & Electrical infrastructural work on new centre, plus installation of the new lift to enable access from Old School Rooms.
The other amazing news is that we have managed to secure the continuation of the VAT Zero-rating status for this next phase of the construction, for which we give more thanks! Thank you Lord for your sovereignty.
This Friday 24th June, we have our monthly prayer breakfast for the Heart of the Community Project. Come along to the Old School Rooms at 6.30am, where we will worship and pray together. This will be followed by a light breakfast at 7.30am.
We’re looking forward to welcoming the Phoenix Recorder Orchestra to the St Michael’s Centre Auditorium! They’ll be here on Saturday 25th June at 7.30pm for their summer concert. Complete with local recorder students, the concert is in support of the Heart of the Community.
The Heart of the Community project is about everyday people living to make a difference.
With that in mind, we are raising £5.5m to invest in four key areas of community and church life. The buildings and facilities aren't the main focus of the project, they are simply tools for the task of living to make a difference.
This short clip explains our four audacious ambitions...
The church building refurbished
Refurbishment of our historic church building will protect and improve it for increased use in the years ahead. Better heating, new toilets, redecoration and waterproofing are all included in the plans.
The Old School Rooms upgraded
Upgrading of facilities, especially sound-proofing and air-conditioning, will make the Old School Rooms even better equipped to serve the whole community and to be considerate to our neighbours.
A large new church and community centre
We're building a complex of meeting rooms and a community auditorium seating up to 600 people on the old barns site next door to the Old School Rooms. It's designed to enable St Michael’s to grow and to serve the community in many new ways.
Outreach and fighting poverty
The project aims to make a difference well beyond our parish boundaries, by sharing with other churches, and by supporting work to combat poverty and spread the good news of Jesus in collaboration with charities elsewhere in the UK and around the world.
Take a tour
Our architects have produced a graphical simulation of the new church and community centre. This short clip provides a virtual guided tour of the building...
Everyone is invited to play a part in turning the Heart of the Community vision into reality. An amazing number of people have already chosen to support the project financially.
This short clip tells that extraordinary story…
Three great ways to give
Giving a regular donation each month over 3, 4 or 5 years enables us to plan for the future of the project. When lots of people give as little as just £2 a month it can make a huge difference. And many people have chosen to give much more.
A standing order or direct debit is simple to set up. It spreads the cost of your donation and, if you’re a UK taxpayer, a simple form means the government will contribute an extra 25% on top of your donations in gift aid.
Please print and complete this Heart of the Community giving form if you wish to make a regular donation.
Individual donations and one-off gifts can also make a huge difference. And UK taxpayers can also qualify for gift-aid, enabling the project to receive an extra 25% donation from the government.
To make a one-off donation quickly and securely, please use our online giving page.
Please note: If you wish to make a large one-off donation, give a grant from a trust fund or charity, or pay in the proceeds of a fundraising event - please contact us directly to make your donation instead of using the online giving service. Either way donations can be made anonymously if required. Thank you.
There are dozens of fundraising events under way, more in the pipeline, and we’ll need a good supply after that as well. Please look out for all kinds of imaginative ways to get involved with fundraising activities. Attend them, support them or organise them. The more the merrier. Please contact us for more details.
Inspired to give
A Heart of the Community video-guide to giving ...
Take a look around
If you’d like to know more before choosing to support the project we would be delighted to answer any questions, show you the plans, the new site and our current facilities.
Please contact us to arrange your visit.
The official name of the Heart of the Community project charity is St Michael's Church Centre Ltd
Registered Charity No.1149601
We are always glad to hear from anyone with thoughts, ideas, offers of help or donations towards the Heart of the Community project. Please use the form below to get in touch, or find all our phone numbers and email addresses on the contact page.