Spare £20,000,000?

March 19, 2018 | Filed under: 2018, April 2018

This is the figure the insurers of the St John’s Church (Grade1 Listed) estimate it would cost to erect and furnish the building today. If you were able to make even half this sum available the challenges involved with maintenance and preservation of the church could be substantially eased.

Those responsible for the church think that this is unlikely and have come up with some contingency plans. We already have a restoration group working on plans for the upgrading and replacement of the interior lights and the rewiring of the church. They are also looking at plans to install a servery and toilets.  Such projects will cost many thousands of pounds.

There is urgent need of re-pointing and other repairs to the church tower including repair or replacement of the bell-chamber louvres and repainting of the clock face.  The cost of the scaffolding alone is estimated at well over £30,000. Also, restoration of part of the south side of the main roof is needed.

Our parishioners are relatively few and cannot fund this work alone, so a new group has been formed.  You may already have come across the Friends of Saint John’s (FoSJ), which has a presence on the internet, a bank account and basis of ideas for fundraising.  This group is made up of  vibrant and decisive individuals, including myself.  A key characteristic of the group is that we have drawn people from the wider community in Tideswell as we view the church as belonging to that whole.

Your help is needed!  Your religious standpoint will not be scrutinised. We need a shift away from the perception that the church building ‘belongs to’ a few individuals who are members of the Church of England. We don’t share that view. The Cathedral of the Peak is an important monument of local and national significance.

What can you do to help? Look at our website!  Become a ‘Friend’. Donate on our Just Giving page. Take a tour of the church or church tower and volunteer to help with future tours.  Help with fundraising or grant procurement.  Above all reacquaint yourself with the church building you encounter every day and let us know why its special to you.

I am not a native of Tideswell but I have lived here long enough to know the church is central in defining the character of the village to locals and visitors alike. It has been standing, significantly unaltered, for over 600 years.  It is, now, the responsibility of our generation and each one of us can contribute even in a small way.

For further information: cathedralofthepeaktideswell.org.uk

Just Giving: www.justgiving.com/friendsofstjohntideswell

Paul Black

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