Littlehempston is a small friendly village with nowhere to meet. We don't have a village hall, but we do have a very beautiful Grade 1 listed church. So our plan is to adapt the church, so that the community can use it for a wide variety of events. This will also help secure the future of the church, as there have been fears that it might close as congregations dwindle.

We hope that by summer 2012, the church will be in use again not only for religious services, but also busy with a wide range of activities to suit villagers of all ages. Suggestions from local people include dances, concerts, film shows, talks, markets, exercise classes plus a space to have seasonal get-togethers like Harvest Lunch and Yuletide Dinners. The local playgroup will also have a home.

To make this community space warm and welcoming, we're installing underfloor heating, a toilet, with wheelchair access and a kitchen. The pews will be fitted with wheels, so they can be pushed back to provide an open area, when necessary. None of this will affect the church services or alter the basic fabric of the church. The design is commended as exemplary and sensitive by the Diocese. The cost of all this work is around £107,000 and so the Community Space Project Team is working hard to raise this through grants, donations and fund-raising events around the village.

Phase 1 aims to install a kitchenette to the left of the door as you come in. The current kitchen will be replaced with a toilet area that can be entered from inside the church or from outside through a newly created door that will provide disabled access. (The door will replace the current kitchen window.)  This new entrance is necessary, as there’s not enough space inside to get a wheelchair past the organ. Phase 2 will install underfloor heating in the nave in the pew area and provide wall heaters in the side aisles. Once this is done, the pew area will be floored with sandstone. Finally, if fundraising goes well, a new lighting scheme and an inner porch, created with glass doors and using pew screens, will be installed. The font will also be relocated to the north aisle near the window.

If you would like to help, contact the Community Space Project Team.

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