News

Urgent funding needed – New College Hall

The Priory has long enjoyed the appreciation of both congregation and parishioners, who helped repair and maintain this lovely building, particularly during the last 10 years. During this time there have been a number of major repair and renovation projects – re-roofing of the nave, Old College Hall (including internal works and gas heating installation), the south transept over the organ, and the installation of gas central heating in the church itself. These works were funded by grants, church reserves and generous support from the church and parish community.
As a result of this work and financial help, the Priory is now in a generally good condition and secured for future generations.
Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for New College Hall, which is in regular use by Guides, Brownies, Pop-in, Parish Council, Ladies Keep Fit, and Youth Group amongst others. The building is damp, particularly upstairs and the south gable, and areas of the roof are becoming hazardous. The coping and parapet stone need urgent attention or we have to consider closing the access road alongside the south gable.
All the work needed would cost £80,000 or more. This is not within our reach, so we are concentrating on the essential roof and coping stone repairs, re-pointing of south gable and re-glazing of the large south facing windows. The amount needed is £22,000.
The Priory currently can only spend £5,000 towards these costs; earlier work has exhausted the reserves, and costs are rising at a time when collections and regular donations have all reduced.
We are launching a fund raising programme, and asking the congregation, users of church facilities and everyone who values the hall to help raise the required sums. Grants for Grade II buildings are difficult to obtain but we will try. During the last major fund raising exercise, individuals, organisations and parishioners all raised money for OCH refurbishment by a variety of means, as they did for the church roof some years earlier.
Can you help? In the past various events have been organised by individuals and groups. Pledges and straightforward donations made. It all helps reach the required target. Increasing your regular giving, or committing to do so for a year or more is also of great benefit as it allows us to budget and spread costs.
If you feel you can help or wish to help in any way, not necessarily by putting your hand in your pocket, though that too is hoped for, let Rev Becky Gibbs or any of the Church wardens know.
How to donate – Give your donation to any Churchwarden or the Treasurer – marked NCH Project, Cheques should be made out to St Bees Priory PCC.
Easiest way is via Just Giving –
https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/stbeespriory/nch
or use your phone and
Text NCHP01 Amount £10 to 70070
or whatever sum you wish to donate