19th August 2009

The current situation regarding St Peters

Subsequent to detailed submissions to the Church Commissioners in February 2007, supported by evidence and opinion from English Heritage, The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, (SPAB), The Order of St John and other interested parties a decision was made in October 2008 that any former proposal to sell a lease on the church would be rescinded and subject to the necessary procedures St Peters Church would be vested in the ’Churches Conservation Trust’. The Church would be restored and opened to the public with a local management agreement with the ’Friends of St Peters Church, Swingfield’.

A draft scheme under ‘Pastoral Measures 1983’ was published by the Commissioners in November 2008 providing for the Vesting of the Church (not the churchyard), formally into the Churches Conservation Trust. No objections to the scheme were received, so it will proceed. The churchyard remains with the PCC because it remains in current use.

In order to achieve the forgoing it would be necessary to raise the required funding in the sum of £540.000.00. This figure is based on a provisional survey and schedule of works prepared by the retained Architects, Thos Ford & Partners. The CCT will not authorise any restoration work until the total sum required is in hand or pledged.

Current restoration pledged funding at July 31st 2009 stands at £395.000.00. made up by pledges from - CC & CCT, Church Community Fund, The Friends of St Peters and local Charitable Trusts. We therefore have a current funding gap of - £145.000.00.
Applications for funding are under consideration by English Heritage and other Charitable Trusts and funding bodies. Fund raising continues.