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Celebrate! We have reached an important milestone.
In August the PCC made a report about the progress it was making with regard to faculties and fundraising. Now that the Heritage Lottery Fund has approved our re-application for their financial support to repair and restore the slated and leaded areas of the church, the PCC can provide a very positive update for everyone interested. With HLF support the PCC is now able to confirm that the roof repairs will go ahead, that there will be a good deal of heritage activity over the next year which we all hope will involve as many volunteers as possible, and that we are delighted to have won the support of the HLF.
The PCC was fortunate to be able to work with some helpful targeted guidance from the HLF to make sure our application for funding was as well presented as possible. There was no doubt about the importance and necessity of the repair to the roof of the church, but at a time when there is strong competition for funding assistance, it was crucial to make a compelling case for community engagement in a restored church building.
There are limited funding opportunities from major grant-awarding bodies who will welcome applications from places of worship and it was important that this was successful. Now that funding for the roof is secure, work will commence in January and we plan that the roofing and heritage projects will be completed by June 2019 although the benefits of both to our community will endure for a very long time.
As everyone knows, the PCC has also been working hard on a distinct and separate project since June 2017 to raise funds to provide an accessible toilet and servery in the church. A recently published National Churches Trust Opinion Poll from September 2018 shows that almost a quarter of British people said they would be more inclined to visit a church as a leisure activity or tourist attraction if there were better visitor friendly facilities such as accessible toilets. There is no doubt that this is the right way forward and will prove to be a huge asset to our village. Of course, without a watertight roof there would have been little point in pursuing this objective. Fundraising for the toilet and servery will continue so that the church can be fully prepared to face the future as a secure, modern and welcoming community asset.

Could you volunteer? Your support will be welcomed.
There will be a number and variety of opportunities to engage in heritage activities, particularly over the next year, and this is a call to anyone who might be interested to express that interest to us as soon as possible. The list following describes the sort of volunteering opportunities that are being created through our engagement with HLF and timetables are fairly flexible at the moment so that we can best use the talent and the willingness of all who come forward.
Please take time to consider what you can offer to enable these activities to take place, and what taking part in those activities might offer to you. The opportunity is to meet other people, support youngsters, learn creative and collaborative skills, have fun doing something different, enjoy new activities, reflect on our heritage and how important what we are doing is for our community and for heritage tourism.
HLF supported activities and timetable for St Petrock’s January to June 2019 include:
To record the restoration of the roof photographically
Are you a keen amateur photographer? This supports a variety of skill levels!
Come along and show your enthusiasm and your creativity in January – when we have a start date confirmed – for the project. You can photograph the roof, or even the photographers if you like, while we serve you refreshments! At all stages photographs of the work will be welcomed and a record of the work will be kept for our village archive.
To create new interpretation boards, a new church heritage walking trail for the Dunster Benefice, and a new church pamphlet for all visitors.
Are you interested in designing educational materials? Could you help scope the walking trail to create a unique Benefice walking map encouraging heritage and a healthy outdoor pursuit? Would you like to help develop a village walking trail by suggesting places of interest and short resumes of their importance? Could you develop an I-spy write up of a village walking trail for young ones? Would you like to help revise our church pamphlet to show recent activity?
To research local archives, share findings online and carry out an oral history project.
Would you like to receive professional support and training from the Oral History Society so you can be proficient in undertaking high quality recordings for an oral archive? We want to gather life stories and experiences for recording and sharing. We want to cover a range of Exmoor voices. Would you like to be interviewed? Are you interested in archive training at the Somerset Heritage Centre, general research of archives, sharing material that you have about local history, learning how to post material effectively on our village website?
To hold a series of lectures and talks, exhibitions and celebratory and community events in the church.
This is a community project and we have funds to train volunteers to acquire heritage skills, interact socially and enjoyably, and create enduring heritage outcomes for the village. Would you like to deliver a musical evening in the church? Would you like to help organise soup and sandwiches to start our roof project, or be involved in providing a barbeque to celebrate the successful conclusion of all these events on the first weekend in June at our Patronal Feast Day?

Project work will include a number of events linked with the village school so children learn more about their local village history and heritage. We would like to run an event in March 2019 to celebrate School World Book Day and our strong link in Timberscombe with JP Martin, former Methodist Minister and author of the cult ‘Uncle’ books. Could you help with that? Do you have reminiscences about JP Martin that could be included in an exhibition?

We have funds to create a Village Cookery book which could reflect local recipes and characters. What would you submit? We hope every volunteer who assists in this activity will have a rewarding and enjoyable time. With no upper or lower age limit, the scope is wide to create a unique recipe book. Would you like to be involved with this?

Please contact Marion Jeffrey on 841500, John Gratton 841490, Marion Moncrieff 841318 or any member of the PCC. Thank you.

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