Over the last two years, the Christ Church Ore PCC have been exploring how our church and hall buildings can best serve the parish and wider community. Our desire is for the Church to be leading the way in the transformation and regeneration of Ore Village by making our buildings fit for purpose for the 21st Century, with a new hall facility and reordered church that will contribute to the common good and enable it to be open during the week for greater community use. Our hope is that over time Christ Church will become the spiritual hub of light and life in the parish and community, seeing spiritual renewal and being good news for all who will use our facilities in the years to come. With that in mind, we embarked upon the process of forming a Transformation Steering Group which is a subcommittee of the PCC, and made up of members of the PCC and community leaders who use the hall. The PCC then appointed David Axford from CSC Regeneration to advise on fundraising for such an important project which began with successfully winning an award from The National Lottery ‘Awards For All’ to commission a Community Audit to understand the needs of the congregation, the hall users, and wider community and how our buildings could best be used, which was published in 2016-17, and can be downloaded here CSC Community Survey for CCO. The latest community survey and report for the public consultation can be downloaded here CSC Public Consultation Day 24-02-18 Report
In 2017 another grant from The National Lottery ‘Awards for All’ enabled us to hold a ‘Have Your Say’ Public Consultation Day by undertaking a feasibility study of future plans followed by wider public consultation day for the community to ‘have their say’ on any future plans.
The PCC appointed the esteemed ecclesiastical architect John Bailey from Thomas Ford & Partners Architects who worked with the Vicar and PCC to see how we could transform our vision into reality. The consultation process continued with John Bailey meeting the PCC and congregation to discuss future aspirations and then interviewing representatives from all the hall users, including the W.I. the leaders of the uniformed organisations (Beavers, Cubs, and Scouts, Rainbows, Brownies and Guides) dog training, flower club, mums and toddlers and Ore Church Mice Pre School CIC to name a few.
As part of the feasibility study the PCC have explored becoming an eco-friendly church and to see how renewable energy will not only benefit the environmental sustainability of the church and hall but also bring down energy costs for the wider community by installing solar panels on the church roof by working with Richard Watson MBE from Energise East Sussex
The Transformation Project continued during the summer of 2017 with the Church roof being repaired after many years of water ingress ensuring the church was watertight, followed by a new sound and AV system at the end of the year, and some minor improvements were made to the hall including the installation of blade hand dryers, and a soon to be installed community defibrillator.
Early in January 2018 the Chichester Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) met with John Bailey for a presentation of our plans for our transformation project which had reached the 6th redesign taking into account all the varied needs of the church congregation, hall users and wider community. Over 4000 invitations were delivered by hand to residents of the parish, and social media was used to promote the day. We were privileged to have the Bishop of Lewes Richard Jackson open the consultation day ad we were joined by various VIP’s including Home Secretary Amber Rudd MP, the High Sheriff of East Sussex Maureen Chowen, and the Deputy Mayor of Hastings Councillor Nigel Sinden, as well as local councillors and other community leaders.
Over 150 people attended the day and had an opportunity to hear a presentation by the architect John Bailey, ask questions and discuss the plans one on one with him as well as have a tour of the current facilities and enjoy the refreshments. There was also an opportunity to fill in a questionnaire which will help shape and inform the final plans. If you would like to ‘have your say’ during the next two weeks you can do so by filling in the online survey here. Please also pop in on a Tuesday morning to the church to look at the plans between 10.00 am – 12.00 pm over tea and coffee.
We would like to say a big thank you to all those who made this very special day possible and look forward to the future where our hope and prayer is that we will see Christ Church Ore and the hall facilities transformed, renewed, and benefitting everyone who lives in Ore.