The Appeal has been divided into three stages:
Stage 1: The Tower Dating from the 15th Century, until recently this was a seriously endangered structure. Apart from recent deterioration, it had a visible, repaired crack which, it is thought, was caused by an earthquake in 1580 when even one of the pinnacles of Westminster Abbey collapsed! Being the highest point in Thanet, the Tower was used as a signalling station by the Royal Navy in the Napoleonic wars and St Peter’s still claims the privilege to fly the White Ensign.
The clock (the dial dates from 1802), historic bells and the important stained glass window are all part of the Tower and were in need of urgent repair.
Result: £250,000 has been raised with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund, donors and events to repair the Tower, bells and stained glass window.
Stage 2: St Peter’s Community Halls and the Garden of Remembrance The Church and its three halls, the first of which was opened by Mr Edward Heath in 1972, are the very hub of the village, but were in need of urgent updating. The complex of three separate halls also includes two kitchens which were in need of refurbishment and to comply with regulations a disabled toilet was required to be installed in the building. Image right: The Main Hall
Our hall complex benefits from a large, free car park and a well-stocked Co-operative store, doctors’ group practice, a delightful village green, which even includes stocks for miscreants! Image left: The Portland Centre
Here also is the Red Lion Pub, which together with St Peter’s Church are two of the key stopping points on the widely attended and award–winning Village Tour. Weekly during the tourist season the Tour leads some 1,000 visitors per annum between sketches and vignettes, with costumed characters. Image right: The new Mulberry Room
Result: Over £100,00 was raised by events, donations and grants and the main hall and its kitchen have been updated, a disabled toilet installed and a new sound and vision system included in the main hall.
The Garden of Remembrance
The Churchyard, around which tours of historical interest take place, is the longest in Kent and includes a secluded Garden of Remembrance.
This was not in a good state of repair and could not provide the bereaved with the peace and tranquillity needed. Fundraising to repair and make safe the old flint wall, the paths and the wrought iron gate and fence raised the necessary £17,000. This included £1,000 generously donated for the Garden of Remembrance in Memoriam of Robert Stirling Tomlin.
Our Longer Term Aim
Establish cultural and educational facilities within the Church: pews may have to be removed, portable seating installed which will result in the need for a new, far more energy-efficient heating system.
The entrance has already been redesigned to accommodate items for sale eg cards and relevant books and teaching materials. We would like to include a congenial area for social gatherings after services or events.
However, because many other smaller and more urgent projects to run and maintain the Church have been identified, it has been decided to postpone the start of Stage 3 (re-ordering work in the interior of the Church) and raise funds to complete these projects and sustain Church funds before proceeding with the long term plan as outlined above.
All events can be found on our weekly news sheet and on our Facebook Site
Many who have connections with our ancient and beautiful Church, for example through weddings or baptisms or just through visits have kindly chosen to donate. However modest, please do consider this option; it’s really very easy and the results for the Church are so important for its continued existence.
Thank you to everyone who helps in any way towards our Fund-Raising efforts.