LR Restoration Fundraising

By Fr. Anthony, Looking after our Lyme Regis church for the future

From the website article on our Lyme Regis Church Restoration Project, you will be aware that the exterior of our church is coming to the end of its serviceable life.  A condition survey carried out by Hosken Parks in the summer of 2017 identified that work was needed to repair and redecorate the church both internally and externally and since then Richard Salt, through the Parish Finance Group (PFG), has been engaged with what needs to be done.

Early in 2020, a firm of Historic Building Consultants, Philip Hughes & Associates (PHA), was appointed to prepare a Summary of Works and Specification for the repair and restoration works required to the church, bell tower and presbytery.  The parish has been fortunate in receiving Grants, notably £140,800 from Historic England Culture Recovery Fund but even so, in October the PFG saw there were only sufficient funds available for much of the EXTERNAL work to be done.

On behalf of the parish, PHA prepared specifications to put out to tender and a contract has now been signed with contractors Daedalus Conservation who are due to commence work on the 5th January, completing the works by the 31st March 2021.  Please see the website for an explanation of costs, but after taking into account funds which the parish has raised, the recovery of VAT and the grants awarded, the shortfall comes to £48,066.

There have been discussions with the diocese as to how the shortfall should be covered and the diocese requires that it be met out of parish investments managed by the diocese.  The problem is that the parish relies on the income from its investments to help meet the expenses of running the parish and maintaining the three churches and any realisation of the investments will result in a drop in income.  The answer is to realise the investments to meet the shortfall but set up a system to replace those investments within a reasonable time of, say, five years.


What???  I don’t have that sort of money, how can I possibly help?!!!

Well – it is the little things that always count, so this is a request.  Could you give up a small thing each week, perhaps a take-out coffee, a cake or a dessert at home, or buying something you’d like but don’t need?  Or you could turn down the thermostat a notch or two and give money you save?  Or cycle or walk rather than drive somewhere and give your petrol money? Or could you sell a few things you don’t need, say on eBay?

The Pledge Plan

As a target, we need to raise a figure in the region of £50,000 but we have a three church congregation of over 100 parishioners and five years to repay the money.  By way of an example that means if everyone puts away £2.00 a week, we will repay the money on time.

Would you be able to give an extra £2.00 per week either weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually?  If each parishioner contributed in this way, repayment of value of the investments realised would be as follows:

£2.00 x 52 = £104 (one year from one person)

£104 x 5 = £520 (five years from one person)

£520 x 100 = £52,000

Of course, if you can give £520 now – or more – that would be a wonderful way to kick-start the campaign, otherwise, the payments can be made weekly, monthly or quarterly to suit you.  Payment by Bank Standing Order would directly link your payment to the Lyme Regis Restoration Fund and better still, if you are a taxpayer, your donation can be gift-aided.

There are some examples of the great generosity which many in our parish have already shown: one parishioner generously left £25,000 for our use at Lyme and another left £2,000 for Lyme church decoration in their Wills. Only last month our appeals for support resulted in £600 being donated and some of us are increasing our regular standing orders to the parish, pledging the extra money to the  ‘PRCDTR St Michael and St George Restoration Fund’.

It is really encouraging that this ‘Pledge’ initiative comes as a parish idea.  Can you possibly help?  If so, please would you contact Claire at the Parish Office to get more details or sign up for the Pledge?  TEL: 01297 32135 (10.00am to 3.00pm) or email her on [email protected]

The Pledge commitment will end: 1. On the completion of the agreement,  2. When the £50,000 is repaid into the CIF, or 3. at the end of 5 years, whichever is the sooner.

Thank you in anticipation of your help, on behalf of the Parish of The Most Holy Trinity and thank you also for those who have already given their time and money in support of Lyme Regis Restoration Project.

Father Anthony Cockram                     19 December 2020