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Upminster church appeals for donations to transform it into ‘heart of the community’

PUBLISHED: 15:00 23 October 2017

The Church of St Laurence has received planning permission to demolish part of the building, so they can rebuild it with new facilities/make it more modern. 
They are raising �650,000 to do this. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

The Church of St Laurence has received planning permission to demolish part of the building, so they can rebuild it with new facilities/make it more modern. They are raising �650,000 to do this. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

Ellie Hoskins +44(0)7743306087 www.elliehoskins.com

A church which has been standing for more than a thousand years, with plans to partly demolish the building so it can be modernised with new facilities, is campaigning to raise £650,000.

The Church of St Laurence has received planning permission to demolish part of the building, so they can rebuild it with new facilities/make it more modern. 
They are raising �650,000 to do this. Picture: Ellie Hoskins The Church of St Laurence has received planning permission to demolish part of the building, so they can rebuild it with new facilities/make it more modern. They are raising �650,000 to do this. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

The Church of St Laurence, Corbets Tey Road, Upminster, is looking to knock down its existing sacristy and choir vestry at the east end of the church, in order to rebuild them with facilities so the space can also be used as a multipurpose meeting room.

The room would be used by the community, those who visit the church for events and services and the regular worshipping community.

Rector Susannah Brasier said: “Since the 7th century when it was founded, the church building has evolved and developed in order to better serve the community in which it is set. This is effectively the latest stage of this process.

“It is the vision that the building, and we who worship here, become the heart of that community.”

The church submitted a planning application to demolish the east end of the building which has been successful but now awaits official approval from the Church of England, Diocese of Chelmsford.

Before approval is given, the Upminster church needs to raise enough money to show that it can and will restore the building to an even higher standard.

It has been determined that £650,000 is needed to redevelop the premises and those at the church have launched a fundraising campaign to collect the funds.

The idea to modernise the church was that of Rector Brasier’s predecessor Rector Michael Hore who died after battling motor neurone disease three years ago.

Rector Brasier said: “We started raising money every so often and have got around £150,000 but now we have planning permission, we want to launch this campaign.

“He [Rector Hore] didn’t get to see his vision come to life sadly but I’m happy that we’re following through with it.”

To raise money, the church is holding a fun evening on November 25 at 7.30pm, which will feature traditional folk songs and old stories and jokes.

David Pickthall’s Big Band in Concert will also be held on January 13.

For more information call the Parish Office on 01708 220696.

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