What are we doing and why?
St Mark’s Church, on Main Road, Shavington, has been a significant feature of the Village for over 125 years! The Church has been, and continues to be, host to a wide variety of community groups and activities, alongside its regular Sunday congregations, weddings, baptisms, and funerals — no doubt many villagers have memories of events at St Mark’s!
Sadly, last year, the current corrugated-iron building (clad in a thin layer of stone in 1970s) was inspected and found to have several serious problems: the worst was that the church needs a new roof but that working to the relevant legal standards will cause the wooden support-structure and corrugated walls to collapse!
When the current building was opened in 1890 (replacing an earlier wooden church) it was intended to last only 25 years whilst funding could be found for a permanent brick structure. Though many villagers have been generous over the years, the original temporary church still stands and is used weekly. It has long outlived its intended time: now the roof and structural problems mean it’s very close to its end. Though it is sad news, it’s also an opportunity to fulfil a long held vision to build a new church with a series of community amenities on our church field on Crewe Road.
Hen Lane Field (now on Crewe Road) was acquired in 1911 by Mrs Helen Lancaster, a prominent Shavington resident who also founded the local branch of the Mothers’ Union, for the purpose of building the brick church. Sadly, because funds didn’t quickly materialise the land was unused and when Mrs Lancaster died in 1936 the field was conveyed to St Mark’s Church Committee in her will for the expressed purpose of building a new church for the people which would last for a long time to come.
In keeping with Mrs Lancaster’s historic vision, and wanting to do something good for
our community, St Mark’s would like to develop the field site to include a church building, car park, church hall for community-use, and other community amenities such as a cafe, alongside some public outdoor space, for example, a grassed picnic area. In short, we want to build for the future of our Village community.
Take our New Building Survey
We really want to do something that will be good for our community as well as for the regular worshippers at St Mark’s, and we’re keen to hear as many ideas as possible. If you live in or around Shavington, or you come regularly to the area, then would you be willing to give ten minutes of your time and contribute to us working out a good way forward? It will take just a few minutes to complete a survey but we’d really value your contributions.
Thank you ever so much for your time and help.
We have approval from the Diocese of Chester to get on with the project, and have begun conversations with local community groups, the Parish Council, the Local Plan Group. and Cheshire East Council. The Parochial Church Council (PCC) has approved the appointment of the architectural firm Finlason Partnership to help with the development of ideas, and they will eventually work up some plans incorporating the feedback we get from our community survey, as well as spec requirement for the church and associated amenities.
If you’d like to ask any questions, or if you’d like to partner with us in this project financially or otherwise, then do contact the Vicar, Revd Dr Michael Leyden, either by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone on 01270582585. Thank you.
Project Update – September 2018
The project has now regained momentum as we have finally heard from Cheshire East Council in response to our “Pre-Application Enquiry” (this outlines our proposals for a new building for church and community use) sent to them in March.
The Council have stated that they no objections in principle to what we are proposing, so we will now move into the more detailed design phase.
This will involve our Architect developing more detailed plans for the building that will ultimately be submitted with our formal planning application.
We will continue to share information with our local community at public meetings as and when we have anything definite to report. Please watch for further announcements!
A big thank you to everyone who has helped with or supported us at any of our fundraising events.
Please continue to support the project as we move forwards.