Following phase one of this project the five yearly inspection of St Mary’s fabric was undertaken in 2015 and many areas of requirement for work to be carried out were identified.
St Mary’s Church Hadleigh was recognised as one of England’s major parish churches in 2016. Its last major restoration and re-ordering took place 150 years ago and we believe that it is now time to renew the building so that it can meet the needs and challenges of the 21st century.
St Mary’s is a major asset for the wider community in Hadleigh and beyond. As a parish church serving an expanding town, it is primarily a place of worship. The church is also used regularly by a broad range of organisations with educational, social, cultural and recreational interests. There is no other building in our locality large enough to accommodate their activities.
The Renewal Project is divided into three areas of development: Major Fabric Work, Reordering and Interpretation of our history and heritage.
A Committee was commissioned by the PCC to set up the framework of management for taking these three areas forward, and researching information that will be required to move forward. Work commenced in 2016 looking into the most urgent needs, architects for the project and funding.
Freeland Rees Roberts architects of Cambridge were appointed in 2016.
Applications to many funding organisations are an ongoing process and a few grants have been given to the Renewal fund. An unsuccessful bid for HLF funding was made in 2017 but this source of funding is to be revisited.
We have addressed some of the most urgent work from the 2015 quinquennial report and this work has been funded by in excess of £130,000 from the Friends of St Mary’s Church Hadleigh.
In 2019 a Marieschi painting which had hung in the Rectory since 1750 was sold raising £350,000 and enabling the committee to start preparatory work with the architects to produce plans and estimates, and a phased programme for the work to take place with a possible overall price tag of £1.5 - £2 million. The main bulk of funds for this major project will have to be raised from private donations and from grants.
A new quinquennial 2020 inspection has been carried out which will help us assess the way forward with incorporating the most urgent work into our future plans.
We now need to redouble our efforts in fundraising.