St Mildreds Transformation Project
Transformation of St Mildred's Church For the 21st Century
DONATE TO THE PROJECT >>> HERE
St Mildred’s has been transformed many times in its long history. The current transformation project is only the latest chapter in a long story of similar projects as Christians in Tenterden have responded to the prompting of God. Previous chapters in the story cover the addition of a tower, bells, rood screen and choir stalls, vestries, lighting, heating and a lavatory, the installation and later removal of galleries and pews, the blocking up of doors, the plastering and painting of interior walls. The story reveals how St Mildred’s has been adapted and refurbished to meet the needs of the worshippers of previous generations and a changing society. And so the story of St Mildred’s is interwoven with the story of the community. And now the story continues! Today we want to keep the best of St Mildred’s but adapt the church so that we can worship differently and share it more easily with the people of Tenterden. Nine years ago we embarked upon the transformation project because we wanted to create a flexible and creative worship space and offer a home to the life of the wider community. The transformation of St Mildred’s is at the core of our worship, mission, and ministry.
PRESS RELEASE 29 MARCH 2023
ST MILDRED’S TENTERDEN MAJOR IMPROVEMENTS APPROVED
One of the most beautiful churches in Kent, St Mildred's at the heart of Tenterden, is part way through a major transformation project, designed to make the 12th century church a more flexible and inspirational community resource for the current century.
Next Phase - The pews have been replaced with chairs and the church repainted, and now all the necessary approvals are in place to enable the next phase of the works. It will provide a new Purbeck stone floor with underfloor heating which will make a huge difference to the appearance and atmosphere of the church and make it a much more welcoming space for both church and community events. The new heating system will be highly sustainable because the heat will be provided by Air Sourced Heat Pumps.
This phase will cost in the region of £600,000 and fundraising is well underway. About
£400,000 is still needed before the works can start but, now that the approvals have been given, applications for grant aid can be made. Any donations to the project are most welcome and can be made by via the contact details below. If the funding target is achieved, work to install the new floor and heating will commence in 2024. Future phases will include providing better facilities such as toilets and a kitchen to enrich the worship and community role of the church still further.
Says Lindsay Hammond Vicar of St Mildred’s
“We want to bring our historic church right up to date. St Mildred's is here, first and foremost, for worship and prayer, but we also want it to serve our community in as many ways as possible and be a place of light, life and hope which is open to everyone. We have a building at the heart of the community, and we want the community to be at its heart”.
The St Mildred’s Parochial Church Council, which is carrying out the changes, has promised that the historic interior of St Mildred's will be retained and enhanced.
JS Bach - St John Passion 25 March 2023
Ceilidh in St Mildred's Church - 11 March 2023
An Illustrated Talk on Stained Glass through 900 years, speaker St Paul Britton - 15 October 2022
An audience with Tim Henman - 6 May 2022
Model Railway Exhibition 30 April 2022
NEWS July 2021
A Story of Transformation of St Mildred's Church
News July 2021
TRANSFORMATION - A STORY OF ST MILDRED'S CHURCH
NOT FOR THE FIRST TIME
St Mildred's has been transformed many times in its long history. The current transformation project is only the latest chapter in a long story of similar projects.
IN TIMES GONE BY
Previous chapters in the story cover the addition of a tower, bells, rood screen and choir stalls, vestries, lighting, heating and a lavatory, the installation and later removal of galleries and pews, the blocking up of doors, the plastering and painting of interior walls.
MEETING THE NEEDS OF THE TIMES
The story reveals how St Mildred's has been adapted and refurbished to meet the needs of the worshippers of previous generations and a changing society. And so the story of St Mildred's is interwoven with the story of the community.
THE STORY CONTINUES
And now the story continues! Today we want to keep the best of St Mildred’s but adapt the church so that we can worship differently and share it more easily with the people of Tenterden.
- Glass doors, Chairs, Repainting
The first phase of the Transformation of St Mildred's 21 began with the installation of glass doors to the south entrance, the replacement of pews with chairs, and the repainting of the interior. This has been completed and fully funded. What you see today is a St Mildred's at the conclusion of this first phase.
- Floor, Heating, Audio/Lighting
The next chapter in the transformation story, will include the fitting of a new floor, and the renewal of the heating, audio and lighting systems. This will make the church a more energy friendly and ecological church.
- Extension, Toilets, Storage
Finally, we plan to build an extension on the northside of the church which will accommodate expanded toilet facilities and storage areas.
TRANSFORMATION OF ST MILDRED'S CHURCH
Nine years ago we embarked upon the transformation project because we wanted to create a flexible and creative worship space, and because we wanted to be able to welcome the local community to St Mildred's and more easily host community events. A transformed St Mildred's is central to the worship, mission and ministry of our church.
PLEASE HELP - DONATE HERE
NEWS Feb 2021
Transforming St Mildred's for the Twenty-First Century
By the time you read this, the redecoration of St Mildred's will be all but complete! We'd like to say a huge 'thank you' to Phil, Sam, and Leon from Colman, who have wielded paint brushes, and also to our own Andrew Bliss who has overseen the work. The walls of the church now look resplendent and the radiators which once sat like little islands in the nave have now been repositioned adjacent to walls and pillars. The end of the redecorating now completes Phase 1A of the St Mildred's transformation project. We now move, with scarcely a pause for breath, to Phase 1B. This part of the project will focus mainly upon the installation of a new heating system and a new floor throughout the church, suitably graded to allow those who are not quite so mobile to have access to all parts of the church. The changes to the heating and lighting will give us a much more environmentally friendly St Mildred's. Overseeing the ongoing project we have two brilliant groups: The Transforming St Mildred's (Design) Team, and the Transforming St Mildred's (Fund Raising) Team. Our first fund-raising initiative is to give you the opportunity to donate a chair. The new chairs have arrived and just need people to sit on them! Although the chairs have already been funded, your donation will release that money so that we can use it to achieve Phase 1B. Please see our 'donate a chair' information. If you wish, we will record your name and the reason for your donation in a special book which will then go on display. Please do think about donating a chair and making the vision become reality!
St Mildred's in Tenterden, one of the most beautiful churches in Kent, is set for a major £2 million improvement scheme; Church and Cultural, Arts & Entertainment Centre. It is being designed to make the 12th century church as relevant as possible for the 21st century and to make a wonderful community space fit for years to come.
The new scheme includes
- Removing the pews, and replacing them with easily-moveable modern seating, opening up the entire nave for concerts, social and business functions.
- Retaining and enhancing the historic fabric of the church
- The creation of a new Memorial Chapel, at a time when the nation is remembering the fallen of the First World War
- A new glass-fronted gallery, available for exhibitions and displays
- Moving the organ
- Creating two large new rooms in the former organ chapel
- Adding a new kitchen
- Building a rear extension to provide modern toilet facilities for all
- Full disabled access to all of the main facilities is also be provided
Rev Canon Lindsay Hammond says: "The church building is too important to the community to just use it just for worship. There is enormous support in the town for it to realise its potential as a cultural, arts and music venue too. The church needs to serve all its community and be vibrant and open to everyone. We aim for it to be at the centre of the community with the community at its heart.”
The scheme will cost £2.2m. The Parochial Church Council, which is responsible for raising the funds, is bidding for a grant from the Tenterden Town Council as well as making
applications to the Arts Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Ashford Borough Council plus
other local and national organisations. This will be supported by a fund raising campaign
aimed at the church congregation and the town’s residents and businesses.