Transforming St Mildred's Church
For the 21st Century
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.
Martin Vink is leading the St Mildred's planning team and he is very happy to visit any local organisation to explain the plans. You can contact Martin via the "contact" button above.
See below for some photos and a short video of how the improved church might look