11 February 2014

Hoo Church needs you!

The vicar of Hoo Parish Church, Reverend John Smith, is appealing to the community to support a fantastic new fundraising project.

The church needs to raise money locally, in order to qualify for the recently awarded, but conditional, £250k grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Statement from Reverend John Smith:

St. Werburgh Church would like to offer you a unique opportunity to have your name written into the fabric of the church.

In January we announced that St. Werburgh Church has received a £250,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The grant will pay for the conservation work that needs to be undertaken to address the problem caused by woodworm infestation and for laying a new stone floor. We need a further £90,000 to pay for under floor heating which must be installed at the same time as the stone floor.

When the new floor is installed there will be more than 1,000 tiles laid in the church. You can have the opportunity to have your name and the names of members of your family inscribed on the back of the tiles. This will mean that in 100, 200 or however many years time, when the tiles are lifted for repairs to be undertaken, your name will be there!

Most of us want to leave a mark to say that we have passed this way - that we have been valued members of our family and community. That is why we purchase headstones and memorial plaques. This is an opportunity for your name to be cemented into a nationally recognised Grade 1 listed building which will continue to be here for more than a thousand years. You can also remember a loved one who has died in this way.

In addition to having your name written on a tile, if you wish, we will record your name in a book printed especially for the purpose. The book will be kept in the church and be displayed. Alongside your name, you will be able to write a short message which will be there for future generations to see. There will also be space in the book for a small photograph of yourself on your own or with other members of your family beside your name. The book will be kept as part of the archive of the church for people to see in generations to come and will form an important record of this generation of residents in Hoo.

Please inform family and friends who have moved away from Hoo who you think might like to take part in this venture.

We hope that people will be willing to donate between £30 and £50 per tile. We will be very grateful for larger donations of course! We will also accept donations of £10 or £20 as we would not want anyone to miss this opportunity for financial reasons. This is especially the case for young people of school age or in full time education who are not part of a family group.

We realise that this may seem a lot of money to some. This is because we have a lot of money to raise and the easiest way is to spread the cost evenly amongst a large number of people! Please give generously and play your part by investing in the heritage of Hoo St. Werburgh. Your contribution will be remembered for many generations through the tiles and the book.

Please contact us in one of the following ways if you would like to donate and we will send you a form. If you are a tax payer please remember to fill in the part of the form which says that you will Gift Aid your donation. The Inland Revenue will give us an extra 25%, at no extra cost to you - this will be a great help - thank you. If you have any questions about Gift Aid please contact us.

Please send your name, address and contact number by emailing here, or by post to: The Organiser, Hoo Church Tiles Project, The Vicarage, Vicarage Lane, Hoo, Rochester, ME3 9BB. You can also telephone or text the St. Werburgh Church Appeal Line on: 07530 374332.

Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Even if, like me, you aren’t a regular church goer, there’s no doubt having a church in the village does help maintain a sense of community, so please help this worthy cause.