Monday, 9 November 2015

St.Andrews on Amen Corner

Here's a short 10 minute radio programme about St.Andrews

First few days time lapse!

Monday, 7 September 2015

Yes! Yes! Yes!!

Did I forget to say - WE MADE IT!!

In the last few weeks of July and August some big grants came in and along with everyone's amazing generosity - it means that work can begin!
I'm sorry for not letting people know earlier, but it was a bit of a whirlwind and then we were all off on holiday!
Now its back for the hard work of getting the building transformed.
We sign contracts and leases this week (a 99 year lease from the Diocese to the PCC for the Chancel and Bemerton Community for the Nave) and then the builders move in on Sept 13th.
We're hoping for a finish by Christmas, but the school can hang on a little way into the new year - this is going to be worth waiting for.
We'll be uploading pictures onto the website so don't forget to check out the news there - click here

Monday, 6 July 2015

From red light to amber..

THE FINAL 40 - the thrilling follow-up

“THANK YOU EVERYONE!”  That’s the message from those leading the project to save Bemerton St John’s church - and turn it into a thriving community hub.  The launch of their Final 40 campaign saw the people of Bemerton and Salisbury rally in a remarkable way:  Rev Simon Woodley says “the community response has been fantastic and, at times, quite moving.  People have been so generous, and many have given in memory of loved ones who were connected to St. John’s church.”
Thanks to this tremendous last push, the project has raised more than £32,000 of the £40k so desperately needed.  Phase 1 of the renovations could start soon – but only if the City Council agrees a crucial grant next week. 
If this grant doesn’t come in, the project could stall at the last second!  Years of hard work and fundraising from local people will be lost – and a beautiful church boarded up forever. 
If the project doesn’t go ahead, we will endeavour to give back all the money that has been so generously donated so far.
Anyone who can help is urged to donate.  “We are putting name plaques on chairs for donors,” says Rev Woodley, “and if we go ahead we’ll be collecting in the pledges in the next few weeks.” The Group need every penny as they start on raising £200k for Phases 2 and 3, which include the toilets and kitchen!  
“But the good news is we hope to be starting soon, and the community and school will have this building back again, in even better shape than before!”
With the days ticking down to our deadline, your help could make all the difference.  If you would like to donate, you can do so online, at our fundraising page -

Alternatively, please make a cheque payable to “Bemerton Community Ltd”, and send to The Treasurer, 83 Lower Rd, Salisbury SP2 9NH.  We are a registered charity.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015


I am about to launch a crowdfunding project and need your support now. It is critical that we get off to a good start as this momentum will encourage others to pledge - so please take a moment to look at my project and pledge whatever you can - there are some great rewards on offer!)

Monday, 22 June 2015

Final 40

Visit for more info!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Nail Biting Finish!

Thanks to all who came to the public meetings - about 65 on Tues and Weds and much less in the playground - but I always knew parents picking up kids would have other things on their mind.
I thought it would be a bit down-beat, delivering the message that "this may not happen". But you can never predict the great Britsih Public. There is no way people wanted to give up now and came up with lots of good ideas for finding some more money. Including, but not exclusively:

THE FINAL 40.  Hearts in our mouths, were appealing for 40 local heroes and heroines to save the day – by donating £1,000.  Could one of them be you?  Your kindness and generosity could transform our hopes – and enter you into an elite club with exciting privileges.  You’d secure a prestigious place in the heart of our hub – and enjoy an annual dinner to boot!
(this is giving beyond whatever was pledged last year)

Secondly, we are appealing to any local, big-hearted business:  Could you sponsor us £500 or more?  Do you know a business that might? You’d win the public gratitude of our community – and earn your caring company a plaque on the wall of the thriving centre you’ve helped to build. 

Part of the optimism and new momentum and drive for the project has been what's happened to the numbers - we were at the £110k shortfall mark for quite a while and we've suddenly dropped to just £50 or £60k to go. This has been from extra grants and more trimming of the budget and a continual trickle of donations.

We are hoping that there will be still be something out there when we start to collect in the pledges in June.

Just a word about God and faith. Its my experience that God likes to play a trust exercise with his people. So just as you cannot know if the person will catch you until you actually fall, so God does not give us all the money or resources we need until the last minute. Its his way of keeping us close to him, and it makes life much more exciting!

Monday, 1 June 2015

Keeping everyone informed

Public Meetings!!

Well, typically, when I emailed 260 people to invite them to our public meetings I got the date wrong! But was that just a cunning plan which meant I had to send another mail with the right dates? Who knows, but here's the real thing:

Next week - Tues 9th June - 7:30pm
and            - Weds 10th June - 1:00pm

Both in St.Johns church. Free! Open to the public.

There has been so much to-ing and fro-ing of deadlines and costs that we though it best if we try and just tell you exactly where we are at, and give you the opportunity to ask questions until you are satisfied. We will tell you what may happen if the project goes ahead, and what may happen if it doesn't. Hopefully most of the Trustees will be present, and we can answer all your questions.

See you there!