Monday, 23 June 2014

Services in Churchyard

What’s happening?
Underground Services!
You may have noticed digging happening in the churchyard at St.John’s. Don’t Worry!
This is perfectly legal and planned!
We are installing gas and water supplies to the building, for the first time in 150 years, so that it will be ready to be transformed next year into St.John’s place.

This has been made possible by a generous grant from Wiltshire Village Hall Association.

There has been an archaeological survey to determine the best route and we have tried to avoid disturbing any of our “residents”. Someone is on hand, however, should we run into anything unexpected!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Bemerton Open Gardens - back again by popular demand
The beautiful gardens and riverside views of Lower Bemerton will be open once more to the public on
Sunday June 15th.
Nine gardens will be open along Lower

Road, with teas and plant sales in St John’s Church.
This year there will be two added attractions. A scarecrow competition open to all, with the scarecrows displayed by arrangement in the gardens and in the Bemerton Recreation Ground or St John’s churchyard.
And Art in the Garden at 117 Lower Road (Glenna Ferdinando, and at
3 St Andrews Road (Lindsay Keir).

This lovely neighbourly event is raising money to convert St John’s Church for use as a community centre.
Gardens Open
Sunday 15th June 2-5 pm.
Admission to all nine gardens £5. Teas, jams, plants and garden tools for sale. More details from 01722 326261.
--- AND ---
Lower Bemerton Scarecrow
A Village competition alongside the Lower Bemerton Open Gardens Event Sunday 15th June
Anyone can enter, no form, no entry fee
Display scarecrows in your own front garden, or with permission in one of the open gardens, the Rec or St John’s graveyard.
Judging will be by Mayor of Salisbury Cllr Jo Broom on
the morning of June 15th with two prizes, one for children one for adults.
If you want your scarecrow to be judged you need to drop a note in at Gecko Cottage 117 Lower Road or email with your name and scarecrow’s location to More details from Glenna on 01722 332595.
Suggestions on making a scarecrow at Scarecrow 

Friday, 6 June 2014

Good news at Planning

This week saw both parts of the planning process cross the starting line (!).

So to close the church we have to apply to the Church Commissioners to make it redundant (and later we will ask the Bishop to make it legal for weddings and services again. If that seems complicated it was because we advised against the other route of partial redundancy by the Church Commissioners). Like Council Planners, the Commissioners publish a scheme and ask for comments. There has been one negative comment and several positive. There may need to be an enquiry or hearing either in July or September - but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

On June 5th the planning application to the council was closed and the real business of scrutinising our proposals began. They have a lot of statutory duties to consider, and its not an emotional decision but  guided by all sorts of clear point systems. But we live in an era of the Localism Bill where people power makes a difference.

I have been overwhelmed to find we have over 45 letters of support - which is an amazing feat in itself and sends a clear message. Thank you so much!

And of the others consulted, only the society for the protection of ancient buildings (SPAB) seem to want the pews kept and things unchanged in an unhelpful way - all the rest are for us - even English Heritage have been very encouraging with just a few minor tweaks that I'm sure we can manage.

Its been a great week!