PAT DUMMER LEGACY
God has given St Nicolas a wonderful opportunity through an amazing gift left to us by Pat Dummer. Pat worshipped at St Nicolas from its very beginning, when a temporary hut was erected on the current site in 1946. Her father, Amos Sharp, was a local builder, a church warden and his expertise was critical when the first brick church, now used as our Hall, was built in the 1950s. From the start St Nicolas has been and still is home to many community activities.
After Pat’s death in 2013, we learnt she had left St Nicolas church a large bequest. The overall purpose of the bequest is that it ‘should be used in a manner faithful to Pat’s memory’ and that it ‘must accord with the mission of Earley St Nicolas Church’.
The Open Door Project
In 2014 we set up a project to look at how to use Pat’s bequest. It was named “The Open Door Project” to remind everyone of our vision statement of being ‘open’ – both opening our doors for everyone to come in and also for us to be going out through the doors to meet our community. We consulted with the St Nicolas congregations and with a number of key people in our community such as schools, doctors’ surgeries, local councillors… and we also talked to many individuals at our Election Café on 7 May 2015. We found common ground, in particular the need for a focal point for the community. We brought everyone’s ideas together into the vision you see at the top of this page.
In 2015 we employed architects JBKS and worked with them to take this vision to produce a set of concept designs which were unveiled in September 2015 – click here to see the designs.
The St Nicolas Centre
A team has continued to work with the architects to refine the design and we’re now at an exciting stage in the development of St Nicolas church. We now have full planning permission and expect to engage a contractor this summer.
Our current estimate is that building will begin in October 2017.
St Nicolas Centre Teams
We ’ve formed teams to manage the project:
- the Build Team working with the Architect JBKS to develop the plans
- the Fundraising Team working with great ideas and energy to raise additional funds needed to achieve the overall plans for St Nicolas. We are looking to raise around £400,000
- the Transition Team to manage the move from the current to the new St Nicolas Centre
- the Future Use Team to plan how the new buildings will be best used