A project for Garrigill Church

We. the Alston Moor Partnership, have been asked by the Reverend Mark Nash-Williams if we might be able to devise and develop a project for Garrigill Church. The church is not used very often, but is valued for occasional weddings, baptisms and a few special services each year. We are now looking for three or four members who might be willing to join Alice Bondi and another of the AMP Directors in a small working group to move this project forward.

The hope is to make the church more of a community resource and a potential visitor attraction, although obviously not to be in competition with the village hall. There are some practical matters that would need to be addressed, including £9-10k-worth of work on the porch, which currently leaks badly. There is currently no connection to water or drainage but these are not far away, and a toilet might be a worthwhile addition, as not all visitors have the mobility to walk to the village hall toilets.

There are potentially interesting geological stories to be told which are not the focus anywhere else on Alston Moor. In terms of wider environmental interest, a one-time Principal at Moor House Research Station is buried in the churchyard and there is bound to be a good story there. Other environmental and ecological aspects could also be a focus. The churchyard used to be managed in consultation with Cumbria Wildlife Trust but has been neglected in recent years.

The history of the village, including the surrounding farms and the history of local farming might be a useful focus for a display within the church, where some pews can almost certainly be removed. There is a model of the church made by the man who has created the amazing model village in Nenthead which could form the centrepiece of a display.

The first task is to devise a creative, exciting project involving the churchyard and the interior of the church and including the necessary building repairs. Where it is possible to create some potential income for the church, that would be welcome! The second-level issue will be to find funding, and to some extent it will be useful to know of potential sources so that the project can be well-aimed towards particular funders.

If you are willing to devote some time, thought, and energy to this project, Alice would be very pleased indeed to hear from you!! She hopes that the small project group will be able to meet at the church and brainstorm ideas together in the course of this month (August 2022).

Please contact Alice on AYomTov@phonecoop.coop