Stamford Civic Society appeal for help in finding new uses for St John’s Church

CALLS have been made to find future uses a town centre church which could help raise funds to maintain it.

Stamford Civic Society is calling on groups in the town to come up with ideas for the future use of St John’s Church.

The church, in St John’s Street, is now rarely used for religious services but occasionally hosts concerts and the charity Christmas card sales.

The civic society has been asked by the Churches Conservation Trust, which looks after the building, to encourage greater use of St John’s.

The society has also been asked to come up with a business plan in the hopes of generating more income for the upkeep of the building.

The conservation trust, which has recently repaired the roof, is short of funds so its churches need to generate more income to pay for any repairs.

Society members are asking people in Stamford to come up with suggestions of future uses and to help with compiling a business plan.

Chairman of the society and Stamford town councillor Gwyneth Gibbs (Con), of Kettering Road, is appealing for people to help.

She said: “If buildings are not used then they are not loved and they deteriorate inevitably as you don’t notice that a of plaster is cracked.

“If you notice these things earlier maybe something can be done about it.

“It seems a pity to have a beautiful building like that in the town centre under used.”

Coun Gibbs said any uses must be suitable for the church, which remains a consecrated building.

Possible uses for the building could be as a meeting place or venue for concerts.

Coun Gibbs has also said that there may be a discussion on the possibility of removing some of the pews for potential future uses.

Coun Gibbs said that the society would not put forward a business plan if no groups in the town were interested in taking part.

The pews will also not be removed if there is no interest.

Coun Gibbs said: “The civic society cannot generate a business plan in isolation. So I would like to ask the many clubs, societies and organisations in the town to help.

“Are there any uses that you could make of the church if it were more accessible?”

The church, which was founded in the 12th century, is used for weddings, funerals and some services.

Anyone who would like to get involved should e-mail: info@stamfordcivicsociety.org.uk or write to Stamford Civic Society, care of 16 Phillips Court, Stamford PE9 2EE.