St. John’s Ryhall Restoration & Renewal Plan update – Sept 2020

The Restoration & Renewal (R&R) Plan was launched at the end of June 2020 with an initial focus on the most urgent need to replace the leaking roof and a plan over the next 5 years, to restore the building and renew the life within.

Income generation has relied heavily on grant applications given the chal- lenges of holding fundraising events in the time of COVID. We have also gratefully received donations and a legacy contributing to the cost of the R&R Plan. We are off to a good start with just over £75,000 secured or pledged. The estimated cost of the R&R Plan remains about £360,000 for which we are awaiting confirmation. So still a long way to go to make up the £285,000 shortfall!

The challenge during the COVID19 lockdown has been community engagement while we all stayed home. Fundraising events had to be cancelled and a more creative approach taken to reach people. As a result, we re-launched the St. John’s Church Ryhall Facebook page and reached over 8,000 people in its first 4 weeks. Posting on the online Ryhall Nextdoor Network also resulted in a very positive response from our wider community. Local media have also helped us to raise awareness of the campaign resulting in two articles in the Stamford Mercury and two spots on Rob Persani’s morning show on Rutland Radio.

Fund-raising remains challenging but look out for our bright yellow Collection Boxes in the Ryhall Village Stores, the Green Dragon in Ryhall and the Blue Bell in Belmesthorpe. For those who would like to donate on- line, we have A GoFundMe page at church-restoration-campaign or follow the pinned link from our Facebook page. If you prefer to donate in other ways please contact Rev. Jo at revjo-

Fancy owning a beautiful, original painting, kindly donated by Irish artist Kathrine Geoghegan? For your chance to win, buy a ticket for St. Johns PCC lottery to raise funds for the R&R camapign. There’s a limit of 100 tickets at £20 each. Email for details if you’d like to buy one, or more! Or take a look at details on the St. John’s Facebook page.

Our next exciting community initiative planned is a churchyard makeover with volunteer workdays on September 5th and 12th. Thank you to all 43 people in our community who have offered some form of help for the work- days. We could not do this without your amazing help!

The children are also helping the campaign with a cross-benefice, spon- sored walk on Sunday Sept 6th. Thank you to all those from the JAM chil- dren’s church club at St. Stephen’s, Carlby for their great idea to support the R&R campaign. Please consider joining them or sponsoring them. Other new initiatives are in the works. More information in the next update from the R&R campaign.