St. Mary’s Vestry Improvements Appeal – Update November 2021

The appeal to raise funds for improvements to St Mary’s church in Upton was launched in July 2019. The works include extension of the vestry to provide a disabled access WC and refurbishment of the existing vestry to include catering facilities.

So far, funds raised via a combination of generous donations, grants and other sources totals over £38,000. We are very grateful to all those who have contributed to this cause.

The original cost of the proposals was estimated at £55,000 over two years ago. Inevitably, this cost has crept up and the most recent estimate, earlier this year, was £68,500.

We applied to the National Churches Trust for a grant of £20,000 but we learnt recently that this has not been successful. If the grant had been made, we were hopeful that the remaining gap of about £10,000 could be made up from a further, final appeal and smaller grants.

We have since applied for a grant from to the Joseph Rank Trust, an organisation whose aims and charitable policies appear to be compatible with the objectives of our project and we expect a response early next year. At that point, we will be able to assess what further fundraising is required.

The aim of the St Mary’s project is simple – to improve the facilities of the church so that it remains a cornerstone of the community for another thousand years. Fundraising takes time and patience but, with persistence, it can succeed. We have been encouraged by the example of All Saints, North Moreton, where over £150,000 was raised from a village of similar size to Upton for larger-scale, works which have proved a great benefit to the whole local community.

We hope for an encouraging outcome from the latest grant application and we’ll provide a further update as soon as there’s more news.


Paul Batho