Done Room Renovations
During our Café Church service at St Helen's Church in October 2023, we launched The Done Room Renovation project.
The Done room, Tarporley, in early Autumn, resting; just after the pre-school children have finished for the day and been collected!
For nearly 400 years, the Done Room has stood at the heart of the education of young people in Tarporley and the surrounding areas. Since its initial inception in 1636, founded by the generosity of Dorothy Done, it has played a role in the life of generations of Tarporley’s children: starting off as the first school in the village, it educated girls and boys for two hundred years on the site, before being subsequently transformed into a Men’s Club and Reading Room, a youth club, Band practice room, and ballet school, right up to its current use as the home of the Done Room Pre School and meeting place for Rainbows, Brownies and Guides, all the while also acting as a space for church meetings, social events and Messy Church.
It is pleasing to see that four centuries on, the Done Room plays a pivotal role in educating and helping young people to grow, develop and learn more about life, the world and God’s love. It is a community resource, and a fixture of the parish, and we are grateful for its past and present, but we also want to safeguard its future. In order to do that, there are a number of repairs that are needed to the external fabric of this much-loved building.
What are we doing?
The building work will mostly focus on 5 key areas:
1) Repairing the roof and guttering 2) Repairing the gable ends
3) Adding a new fire exit 4) Adding a new front door
5) Providing a new kitchen
Why are we doing it?
These repairs have been identified for a number of years, but as with older buildings, and buildings related to churches, a lot of planning permissions and checks have had to be made.
Now, finally we’ve been given permission for this necessary repair work to do ahead, with a completion date of November 2024. This work will help to ensure the Done Room continues to be useable for future generations as well as undergoing necessary modernising of parts of the building: accessible fire escapes were not top of the building requirements in 1636!
When are we doing it?
We are planning to undertake the work in the summer of 2024 in the break between the summer and autumn school terms.
How much will it cost?
The works will cost approximately £180,000, which is a not unsubstantial sum! Old buildings certainly take a lot to repair.
How will we pay for it?
There are three main sources for paying for the work:
1) Money allocated to the project by the PCC, ringfenced from the proceeds of the sale of the Hearse House;
2) Grant funding. We are working with local grant fundraiser, Stephen Wright, and using his expertise and wisdom to approach a number of grant making organisations;
3) Fundraising events and donations.
What can we do to help?
Pray! Please do pray for the project, for getting the funds we needs, that the work will run on schedule, for the continued work of the Done Room and the organisations that make use of the building. God does listen, and will act, so please pray…and keep praying!
Support fundraising events or give a donation: there will be lots of opportunities to support the work by coming along to fundraising events, so look out for what is happening and invite friends along! If you’re able to, do give a special donation to the project.
Spread the word – tell others about the work we need to do, why it is vital, and how they could help. For those who live locally, the Done Room will probably have been part of most people’s lives, whether as a venue for children’s parties, attending the pre school, going along to the uniformed groups or being involved in church meetings and events. If everyone who is or has been a recipient of the work of the Done Room could contribute to the fundraising, we would soon hit our target!
If you feel you can support the project, please do get in touch. (See the note below).
Otherwise, keep an eye out for fundraising events, and above all, keep praying!!
Note:- If you are able to give towards the cost of the project, please contact the parish treasurer (Tarporleyparishtreasurer@btinternet.com) for details of how to donate.