At the Tower arcade level, where all surfaces are exposed to the weather, there has been some decay and even one actual stone fall in 2010. The work includes filling all openings in the tops of the tower wall to prevent further ingress of water and renewal of the missing cornice stone, scattered ashlars and moulded string courses. The Tower windows are also in need of urgent repair and the full scaffolding will also enable us to carry out wider repointing to protect the future integrity of the Tower.
The tower together with the church and hall represent such an important part of the landscape and provide a community asset, open to all. The Tower houses eight bells (total weight of over 3 tons) in regular use thanks to our highly skilled and enthusiastic bellringing team and also hosts other bellringing groups and competitions.
We have been working hard to raise funds. The lowest tender we received for these repairs was £79,000 (£94,000 including VAT). We are very grateful to the Friends of St George’s, The Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, the Northumbria Historic Churches Trust and the Allchurches Trust for their commitments and awards towards this important work. We still need to raise a further £11,000 to be able to complete these works before the winter ahead and protect the tower from further damage.
You can find further information on the links below:
The parish has created an exciting development plan which it is hoping to bring to fruition over the next three to four years for the benefit of its parishioners and the Jesmond community for generations to come
The scheme comprises :
An extension to the rear north west corner of the church to provide WCs and annex area for services and concert use and, more notably a new “garden” room for mixed usage, which will in turn create a transitional space between the beautiful and traditional architecture of the main church, and a more modern space of worship. Plans for the Garden Room can be found here.
We are delighted that the Chancellor has now granted a faculty for this work. If you would like to read his judgement, please click here.
Full remodelling of the parish hall to bring it up to modern standards, greater functionality and flexibility for multi use, as well as better use of the space available. This is aimed not only for the use of the parish, but fundamentally for full community use and interaction, becoming a social hub for the area. Please click here to see the plans for the Parish Hall.
In addition the unique church green and its surroundings will be subtly re-ordered.
All this will take significant expenditure to achieve our goal. Any offers of fundraising and donations will be hugely appreciated.
Community Outreach with a Family & Youth Leader
We are delighted that we have been able to appoint a Family & Youth Leader at St. George’s. The position has been made possible by very generous grants of £45,000 over a 3 year period from the Joseph Rank Trust, £10,000 from The Barbour Foundation, £2,000 from the Joicey Trust and contributions from the congregation. This new position will make a real difference to our work with the children, young people and families in our local community.
Emily Gibson joined us at the end of 2020 and in her own words:
I am so pleased to be joining you at St Georges as your family and youth leader. Many of you may be wondering who this twenty-something who has arrived at church is, so a little bit about me. My name is Emily and I’m a Schools, Youth and Community worker (with practical theology). I’m also a trainee Reader. I started my career in youth work in London, a big change from the sleepy town of Alnwick which was my home, working for Youth for Christ. Then I moved to CROPS Peterborough and finally to the Mustard Tree Trust in Morpeth where I still do some sessional youth work. During my time in Morpeth I have been training as a Reader and my final third year placement (very scary that it’s arrived so soon) will be with you at St Georges.
Our parish has changed over the last twenty or so years to become a community where over 60% of us are under 30 – students and young people as well as families with children. In the light of these changes, St. George’s has recently renewed its Vision, to stimulate real growth in number, in spirituality and in service to our community. Our 4 priorities are:
- Open & welcoming church community
- Inclusive & traditional worship
- Questioning, nurturing faith
- Relevant & engaged in the wider world
Studies undertaken by the Church of England have identified that real growth is found where there is a high ratio of young people to adults. St. George’s has a wonderful opportunity for community outreach with so many younger people in our locality. We also recognise that mental health challenges, isolation, loneliness and deprivation are all present for families and students here. So, as part of St. George’s outreach program, our Family & Youth Leader, together with our church volunteers, will create a comprehensive program of activities that engage students, young people and families in our locality. We want each person to feel included, welcomed, valued and supported.
Studies undertaken by the Church of England have identified that real growth is found where there is a high ratio of young people to adults. St. George’s has a wonderful opportunity for community outreach with so many younger people in our locality. We also recognise that mental health challenges, isolation, loneliness and deprivation are all present for families and students here. So, as part of St. George’s outreach program, we plan to fund a full time Family and Youth Leader who, together with our church volunteers, will create a comprehensive program of activities that engage students, young people and families in our locality. We want each person to feel included, welcomed, valued and supported.
To establish this new position for an initial 3 year period, some funding has already been raised within the congregation and we have support committed from the PCC from our reserves. We are applying to charitable trusts for the balance.