Positive reaction to church and shop plans
PUBLISHED: 07:35 19 April 2013
More than 200 people are thought to have turned out to see plans to turn St Michael's Church in Otterton into a community hub.
The plans were shown for the first time in an exhibition at the church.
Under the scheme, the church’s worship area will be reduced in size, to make room for a community shop, a community café, kitchen and toilet facilities, and a large open area, which will have uses including as a hall for Otterton Primary School.
Although the worshipping area will be reduced most of the time, it will be able to be extended into the hall area for major services.
The Reverend Anne Charlton said: “We believe more than 200 people came to look at the plans, so we’re really pleased. There’s a huge amount of interest in it and certainly all the comments I heard were very positive.”
Villagers will now get the chance to examine the shop scheme at a meeting at the church this Tuesday, April 23, at 7pm, where a glass of wine will also be available.
Where the previous meeting was to discuss the plan for the whole church, this meeting is being organised by the village shop committee to discuss the shop plan only.
In attendance at the meeting will be a representative of the Plunkett Foundation, which supports community shops.
More detailed architects plans are expected to be produced in the next two or three weeks.
The shop committee has also now begun making grant applications for the funding for the project, and the church will begin making its own applications if an upcoming five-year review of the fabric of the church reveals no problems.