We did it
On 26th November 2023 we successfully raised £50,800 ( + est. £4211.00 Gift Aid ) with 89 supporters in 42 days

Help us turn the well used grade II listed St Martin’s Church Centre into a modern refurbished facility with net zero carbon emissions.

by Mike Sturgess in Liskeard, England, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

This is a capital project and the money raised here will provide the funding to allow us to access additional external grant funding to complete the project. 

We have already received grant funding to cover all the professional fees to apply for planning permission and listed buildings consent, which we hope to have in place by the end of 2023. 

Many grant funders require a set percentage of the money to be raised before approaching them. The more we raise at this stage, together with Aviva's matched funding, the more likely that other grant funders will support the project. Our aim is to start the work in the Spring of 2024.

An introduction to St Martin's Church and Church Centre

St Martin's Church is the parish church for Liskeard. With support from Truro Diocese and the Church Commissioners our staff team and many volunteers are active in reaching out to the community and seeking to meet the growing demand. Our Christians Against Poverty debt centre is expanding to cover the whole area, and not just Liskeard. We manage crisis funding to help those in need, support others through a crowd-funding site to help them buy essentials such as new fridges, cookers, school uniform and get a car back on the road.  During the summer we visit one of the local parks and organise football and other games for the local children. 

As a church we have the maintenance responsibility for the grade II* medieval church building and for the church centre. We completed a reordering of the church in 2019 making it much more flexible, so that the children's and youth activities in the church include one on one football! We now need to tackle some of the serious problems affecting the church centre and make it a flexible net zero building fit for the future.


The buildings and its users

With an annual footfall of about 32,000 visitors, St Martin’s Church Centre is used extensively by the community. The people who come here do so for all sorts of activities.  

On the fitness side, the halls are used by two separate karate clubs. Karate is not only about fitness and technique but instils discipline and self-control as well. 


Our lower hall has extra facilities aimed specifically at ballet and other dance activities, with mirrors and a ballet rail, designed to help people perfect their techniques. We have two dance groups – one for ballet and one for street dancing. Another group focuses on fitness, using Pilates and other fitness activities to improve its members well-being.


On the arts side, we have a full range of activities taking place, from spinning, through embroidering and quilting, to art and craft-work.

Our two toddler groups offer a huge range of toys, equipment and activities to keep the children entertained, whilst providing a support network for the adults. On Saturdays, the halls are often used by the people for birthday parties and other celebrations, and we have many other groups using them for one-off events. And within the next twelve months they will be open once again as a local polling station.


The problems

The most important issue is to eliminate the significant damp issues caused by the original roof from 1865, and which is now threatening the fabric of the building. After 158 years, it definitely needs replacing!


The building is grade II listed, and being old has absolutely no insulation. It is heated by an ancient gas boiler that was installed in 1990, and according to our energy efficiency report is “beyond the end of its serviceable life”. 

With so much community usage across mornings, afternoons and evenings, and an old inefficient boiler, you can imagine that our energy consumption is massive. It’s the equivalent of boiling four kettles of water 24 hours a day, for all 365 days of the year.

Our plan

The immediate need is to reroof the building. Whilst we have the scaffolding in place for the the roof, we will add insulation, solar panels and battery storage. Our quantity surveyor has indicated that this will likely cost about £200,000.

We will then insulate the building throughout, including secondary double glazing and internal wall insulation, and add a new renewable energy heating system. 

Double your money!

Aviva Community Fund will match fund your first donation, up to £250, so please be as generous as you can, and gift aid it as well if you are a taxpayer. Thank you!

Our target for this crowdfunding appeal is £25,000, with matched funding from Aviva Community Fund, so £50,000 in total. However, with your help we can exceed that target.  

How will we raise the rest of the money?

We have a list of external grant funders that support projects like this, but most require us to have raised part of the cost of the work before applying.  Once we have a strong initial fund for the project, we will approach these external grant funders and ask for more matched funding or other grants. So the money you donate today will be doubled by Aviva Community Fund, and can be doubled or tripled again by providing the matched funding for other grants. You can make a huge difference to the success of this project.

Together we can save this much-loved building and create a modern, warm, net zero facility, for our community and for the generations to come.

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