50 invited guests from local businesses and organisations gathered to support the launch of a fundraising appeal and enjoy lunch in the company of Bromsgrove’s MP and Home Secretary the Rt Hon Sajid Javid last Friday. St John’s Wine Rooms in Bromsgrove was the chosen setting for the launch of the Heritage Future Appeal by Friends of St John’s which aims to raise one million pounds to carry out urgent restoration works to St John’s historic church in Bromsgrove. Sajid Javid is the Patron of the Heritage Future Appeal and the lunch was followed by a speech from Mr Javid and a Q & A session hosted by BBC Hereford and Worcester Radio presenter Kate Justice. All questions had been submitted by guests in advance.
The appeal has the ambitious target to raise one million pounds to carry out urgent restoration needs at the church building, along with a pledge to “Save our Spire”. The top section of the 198ft spire, the tallest in Worcestershire and a landmark for Bromsgrove, requires a complete rebuild. The funds are also necessary to create a building fit for the needs of today’s community with upgraded seating, heating, lighting, toilets and kitchen facilities.
Sajid said ‘I was absolutely delighted to be asked to be the Appeal Patron because the church is such an important part of our local community. It has been a central part of the town for hundreds of years, but as with all heritage buildings it needs financial investment to maintain it. There has been excellent support here today for the launch of the Appeal, it is wonderful to see so many local businesses and groups in attendance, all here united with one aim to support St John’s Church.’
Since opening its doors in 2017 St John’s Wine Rooms has quickly gained a reputation as a top independent venue in Bromsgrove offering fresh local food and an extensive range of drinks. Since Friends of St John’s is its chosen charity partner, it was the natural choice of venue. Owner David McNally said ‘It was a pleasure to welcome Sajid and so many members of the business community to this event. We would like to wish Friends of St John’s every success with their Heritage Future Appeal’
Friend’s Chairman Jo Slade said ‘We couldn’t have asked for a better launch of the Heritage Future Appeal. We are super grateful to Sajid, the guests and the Wine Rooms for their contributions to make this launch event such a great success. The Appeal does have an ambitious target, but the results will be an enormous boost for the building, and the people of Bromsgrove.’
Residents and visitors to Bromsgrove are invited to share their thoughts on the Heritage Future Appeal in a short survey which can be completed online www.tinyurl.com/StJohnsSurvey2019 .
Photo credit: Anthony Hall Photography