Thankyou for visiting my page. I'm running the Yeovil Half Marathon on 20th March 2016 to raise £2020 as a 600th birthday gift to our church, so we can refit it for future generations.
St. James' is a growing church in a growing part of Yeovil. Every week we try to fit 120 people into an 80 seater building. Each year over 4500 people use St. James for family celebrations, worship, private prayer, school visits, holiday clubs, community groups, Christmas, Remembrance etc.
The church interior dates from 1860, when it served a village of 2-300. We now serve a community of 15,500 and rising. Those lucky enough to find a seat at St. James find it cold, uncomfortable, and hard to see and hear. The inflexible pews and stalls make it difficult to adapt for different uses, and hard to cater for the community and the congregation.
The church building celebrates its 600th birthday in 2020, and we want to bring it up to date. Underfloor heating, flexible seating to hold 130 (up to 160 with a new balcony/meeting room at a later date), insulation to reduce our carbon footprint, and a new lighting/AV/loop system so everyone can see and hear. A raised dais will create a usable space for performance and concerts, and new interior glass doors will create a peaceful prayer space in a side chapel.
I've been here for 9 years, and seen the church grow. God is a welcoming God, and we strive to be a welcoming church, but the building is now working against us. We are here to love and serve the community, and our building needs to serve the community too. This is not about bricks and mortar, it's about people.
Refitting the ground floor will cost around £340,000. It sounds a lot, but the last refit saw St. James through the last 150 years. From that perspective, it's less than £1 per year for everyone who uses the building.
I'm quite possibly too old and too chubby to do a half-marathon, especially in clergy shirt and cassock, but there's only one way to find out. And I care passionately about St. James, it's people, and its community. That's why I'm doing this. Please support me if you can. Thankyou for reading!