AN AMBITIOUS appeal was launched last Friday to raise £1million to preserve Bromsgrove’s historic St John’s Church for future generations.
The lunch at the St John’s Wine Rooms was hosted by Home Secretary and Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid who has agreed to be patron of the St John’s Heritage Future Appeal.
The £1million is needed to carry out urgent restoration work on the church building, along with a pledge to ‘Save our Spire’.
The top section of the 198ft spire, the tallest in Worcestershire and a Bromsgrove landmark, requires a complete rebuild.
The funds are also necessary to create a building fit for the community’s needs with upgraded seating, heating, lighting, toilets and a new kitchen.
Speaking to The Standard Mr Javid 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.”
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.”
Last Friday’s launch was attended by 50 representatives from organisations which had supported the Friends of St John’s Church with its fund-raising in the past.
After the lunch Mr Javid undertook a question and answer session hosted by BBC Hereford and Worcester Radio presenter Kate Justice.
St John’s Wine Rooms opened in 2017 and since then its reputation has grown and grown.
With the Friends of St John’s as the 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.”
Richard Grimes from Grimes Finishings Ltd who was among the guests said he was delighted to support the appeal.
“The event was a great opportunity to raise awareness of the needs of this beautiful and iconic church in Bromsgrove town centre.
“Our local MP and Home Secretary Sajid Javid was in top form and answered all questions in a relaxed and informative way.
“A great time was enjoyed by all.”
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 .