How the Churches Conservation Trust and Redgrave Church Heritage Trust co-operate.
Redgrave Church Heritage Trust was formed in April 2005 and became a registered charity (No. 1110981) in August 2005. Redgrave church was declared redundant in April 2005 and went into the care of the Churches Conservation Trust in October 2005. Redgrave Church Heritage Trust has a Management Agreement with the Churches Conservation Trust and works in partnership to promote the use of the church by the wider community.
During 2006 and 2007 the Churches Conservation Trust carried out £500,000 of external and internal refurbishment , repairs, and conservation. It has special funds for that purpose which can only be used to bring a newly acquired church into a state where it can be maintained relatively inexpensively. It has no funds or manpower for improvements. The partnership works well because Redgrave Church Heritage Trust is able to raise funds and grants to make the necessary improvements for wider community use and has a team of volunteer specialists. As the wider community did not want its church to go out of use there were many people prepared to donate specialist skills, money, and fund raising efforts.
Similarly, because any improvements were for the benefit of the whole community rather than a hitherto small congregation, grants were more readily available.
Therefore from September 2007 to September 2008 Redgrave Church Heritage Trust was able to add £200,000 of value to the church so that it still looks the same as it has done for centuries but can now be used for the whole range of community activities. After the lengthy process of conservation concensus via listed building approval necessary for a Grade I building it skilfully added concealed utilities, toilets, mini kitchen and disabled access and provided storable seat cushions for 80 pews, portable staging for performances and innovative and unobtrusive infra-red floor heating.