November 2020 – A Thank You to our Funders
St Leonard’s is, as it has been for centuries, the one constant and enduringly beautiful element in the Streatham environment. The church building makes an essential and irreplaceable contribution to the spiritual and social well-being of the community.
It was badly damaged by fire in 1975 but was rebuilt to become the light and airy space it is now, used by a number of community and special interest groups.
We are open every day to provide some space for individuals seeking peace and quietness away from the intense activity of Streatham High Road (one of the busiest road junctions in southwest London).
The building caters for all of these activities in a unique and valuable way, owing to its unusual architecture, location and historical role.
About the Redevelopment
We are a Registered Charity (No. 1131422) who are currently fundraising to redevelop and refurbish the church to provide modern facilities which will allow us to continue our work with community groups in Streatham.
|Congregation and gifts||£36,000|
|National Churches Trust||£15,000|
|Beatrice Laing Trust||£5,000|
|Garfield Weston Foundation||£10,000|
|Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)||£220,000|
|Non-cash contribution of our time||£9,500|
Huge thanks to those individuals and organisations who have supported us and continue to do so. Our fundraising work is involving Our congregation and whole community have been involved in the fundraising, and put on many events to help raise their contribution. We are also very grateful to the number of trusts who provide support to communities like ours.
The funds so far have supported repairs to the roof; improvements to the catering facilities and amenities; and most importantly, improvements to access points to the church, including wheelchair ramps and internal changes to reduce obstacles to people with limited mobility or sight.
We have also welcomed new chairs to St Leonards!
During the first half of 2018 a worrying crack appeared in the North Porch that was in urgent need of repair.
We were delighted to receive the support of a generous grant from Viridor Environmental Credits of £80K towards this vital repair . The Heritage Lottery Fund have also agreed to supporting the project as a part of our Phase 1 Contingency.
Work commenced in the Spring 2019. This has involved underpinning the North Porch via an internal dig and placing a secure brace within the structure. The staircase was removed and into the stair void two new community rooms are being built, one a meeting room and the second a creche. This will greatly enhance our community facilities, further enhancing the flexibility of our building. A new staircase will be bought into the church directly from the gallery. This will also make access to the gallery much simpler.
We anticipate the completion of works towards the end of June 2019.
Lighting and Sound
We are delighted that both our sound and lighting systems have been renewed during this period of Redevelopment. Both projects were funded by a generous legacy given by the late Ruth Bradbury, a member of the St Leonard’s church community for many years before her retirement to Cornwall. Thank you Ruth!
East End Roof Repairs
One of the main areas of concern continues to be our leaky roof. In 2016 we repaired the roof on the South side of the building, in 2018 the North side was repaired. However, the East End roof remains a source of concern and is the reason our lovely building continues on the ‘Heritage at Risk’ register.
We are delighted to have receive all the necessary permissions to begin work to repair the East End roof, all we need is the funds to do the work. The project will cost around £150,000 and we are busily making applications to funders to help us complete the mammoth task of finishing the re-roofing St Leonard’s Church.
Future Vision – Access for All & Intimate Arts Venue
We would love to open St Leonard’s up to everyone in the community and during this COVID 19 season we recognise that small venues, which can manage social distancing well will be of great benefit to the community.
St Leonard’s has the potential to offer a great small venue for concerts and theatre productions, but we need to ensure that the building is fully accessible and that we can optimize the space we have.
Currently our Gallery is full of potential but is sadly inaccessible and of poor design especially for those with disabilities.
Our gallery is a currently only accessible to those without disability and we are committed to addressing this issue. We hope to provide a lift onto the gallery, to widen its surface space so that wheelchair users can access the area and to ensure that our doors provide low level visibility and open automatically for those who need it.
It’s a big vision but we are excited by it because we want St Leonard’s to be a space that is useful to and used by the community of Streatham in a variety of ways, not simply for Sunday services. The better the facilities we offer, the more people can enjoy our beautiful flexible space.
Continue to support us
We are continuing to hold fundraising events. Please keep an eye on What’s On. Do you have ideas for fundraising yourself?
You can give to St Leonard’s at any time via Total GivingTM. Please include a message if you wish your donation to go to the Redevelopment Fund. If you prefer, there are also other ways you can donate.
Your support is vital if we are to be able to make these improvements to the church. Thank you.