Survey launched to plan future of Shute Church

PUBLISHED: 08:01 01 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:41 05 March 2019

St Michael's Church at Shute. Picture: Grassrootsgroundswell via flickr.com

St Michael's Church at Shute. Picture: Grassrootsgroundswell via flickr.com

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Parishioners asked to help help draw up a 'vision for the future' for St Miichael's at Shute.

A survey is being undertaken to determine the future of Shute’s historic St Michael’s Church.

It will seek the views of people in the whole parish which includes Whitford, Umborne, Hampton, and Seaton Junction.

It is also aimed at those outside the parish who attend the church for worship, or use it for community and cultural events such as theatrical performances or the Shute Literary Festival.

The survey will ask church users how they think it could better serve the local community. This includes ideas for better facilities, a wider range of cultural and community events, and other uses, including worship.

The survey will also ask what types of worship the community would like to see at the church.

Shute Parochial Church Council secretary Bijan Omrani said the plan was to develop a ‘vision for the future’, adding: “We hope there will be a wide response to the survey to help us to understand how to ensure that the church may be best able to play a part in the life of Shute well into the future, and give us the ability to plan, adapt and fundraise to make the vision of the community a reality.”

Copies of the survey are currently being posted to every household in Shute. They should be returned by post or to the various drop-off points in Shute - the Primary School, St Michael’s Church, Whitford and Umborne Halls - by the end of March. The survey can also be completed online at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/M779NWR instead of on paper.

The initial results of the survey will be announced at the Shute annual parish meeting at St Michael’s Church at 7pm on Wednesday May 1.

* St Michael’s is a historic Church dating from the 13th Century. It contains many monuments to the Pole family who were Lords of the Manor at the neighbouring Shute estate, including a marble statue of Sir William Pole, 4th Baronet (1678-1741), Master of the Household to Queen Anne.

It is also the last resting place for a number of notable characters. These include Philip Tilden, Winston Churchill’s architect who renovated his house at Chartwell, and Marion Ferguson Bridie, the educationalist and travel writer who was both founder of Shute School for Girls, and who also wrote pioneering accounts of journeying as a woman around the world and across Canada in the early 20th century.

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