Manthorpe church extension plans are shown to villagers

The proposed extension at St John the Evangelist Church in Manthorpe approaching from the car park. Plan courtesy of architect Guy Forman
The proposed extension at St John the Evangelist Church in Manthorpe approaching from the car park. Plan courtesy of architect Guy Forman

Plans for a modern extension to the church at Manthorpe have been on display for parishioners to view.

Fr Stuart Cradduck, vicar of St John the Evangelist Church, said he was encouraged by the positive reaction the plans had received from most villagers and parishioners who visited the church to see the plans over the weekend.

Trinkets left around the tree in the graveyard at St John's church in Manthorpe.

Trinkets left around the tree in the graveyard at St John's church in Manthorpe.

The planned extension to the church, a grade two listed building, will feature a hall, vestry and toilets.

The new building has been made possible following a bequest of £1 million to the church by a villager.

Fr Cradduck said 40 people viewed the plans on Saturday, including a video of how the building would look when walking into it. More parishioners saw the plans on Sunday.

He said: “We had the curious and the sceptical there, but I was really encouraged by the positivity of it all.”

He added: “The benefits are that it will facilitate growth in Manthorpe. It’s a community facility for the whole estate and the village.

“It’s not a huge building. It’s smaller than the church. It’s sensitive and uses local materials. It’s environmentally friendly. I think what it will achieve is fantastic.”

Some people have opposed the plans including the mother and grandmother of a baby boy whose ashes were scattered around a tree in the churchyard 29 years ago. That tree may have to be removed to make way for the extension.

Sarah McKeegan’s son, Marco, died when he was only two hours old. Trinkets have also been left in his memory by the tree in the churchyard.

Sarah told the Journal recently that she thought it was ‘disrespectful’ for the church to take down the tree.

Her mother, Avril Titterton, who chose the tree for her grandson’s ashes, said Fr Stuart had listened to the family and altered the plans in their favour slightly, but they would still object to it. She said: “We are grateful to Fr Stuart for listening and we shook hands. But we object to the tree being disrupted in any way.”

Fr Stuart said he hoped that the tree could be saved, but it would depend on the reports of a tree specialist and structural engineer.