In 2011 the village of Bow Brickhill faced the seemingly impossible task of undertaking the restoration of its church tower at All Saints Church. The cost was estimated to be enormous, yet undaunted the village set to and raised funds, obtained grants, rolled up sleeves and undertook as much of the work as they could themselves. Professionals carried out stonemasonry work, volunteers – specially trained – assisted with pointing masonry at lower levels, and many people were involved in cleaning, painting and generally clearing out the tower and vestry. You can read more about the original ASTRA project here.
The volunteers also gave various other areas in the church a new coat of paint and they completely cleaned the building; a new path was laid in the old graveyard to give easy wheelchair access to the church and a new graveyard was fenced.
The camaraderie, the fun, the excitement of the project were highly valued by those who took part. So it is planned to continue that community spirit, with the establishment of ASTRA Community Projects, and to involve even more people in the next project; restoring the Church Hall.
Built in 1889 this Victorian building is in urgent need of restoration. It serves the village in many respects, being an ideal venue for small meetings and housing church services when ice or snow prevent people reaching the church, at the top of the hill. The Church Hall also hosts the Playgroup, the Brownies, the History Group, Preserve Bow Brickhill, the Parochial Church Council and the Parent and Toddler group, the monthly Drop In and the Lunch Club..
ASTRA Community Projects has been set up as a subcommittee of the Parochial Church Council. Its Constitution was approved by the PCC on 11 March 2014.