What is the Janus Project?
The Janus Project is a wide-ranging support and enhancement scheme designed to take St Mary’s Great Chart into the future. Janus, the root of the word January, was the two-faced Roman god who looked both forwards and backwards. It is a symbol for the Janus Project which aims to celebrate the past of this lovely historical building while securing its future for the village and the community.
St Mary’s Great Chart has for generations been a focus for local community and family celebrations, as well as being regularly used for Sunday worship. We believe St Mary’s has the potential to broaden its appeal and serve the community in a wider variety of ways. These might include concerts, exhibitions, after-school activities and private hire.
All this will require improved access and a reordering of the interior, as well as repairs to the existing fabric. This will happen in phases, with the first already completed: repairs to the roof and the installation of the toilet.
The next phase, called Prepare the Way, aims to provide easier access for all by smoothing out the steep external path and making it easier to navigate, and levelling the entrance to the building.
Future phases will include re-ordering the interior to make it more suitable for community events and activities. This will include opening out the main space, installing a kitchen and maybe also building an extension to house extra rooms and toilets. We hope to refurbish the attactive “Pest House” outbuilding to house a resource centre for local WWI correspondence and archives.
The need is urgent!
St Mary’s has been at the heart of the local community since the 14th century but if it is to be preserved for future generations, it is vital to make it suitable for a wider range of community purposes. Unless this work is carried out, the invaluable architecture of St Mary’s will eventually fall into decay. If this happens, its cultural heritage and hundreds of years of history belonging to the local community will be lost. Preserving the past of this lovely old church is inseparable from preparing for its future.
If you care about preserving Great Chart’s lovely old church building, or if you are keen to see it used more for the needs of the community, please make a donation.
A gift of £50 will sponsor the re-laying of one paving stone in the church path.
You can give £250 or more to become a Patron of the project and be named, if you wish it, on our Patrons Board.
You can donate directly to “Prepare the Way” in several ways. For a one-off donation, please donate online to:
Account name: Ashford Town PCC
Reference: Janus Project
Account number: 30686611
Sort code: 20-02-62
Or write a cheque to Ashford Town PCC referencing “Prepare the Way” with the donation form (download below) and send to:
Mrs Shirley Leslie, Parish Treasurer
Parish Office, Ashford Parish Church Hall
Kent TN23 1QG
You can download a donation form here
If you are a UK tax-payer and would like to gift-aid your donation, please download and fill in the following form and send to Mrs Shirley Leslie as above.