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The Cupola Project


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RESTORATION & REORDERING OF ST PETER & ST PAUL'S CHURCH
BLANDFORD FORUM

HOME PAGE - THE STORY SO FAR

The Cupola Project was launched in June 2011 to investigate ways and means to restore Blandford Forum's Parish Church - SS Peter & Paul - otherwise known as BFPC.

Fifteen architects were identified that specialise in churches and historic properties. In consultation with the church's retiring architect, the fifteen were reduced to four.

A briefing paper was written and presentation made to the four architects who were asked to submit ideas, proposals and documentation. A Cupola Project Steering Team was assembled in 2012 to select the most promising submissions.

The best two were requested to attend a PCC meeting in May 2012, when the most suitable architect's practice was chosen - Bristol-based Benjamin & Beauchamp. Sara Loch (Chair of the Cupola Project Committee) has since been working closely with one of their Directors, Marcus Chantrey.

Marcus undertook the Quinquennial (5 year inspection of the church) and assessed which restoration work needed to be done most urgently.

The original intention was to finish the restoration project by "crowning" the church with a restored cupola. However, it proved that this was where the worst ingress of water was. So it was decided that that is where the work will begin - the tower and cupola, with improved access and entry at the West Doors.

Meanwhile, the Diocesan Advisory Committee met with members of the Cupola Committee, PCC, and a representative from English Heritage.

The next stage was to start applying for grants. An application was made to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which was submitted in August 2013.

November 26th. The South West Committee of the HLF met to consider applications.

Against a strong field of bids, The Cupola Project secured a First Round Pass of £241,100 including a development grant of £37,100 - 67% of total eligible development costs.

We are now in the Development Phase - getting numerous surveys done, setting up activities relating to the church's heritage, and undertaking research to contribute to a Conservation Management Plan. This website will be re-launched in March with a new look, new logo and colour scheme.

The Cupola Committee continues to meet on a monthly basis. Fund-raising events are being planned, exhibitions and heritage activities organised. Please keep coming back to the website for information, "CONTACT US" at the top of this page to register your interest, or use our Facebook page link on the left.

In November 2014 the application to HLF has to be re-submitted and, if all goes well, the rest of the funding should come through with work on the tower and cupola commencing in the Spring of 2015.

February 2014