St Nicholas Southfleet

Heritage Lottery Fund - Activity Plan


                                    HLF

Fabric repairs and heating improvements to St Nicholas Church, Southfleet, have been supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. 


Activity Plan Delivery Phase  

Section 1.  Where we are now and options for action a) Establishing principle.  Our parish is fully committed to reaching out to the people of Southfleet, New Barn, Betsham and Bean, in spiritual matters and pastoral care and also recognising that it can offer people a cultural and historical heritage as well.  This project will help this objective.    

b) Organisation.  The Rector, Church Wardens, Parochial Church Council and congregation have been involved in the HLF application and the proposed plans from the outset.  They are committed to pursuing this plan in the long term and the participation of both the PCC and congregation will ensure continuity, as personnel change with time.    

c) Audiences.  The church shares its heritage with visitors, some of whom are local, though they generally come from outside the area or even the country.  It runs frequent activities for Sedley Primary School, which is situated adjacent to the church.  It also hosts special events at Christmas for other schools, as well as concerts, festivals and social activities for more general audiences.  The heritage of the building is not a significant part of those activities, except for the occasional visitors.  Volunteers from the congregations provide a large proportion of the work force of the Parish, as the only paid employee is the Rector.   

d) Potential beneficiaries.    Visitors, including a high proportion of local people, who are expected to gain deeper insights into the spiritual, cultural, historical and artistic heritage of the church.    Volunteers, with more people offering time and so learning much more about the church.    Children in schools, visiting for taught activities, exploration or tours, as well as using the church for homework tasks and other study.    Teachers, seeking to engage pupils and enrich the curriculum.  Families visiting for enjoyment, and doing things together including “Messy Church” and “Cool Tots”.  Members of the congregations of the church.  

e) Existing activities.  The church had leaflets and a guidebook for visitors.  The guidebook is informative but could be better presented to suit readers of all ages and the leaflets are more succinct but have recently been out of print.  Notices around the church have been difficult to read and easy to miss.  Few church members know much about the history of the church.    f) Using advice.  Recent approaches to a notable local historian have highlighted how much better the church could tell its story, share its riches and attract people to its doors.  Consultations with local teachers have encouraged them to use the church to enrich the school curriculum.    

g) Possible activities that we have considered.    Consultation with local historian about history of the church, methods of using the information and publicising the heritage offering.     Consultation with local teachers, in primary, secondary and Sixth Form phases.    Discussions with visitors about their interests and what makes the church appealing to them.    Reprinting of former leaflets.  Preparation and publishing of new leaflets, with more striking design and content, matching subject matter and style to the needs and interest of school pupils, visitors and others.  Improving the display of leaflets and guidebook.    Rewriting the guidebook in a simpler format, with better illustrations.    Arranging visits by school pupils, to accommodate the needs of the school curriculum, matching activities to the teachers’ aims.    Training volunteers as Heritage Leaders, to guide activities and help visitors.    Running regular tours of the church, as well as tours, on demand.    Training volunteers as Maintenance Volunteers, to monitor the building and be alert to changes in its condition.    Receiving training from the stonework contractors on methods and materials for stonework re-pointing.   Running guided tours of the building.   

 Publicising details of the building’s heritage, especially to local people via the local press.  Using electronic media, especially the Parish website, to extend our reach. (Refer separate document detailing the proposals for the development of the Church Website). We would like to include a virtual tour of the church, including the church tower.  Inviting local groups, eg photographic and art groups to use the church building, both inside and outside as subject matters  Advising people about how to access parish records, which are lodged at the County Records Office.    

h) Developments since the First-Round submission.  Discussion with visitors.  This has shown the need for readily available information to make the story of the church come alive.  The existing notices and leaflets were not being used.   Discussion with local historian about the history of the church.  Gathering advice about published materials and other methods of publicising the church.    Consultation with teachers.  The response has been so strong with much interest shown.   We are in the process of re-writing notices around the church for visitors and fixing laminated copies in prominent positions at heights suitable for both wheelchair and standing users.   The first re-draft of the guidebook is currently being written.  A local photographic group has already visited the church taking photographs of our stained-glass windows.  Members of the project committee have received a presentation on internal and external communications using multi-media and this will be rolled out to other members of the congregation.  Started monthly meetings of Messy Church and Cool Tots  

Section 2.  Engaging People and deciding priorities  

a) Possible beneficiaries.  Visitors, local people, members of the church especially volunteers, school pupils, teachers, internet users.  It is probably possible to benefit all of these people. Aims.  These will vary with each audience.  Generally, the aim will be to inform, entertain and challenge participants.  Visitors should leave, having been drawn into the different aspects of the church’s spiritual, cultural, historic and artistic life in an inspiring and memorable manner.  The aims for school pupils will be controlled by the aims of the lesson or planned visit, as decided by the teacher.  The role of Heritage Leaders assisting the teacher is to maximise that benefit.  Volunteers, themselves, will have benefitted by becoming more knowledgeable about the church and enjoying interacting with visitors.  We will seek to make explicit that this is a place of prayer, worship and commitment to God that has been used as such for over 700 years.    

b) The capital work programme will ensure the physical integrity of the building and enable the work and inspiration of the church community to continue.    

c) The benefits include more people becoming better informed about the church, about local and national history, having an enjoyable time, learning collaboratively, as members of the same class, as families or as friends.  They will be satisfied with their experience, want to recommend it to friends and learn something of the Christian faith.    

d) Activities must be chosen to maximise these benefits.  

 Activity Audience Benefits for people 

Outcome Resources Costs in budget Timetable Targets How evaluated 

A.  Make the history of the building more accessible A.  a) Further archival research All visitors. More information on the church and surroundings 

Leaflets, website and guidebook updated  

Research time, photocopying, etc 

£1,000 Jan 2017 ongoing N/A Observing results A. b) – g) 

A. b) Rewrite and display signs giving historical information for visitors 

Occasional visitors, local people, church members, school pupils, disabled people. 

Provides a selfguiding tour, available all the time, covering historical, artistic and spiritual aspects.   

Signs laminated and placed at suitable height for both wheelchair and adult, standing users.   

Written materials, lamination.   

£500 April-June 2017 N/A Observation of use. Survey of visitor satisfaction. 

A. c) Produce leaflets for visitors to buy/use 

Occasional visitors, local people, church members, school pupils. 

More extensive knowledge than contained in the signs, for those wanting more depth.  Readily available near entrance.  

Wide range of topics covered, in an attractive format.  

Written materials, time to design and produce, colour photocopying in house.  Local historian checks of content. 

Costs covered by voluntary contributions, over time.   

Jan-March 2017 leaflets available at all times.  

Observation of use. Rate of replacement of stock (related to use) Survey of visitor satisfaction. 

A. d) Revise, redesign and produce new guidebook 

Occasional visitors, local people, church members. 

Detailed account within one booklet, covering all the major aspects of the church.   

Attractive free booklet available giving short but comprehensive account of the church heritage.   

Written materials, time to design and produce, colour photocopying in house.  Local historian checks of content. 

£250 costs for first printing.  Subsequent printings to be covered by voluntary contributions    

April-June 2017 First draft available for checking historical facts by March 2017 

Observation of use 

A. e) Produce and make available worksheets for children and class use 

Visiting families, children and school groups.   

Increased engagement with particular aspects of the building, resulting in better learning.   

A library of materials, readily available for visitors and school groups.   

Written materials, time to consult with teachers, colour photocopying in house.    

Photocopying £100 pa. 

April – June 2017 500 worksheets available.  Numbers to increase subsequently. 

Teacher comment, uptake by families and other visitors.  Survey of visitor satisfaction.  Stock replacement. 

A.  f)To develop website  

Website visitors Freely available information promoting the church 

Increased visibility in local and wider community 

Refer separate document Proposal for the Development of the Church Website  

Virtual tour of the church including the Church Tower 

£1,500       

£1,000 

April – June 2017       

April – June 2017 

N/A Number of hits on website count 

 

A. g) Materials available via Parish website, e.g. in pdf format 

Website visitors Freely available information.  Promotion of the church as a visitors’ venue.  

Materials  Volunteer’s time to make available on the website.   

Volunteer time     

April 2017 ongoing Refer Proposal for the Development of Church Website 

Visitor comments.     

B. Train church members as Heritage Leaders B a) Train church members in bringing to life the heritage of the building for other people.  Volunteers Visitors, including school pupils Volunteers trained and better informed about the church, able to lead activities. Visitors well-led and well-informed 

Satisfied visitors and volunteers who feel that they are making a good contribution. 

Volunteers time to lead and attend training  

Volunteer time Jan 2017 ongoing 10 Heritage Leaders trained 

Feedback from training evaluation.  Retention rate of Heritage leaders.   

B. b) Arrange occasions when Heritage Leaders interact with visitors and the public 

Volunteers Visitors, including school pupils 

Visitors well-led and well-informed. Volunteers fully involved and active, using and retaining their skills from training. 

Satisfied visitors and volunteers who feel that they are making a good contribution. 

Management time and time for Heritage Leaders  

Volunteer time Jan- 2017 ongoing Each Heritage Leader engaged in activity three times a year 

Comments from and retention rate of Heritage Leaders.      

C. Increase the numbers of visitors to the church.   C. a) Erect visitor signs in the street and on notice boards  Local people Knowledge that a visitor attraction is nearby 

Adverts on church notice boards.   

Printed signs for notice boards  

£250 June 2017 N/A Numbers of visitors 

C. b) Publish church details and events on visitor and tourist websites  

Prospective visitors to the town 

More interesting visit to Southfleet for wider range of people 

More satisfied visitors 

Time for volunteers to send details and update websites 

Volunteer time June 2017 ongoing 

N/A 

Visitor sampling counts and visitor book 

C. c) Consult teachers and arrange pupils’ visits, accordingly. Also, encourage history sharing – older people come into the school to 

Teachers and their students and parents of children 

Satisfied teachers. Enrichment of school curriculum, better educated young people. Encouraging older people to mix with younger. Could 

Increased school activity with larger numbers of young people visiting, carrying out more varied activities. Integrated age groups in the 

Time for volunteers 

Volunteer time Jan 2017 ongoing  Log of school visits 

chat to children about their time in the village – can tie in with history lessons  

gain interest with parents.  

village. Increased educational value. 

C. d) Publicise the church as a venue for curriculum enhancement with teachers 

Teachers  Greater range of teachers using the church as a resource. 

Time for volunteers 

Volunteer time March 2017 ongoing 

Talk given to local teachers or information otherwise passed 

Responses from teachers       

C. e) List of upcoming activities on fridge magnets / car stickers 

Families in Southfleet. Parents of children 

Recent information easily displayed and not thrown away 

More likelihood of people keeping where they can see it and acts as a reminder of events 

Magnets and printing 

£250 April 2017 ongoing  Increase in numbers at events. Asking parents if they use the magnets. 

C. f) Using the resources already available – speaking to people about what they would like to see in the church, any events they would like the church to hold, questionnaire. 

Families at parade service, older people in area, letter drop in Southfleet. 

Their opinions taken in, they have a chance to contribute – feel their suggestions are valued. 

More event suggestions for church, accessing people you wouldn’t normally talk to and engage with. 

Time for questionnaire creation and gathering feedback. Feedback will need to be presented to people too.  

Volunteer time. Printing of questionnaire. 

Jan 2017 ongoing  Increase in suggestions on how to use the church and bring in more people. This should interest more people in coming to the church for multiple reasons. 

C.  g) Messy Church and Cool Tots 

Families in Southfleet 

Time for families to be together sharing activities 

Introducing more families to the church 

Activity materials £350 October 2016 ongoing 

 Increase in families coming to church    

D. Train volunteers in the oversight and maintenance of the Grade 1 Listed building.  D. a) Train volunteers in the oversight and maintenance of the Grade 1 Listed building.  Volunteers Knowledge of the priorities for maintenance of an old building Well-informed people, who are constantly monitoring the building and reporting changes Source suitable training 

Training included in tender contracts, volunteer time 

April 2017-Sep 2017 

10 volunteers trained 

Course evaluations, subsequent performance and enthusiasm of volunteers




  • The Rectory
  • Hook Green Rd
  • Southfleet
  • Kent
  • DA13 9NQ

01474 833252
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