Congratulations to everyone who took part in the (inaugural?!) Eaton New Year’s Day dip. There were around 30 dippers, including many first timers, ranging in age from 10 to 84. Particular thanks to the regular dippers for organising the event, which was part of the efforts to raise funds for improvements to All Saints’ Church Eaton.
Residents are currently fundraising for £15,000 towards the £55,000 needed to add a toilet and refreshment area at their church.
There is no village hall, pub, shop or other community space in the village and like many rural areas, Eaton has poor access to public transport. Despite this there is an energetic community which organises events such as open gardens, village bonfire, barbecues, harvest suppers and coffee mornings, which also attract the people of the neighbouring market town of Retford and surrounding villages. Currently, village meetings and indoor events are held in private homes which isn’t ideal.
The vision is to provide this vibrant and active rural community with much needed community space by adapting the church, the only public building in the village. As a more usable community space, the church will become the hub for village events, meetings, clubs and social activities whilst still being used for worship. It will be used by people of all ages to promote community cohesion and address rural issues such as isolation, and will play a vital role in keeping the existing community alive. It will also do much to encourage newcomers to the village to feel welcome and involved. The proposal will also make the church more usable by the local CofE primary school and more accommodating and hospitable for worshippers and visitors.
The plans is to remove the pews at the rear of the nave, leaving 11 rows at the front for regular services. The rear of the nave will become a flexible open space where chairs can be used to supplement the pews for larger services and tables can be arranged for other uses. There will be a kitchenette on the back wall to enable refreshments to be prepared and an adjoining accessible WC with a baby change unit will be built as an extension off the south wall. This will also necessitate water and sewage connections to be made.
Fully costed plans have been prepared, planning permission has been granted and approval received from the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.
Look out for fundraising events and find out more at www.facebook.com/allsaintseatonandgamston. If anyone would like to support the campaign and contribute to the fundraising campaign, please visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/eatonallsaints.