Proposed Sale of Dore Parish Church Hall

Proposed Sale Of the Site of the Dore Parish Church Hall

The Dore Village Society committee, along with a large number of Dore residents, is concerned by the plans of the Dore Parish Church Council (PCC) to sell the site on which the Parish Hall is built. In her letter of 22nd October the Rev. Katie Tupling wrote that the PCC is considering three options:

1. Sell part of the site for development (or community use), retaining the Parish Office extension.
2. Sell all of the site for future community use.
3. Sell all of the site for development.

The sale of the site (in whole or in part) for development would result in the loss of the Parish Hall and this would be a severe loss to the community.
It is our understanding that the PCC has the legal right to sell the land, and that they wish to do so for a number of reasons. For our part, we wish to see ownership of the Parish Church Hall and surrounding land vested in an organisation that maintains and manages the asset for the benefit of the community, and in particular provides facilities for meetings, recreation, social activities, exhibitions, events, and other reasonable purposes that the community identifies. So the challenge is to reconcile the intentions of the PCC with our wishes and those of the many Dore residents who have been in touch with us.
In order to make progress the DVS committee set up a sub-committee in November which includes the chairs and trustees of the DVS and the Old School Trust, people who run their own businesses, a chartered accountant with experience of buying and selling businesses, one of our local Councillors, a former Regional Director of The National Trust and Chair of The Heritage Lottery Fund in the East Midlands, as well as others who have been in contact with us to ask how the Church Hall might be retained. A major factor in any consideration will be the potential economic viability of the hall and we have been investigating this.
This sub-committee has corresponded on several occasions with the Parish Church Council via Rev. Katie Tupling and others, and with the Archdeacon, to express our concerns. We have also had conversations with the Archdeacon and the Bishop of Sheffield. In addition, we have had conversations, correspondence and meetings with a number of Dore residents.
The replies that we have received from Rev. Tupling, other members of the PCC, the Archdeacon and the Bishop have emphasised the desire of the PCC and other Church authorities to find a solution which includes continued community use of the Church Hall.
We have offered to meet with the PCC to discuss their options. We wish to engage constructively with them to explore how the Church Hall might be retained as a community asset, and we will continue to try and arrange a meeting with them as a matter of urgency. In particular we would like more information about:
• Their reasons for the proposed sale and the alternatives that have been considered.
• The financial assessment that was undertaken.
• What the PCC is prepared to do to engage in constructive discussion with the community to try and find a solution which would be acceptable to all parties.
At some point early in 2019 we will be organising a public meeting to listen to the opinions of residents, to ascertain the level of support for action to retain the Parish Hall for use by the community and, if sufficiently positive, to invite people to become actively involved in the process. In the meantime a joint application has been made by the Old School Trust, the Dore Village Society and the Dore Neighbourhood Forum to have the Parish Hall listed as an Asset of Community Value (see https://mycommunity.org.uk/ then the Take Action tab > Land and Building Assets > Assets of Community Value for more information about what this means, or just Google Asset of Community value).
When we have anything further to report we will do so via our website, our noticeboards, Dore to Door, the Dore and Totley Community Facebook page, and a variety of other means. You can also write to us with any suggestions that you may have at The Old School, Savage Lane, Sheffield, S17 3GW, or hand deliver through the letterbox on the front door of the Old School, email us at chp@dorevillage.co.uk or drop into the DVS office on Fridays between 10:30am and 11:30am from 11th January onwards.

Keith Shaw
Chairman
Dore Village Society

Since this DVS statement was released the Parochial Church Council has issued the following invitation.

MEETING ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE CHURCH HALL

Christ Church invites all those who are interested to a meeting about the future of the Church Hall building.

At this meeting members of the Parochial Church Council (or PCC) will present the background to this matter and then spend time hearing from members of the community about their views and suggestions for the future of the Church Hall.

The meeting will take place on:

Monday 28th January at 7.30pm to 9.30pm in Christ Church, Dore

Light refreshments will be served as we recognise that some people may have to come straight from work.

We look forward to welcoming you.