West End Development Project

[For ‘How You Can Help’ please scroll down to the end of this page.]

Why is the West End Development Project needed?

It is needed to improve the interior space of this much-loved historic building so that it can continue to serve and improve its hospitality to the local community, to visitors from far and wide and to the Madingley congregation.

900 Years of History

The church has a Grade 2* listing and is the oldest building in the village.  Many visitors come to find out about the history of the church and the village and this is possible because the doors are open 365 days of the year.

People from 36 different countries have signed the visitors book over the past 5 years – some have come to find traces of their forebears, some to admire the architecture and some to find a place of peace to reflect:

 “Came to see the ten roof angels in the tower.  Thank you having the door open.”

“Wonderful World War 1 display – so interesting to hear of those local men who served.”

“Quiet, peaceful and restful but still serving the community – one of the most beautiful and peaceful churches I have come across.”

“We came to see the iconoclasm of William Dowsing and found it!”

“So well cared for. Glad to find such a lively and interesting church open: a credit to you all.”

However, our ability to tell this historical story is severely constrained through lack of circulation and display space.

The north aisle free of the vestry and other furniture – a wonderful meeting and exhibition space

The north aisle free of the vestry and other furniture – a wonderful meeting and exhibition space

Today’s Congregation

Serving teas for the children’s Christingle Service

Serving teas for the children’s Christingle Service

The current arrangement for the vestry and storage space is cramped and insecure.  There is no space available for serving refreshments after services or for children to play, no toilets and no running water – every drop is carried from the tap by the church gate. Fund raising and community events are a health and safety nightmare!  This lack of amenity restricts what it is possible to do.

The community

Washing up in the current vestry in the north aisle alongside to the memorial to Jane Cotton

Washing up in the current vestry in the north aisle alongside to the memorial to Jane Cotton

It is, of course, vital to the long-term future of the building that as many people as possible are able to use the building.  The Village School, Institute of Education and other organisations have held events here but the lack of even the most basic facilities of toilet and running water make this extremely difficult.  Requests to hold concerts and lectures here have to be turned down.

The Parochial Church Council has responded to these challenges with The West End Development Project which will provide:

  •  A servery and sink so that refreshments can be served after services, at concerts and social occasions.
  • An accessible cloakroom with toilet and store located in the base of the tower and improved access to the bell chamber.
  • Improved internal planning to enable social events, concerts, exhibitions and outreach sessions to take place.
  • A new vestry to provide a storage and support area for services.
  • Improved equality of access for everyone including resurfaced church path.

Ashley Courtney RIBA AABC  was appointed church architect in 2015.  His proposals respond sensitively to the existing historic architecture and he has produced an extremely detailed design.  Careful consideration has been given to archaeology, conservation of historic fabric and ecological matters.  Professional monitoring will be carried out through the construction phase.

Design Proposals


Project Cost Breakdown

New foul drain and new water supply into church, and new path £120,000
New lavatory to tower. Improved safer access to belfry. £110,000
New kitchen joinery unit and new servery to west end of nave with alterations to pew platform and floor finishes as necessary. £ 45,000
Move Organ and form new Vestry, and essential lime plaster repairs in the nave. £40,000
North Aisle improvements including reducing number of pews and removing pew platform to Lady Chapel. £35,000
TOTAL £350,000

The organ will be moved eastwards to allow sufficient space so that a new vestry can be located in the west corner of the nave.

ServeryNew servery unit that has drawers underneath the stone surface for vestments and storage cupboards at each end.

Tea-prep-unitThe tea preparation unit made with oak will house a sink, shelves, cupboards and work surface so we can enjoy refreshments in the church and offer hospitality to visitors.


The PCC has:

  • Appointed the architect, structural engineer, archaeological, historic conservation and ecological specialists for advice and design.
  • Obtained planning permission from South Cambridgeshire District Council and the authorisation of the Diocese of Ely.
  • Following the detailed design and specification of the project by the Church Architect, taken the project to tender to secure accurate costs.
  • Commenced a fund raising scheme which will reach out to the local community, those with connections to Madingley and also to grant-giving charitable organisations.

When sufficient funds have been raised, the aim is to complete the construction phase during 2019.

How can you help?

Visit Easy Fundraising Ideas

Make a contribution, however large or small!  This will be very welcome and it is possible to donate in a variety of ways:

  • A regular donation by standing order e.g. a donation of £25 per week for two years would raise £2,400.  Sort Code 60 04 23, Account Number 08218366, Reference [Yoursurname]WEDP e.g. SmithWEDP.
  • Donation as a single payment; cheques should be made payable to Madingley PCC and posted to The Treasurer, Madingley PCC, 31 Pelham Way Cottenham, Cambridge CB24 8TQ.
  • Donation via BACS, using the reference ‘YoursurnameWEDP’ e.g. SmithWEDP to: Sort Code 60 04 23, Account Number 08218366
  • If you are a UK tax payer, gift aiding your donation will enable us to claim 25p for every £1 which you donate.

Support these fund raising initiatives:

Book the Madingley Harpist (see News item) madingleyharpist@gmail.com.

Support the National Gardens Scheme Open Garden at Madingley Hall on Sunday 10th June 2018.


For further information please contact us
by email: madingleyproject@gmail.com or by phone: 01954 210766 (Secretary to the PCC)