After calling the agents we managed to get ourselves invited to an open day. So on April 6th 2022 Emma Poppy and myself wandered up the steep hill with fingers crossed.
The former Methodist Church was originaly built in 1910 but closed down in September of 2021. Since then, other than the occasional meeting, its been dormant. It has an imposing postion ontop of the Portway with grand oak door leading to a vestibule which then lead you into the main hall. Todays first vists was up the path and in through the creaky blue side door. Already this was feeling fun. Any one thats read Swich If The Curtain as a kid will understand the relevance of a blue side door leading to an abandoned church hall.
However, we wern't the only people there. Local builders and developers had turned up to, with their laser measers, tapping at walls and lifting up ceiling tiles. Disaster. In our nievety we thought we'd be the only people intrested in taking over the space. We looked round nervously
Whilst the grown up developers we're looking at guttering and roofs, we're talking about rehearsals, school session and shows for the local community. We'd been there 10 mins and already in love with the space. It had to be ours!
All we needed to do was convince the Methodist Circuit to sell it to us and for our board to approve the purchase - oh and we had to find the money to not only buy it but also do a load of work on it.
The building had been a little unloved for a while. But what a building. It comprised of the main hall, a grand space about 10M x 12M, a smaller hall at the rear and running along side that a crumbling annex, built in the 1980s or 90s that housed a kitchen and toliets.
The Kitchen and Toilets play an inportant part of life later in teh journey but for now we needed a plan to buy the place.
Excited by the space and the possibilities it present but also depressed by the ammount of intrest teh 3 of us retread to the nearest cafe and started plotting.
The first thing we did was create a pitch document for the Methodist Circuit detailing why they should seel to us. The next was a doccument for the board explain ing our next craxy plan.