St Mary's Development Project

From the minute Canon Stuart Wilson arrived at our parish in January 2007, he already had a vision for St Mary’s Cadogan Street. He lost no time in finding parishioners who were prepared to contribute their time and effort in making his vision come alive. His first focus was on the Rectory, which was on the verge of being condemned. Then, he would tackle the refurbishment of the church. He appointed Simon Guest as head of the building committee, George Jerjian as head of the project fundraising and Holly Bowman as head of the finance committee. Within months, many parishioners offered to join these committees and the planning and execution began in earnest.

By early 2008, the finance committee’s bank statement showed it had £100,000 in its account from a pre-2006 legacy left for a Development Fund, the building committee had submitted planning applications to the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea for refurbishing the Rectory, and the project fundraising committee had generated a new and up-to-date database of all the parishioners, and a system of continuously updating newcomers as the parish people-turnover was close to 40% a year. Besides, the required renovation of the living accommodation, the plans included the provision of much needed office space and other facilities to host the numerous groups operating in this busy parish.

Building works started in the summer of 2008, after the priests had moved out to a nearby house and by Christmas 2008, the parish had raised a further £170,000, which meant it now had £270,000 in the bank and it had arranged a  low-interest facility with the Diocese for £500,000.  At that point, it had  already spent £350,000 on the project. By November 2009, the Rectory was completed and the priests had moved back into their house. By this time, the total expenditure had reached £850,000 and the parish had raised altogether £370,000, leaving the loan of £500,000 to be repaid over the next 7 years at low interest and cash in the bank of £25,000..

In early 2010, Andres Rubio took over from George Jerjian as head of the project fundraising committee and immediately went to work to reduce the outstanding loan, by focusing on paying back £70,000 each year over the next 7 years. Through various events, concerts, and Donor dinners, he and his team managed to payoff the entire loan by December 2012, some four years ahead of schedule.

Canon Stuart and all committee members at St Mary’s wish to thank God for his bounty and you, our parishioners, for your contributions of prayers, time, effort, and monies, without which this project could not have come to fruition.

We are currently working on the next stages of the refurbishment of our church, starting with the heating and lighting, both of which are in urgent need of replacement.

Watch this space !


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  at Royal Hospital
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Site last updated
1 April, 2019