Highlights of the news in 2012

(scroll down to get each item)









After four years, lots of money, negotiations with the Charity Commission and an indpenent report, the lease of the building was finally completed on 22nd March.

It is believed to be the first time that a worshipping URC congregation has leased its building to a community group to become one user among others. Geoff Willis, an elder of the church says, "I agree with the former Mayor who said that this is just what Dawlish needs - a community building in the centre of the town and available for use by any group in the town."

The lease is for 25 years and commits The Strand Community trustees to take responsibility for completing the transformation of the buillding.

The Church Secretary, Jean Potter - who is also a trustee - expressed her satisfaction. "It's been a long haul, but in the process we have built strong and enduring links with community groups and developed new projects to help the large elderly populatoin in the town. We can look forward to even greater developments in the future.

Getting planning and legal permission involved employing a heritage consultant and an architecural historian as well as an architect and quantity surveyor, summed up by Church Treasurer Rychard Winslade as "It's not been cheap."

The plan for Stage 2 - for larger image click here.

The problem with the church building is that it has two 1920s toilets, one of which is in the vestry. Both are at the north end of the building so that anyone wanting to use the toilets during a service or concert has to walk in front of the congregation/audience. The embarrassment is compounded by the noise of the cistern when it flushes. In 1990 the congregation commisisoned an architect to look at the building and he produced major plans which were not followed through. In 2001 the Church Meeting decided that toilets at the front end of the church were essential.

It has taken more than a decade to come to a time when the toilets can be provided. At the end of Mrarch we heard that the Strand Centre had been awarded £20,000 from the Ugbrooke Landfill Trust towards a £38,000 scheme to provide two toilets in the existing foyer and a proper disabled ramp.

Commenting the Strand Treasurer, Geoff Willis (who is also an elder) welcomed the news - "It's just what we need to maximise the use of the building and increase its welcome. The news has been so encouraging that I am sure that we will be able to raise the extra cash needed."

The proposed plans have to be agreed by the URC regional Synod before contracts can be placed.


2011 click here

2010 click here

2009 click here

2008 click here

2007 click here

Until Christmas 2010 we published a quarterly news sheet called 'spire' which was distributed to about a third of the 5,000 houses in Dawlish with news about the church and its activities.

For the past editions of spire click here

we now share in the Centre's publication strand.




























For longer than most people can remember, Rosemary Holmes has been at the centre of the life of Dawlish URC. The daughter of the caretaker, on her return from Luton to Dawlish she became an elder, using her encyclopediac knowledge of the people of the town to make contacts and get things done.

She became treasurer ten years ago, and was the obvious choice for Church Secretary when the post became vacant. Her warm welcome demonstrated to many a newcomer to the town the friendliness of the congregation; she assiduously marked birthdays and anniversaries with cards; she kept the church clearn, the flowers fresh, the correspondence answered and the vision of a different future for the church before the congregation.

Her experience and commitment are missed.