St Cuthbert's Crypt Development Project was launched at a meeting held in the church on the evening of 21 June 2018. Charlotte Dodgeon gave a presentation about the proposed changes to the crypt, which is summarised below. Father Paul followed with a fascinating pictorial history of the church.

Charlotte's presentation covered the following:

(1) The Opportunity
  • St Cuthbert's Church is a gem of Arts and Crafts Architecture
  • It has a unique interior, created as a true "community effort"
  • It holds a stunning collection of vestments and other artefacts
  • It sits on the edge of an extensive development that will transform the area
  • It is ideally placed to be a focus for heritage and community activities as well as a spiritual focus.

(2) The Challenge
  • The body of the church can be used for a wide range of events, but ...
  • It is difficult to get to the existing toilet facilities
  • The crypt area is tired, run down and unattractive for users, with poor access
  • The collections aren't well stored, or particularly accessible.

The plan below shows the existing layout of the crypt
​​ (3) The Plan
  • To make the crypt a more useful and useable space
  • To provide direct access to the crypt from the streeet
  • To install new facilities
  • To create a bespoke storage space in the Upper Sacristy for vestments

(4) The Wider Benefits
  • A better downstairs space will mean the church can cater for more, and a wider range of users
  • |The collections will be accessible for study and research
  • It can help to begin the process of making the history and heritage of the church known more widely

(5) The Project
We will be applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund and other funders for a project to:
  • Restore the crypt, improving access through a lift and a new staircase
  • A programme of events to enable a wide range of people to learn about the heritage of St Cuthbert's through
    • Creating an online archive of the vestments and collections
    • A series of talks on the history of the church
    • Art projects with the local school, theatre projects with young people
    • Other creative projects
  • Your ideas for what you would like to see happen!

The plan below shows the proposed changes to the crypt, including a new staircase and lift access.