We have reached over 1000 visitors on the two days a week when we have been open to the public – Sundays and Wednesdays. This is since we opened in April 2006. The full range of bookings and activities is mostly posted on the website, but we already have days booked up until July 2007!
Painting groups love the building and seem likely to expand to 3 times a week, whilst we are working on increasing the number of exhibitions held in the upper rooms. We intend to be part of the “Nine Days of Art” next year, and are about to see if grants are available for staging other art or craft exhibitions of local work.
The monthly Encounters have had a varied response, but earlier this month a Village Voices concert was so well attended that people were standing at the back of the hall. The website Events Programme shows the next few Encounters, but we have plans for RSPB and the Met Office next year, and expect to continue with a good and varied programme.
It is good that local use can be fitted in, with birthday parties, celebrations of various kinds and with some business projects beginning to come in.
Devon Curriculum Services have booked a series of days – well into next Spring, and the 2007 diary is beginning to fill up!
Several groups have booked Church House for Retreats and Quiet Days, and have found the proximity of the church most helpful.
All this use has meant that we have ordered more tables and equipment, although we are constrained by storage space. The building is universally admired by all who use or visit, and seems to be standing up well the pressure of regular bookings. The Contractors have been recently to deal with final snags before the final payment is made in November. We have added a small skirting in the lower room to protect the delicate lime plaster which has been damaged in a few places. The Management Committee hopes that with the building having dried out thoroughly over the course of the summer, we will not have such large heating bills this winter. However we managed to keep the users quite warm, whilst protecting the medieval fabric.
It is so encouraging to have Church House used to such an extent, even if it does mean daily visits to move furniture around!