It all started in 2003, when a small group of Bickington residents, with a common interest in promoting the social future of the village, formed the Bickington Village Hall Steering Group. A questionnaire which asked the community for its preference for a Village Hall was circulated later that year.
The response, at a public meeting early in 2004, was unanimous. The community wanted the Church Hall, built in the 1860s for the village school, in Church ownership since the 1950s and now a listed building, to become the Village Hall. Pledges of financial support from the community followed soon afterwards.
Discussions with the Church of England indicated that management of the Hall would best be passed to a charitable trust. Thus Bickington Village Trust was formed as a limited company in February 2006. The company was awarded charitable trust status in July of that year, with the object of providing and maintaining a hall and recreation ground for use by the inhabitants of Bickington and surrounding villages. Tim Dewing (chairman), Robin Colby and Gwilym Evans were the founding Trustees.
Negotiations with the Church continued over the next three years. They indicated that purchase of the Hall was the best option, and ownership passed to the Trust on 30th December 2009. To recognise the growing interest in the Hall’s future, the Venerable John Rawlings, Sarah Chaffe and Keith Bryant were appointed as further Trustees in the summer of 2010 to be followed by Jason Bailey, John Cox and Catherine Strigner by spring 2012. Following ill health, Keith Bryant sadly had to resign in October 2012.
A Management Team, supported by local volunteers, now operates and maintains the Hall to meet the strategic requirements of the Trust.
The Village Hall, which has a long and honourable history, is now at the start of its third embodiment, namely as a Hall available for use by the whole community for the purposes approved by the Trust. Development of the Hall under exciting plans drawn up in 2007 will make it fit for purpose for decades to come. If you would like to see these, or contribute in any way, please get in touch with one of the Trustees or a member of the Management Committee.
Please book the Hall for any family or social occasion - or series of events – for which it is approved. In fact, make it your first choice. Enjoy what it offers… and support the development of the Hall for generations to come.
BICKINGTON VILLAGE TRUST
Catherine Strigner (Secretary)