A VILLAGE church hopes to build a new room so it can become a greater community asset.

St John the Baptist Church in Little Maplestead submitted a planning application that, if approved, would give the church permission to build a much-needed Parish Room.

The project comes in a bid to encourage and accommodate even more community interaction and will see the proposed meeting area located in the northwest corner of the church grounds.

The submitted design will continue in the same vein as the Grade II listed building’s historic architecture and natural look, with the majority of the frame made from timber similar to the porch and bell turret used for the 684-year-old building.

Its roof will be made of slate tiles, which will seamlessly continue the colour and material scheme of the accessible toilet which the building will be connected to.

Red bricks are also likely to be considered as a plinth for the building.

Churchwarden Jane Piper said: “At present there is no community room available for village use in Little Maplestead and the church is our only community building.

“The creation of a community room will bring the village together and we’ve had overwhelming support for the idea.

“We will be able to use the room for many small events and courses to support worship and outreach for the church, as well as village activities such as fitness classes, craft courses and many interest groups.”

The application has been wholeheartedly supported by several different groups and a large percentage of the building costs have already been generated as a result of a series of fundraising events. It is just one of several changes and new additions the Round Church, as it is also known, has implemented and comes after years of structural repairs to the building.

Jane said: “We work very hard as a community to raise funds for our little church with craft fairs, plant sales, summer fetes and harvest meals and all this funding goes directly to the maintenance of the church itself.”

Braintree Council will have the final say on the plans.