At All Saints Church we want to make ourselves more approachable to the wider community in Wokingham, enabling new and different types of worship and activities.
To help achieve this we need to refurbish our church building. This will make it an environment fit for the spiritual and community requirements of the 21st century. We have called this “CC2020”. We are now assessing a number of options that have been prepared for us in a feasibility study by our architect David Finlay of Acanthus Clews .
“I wonder can you imagine the All Saints Church of the future …” Revd Anna Harwood shares her vision of what CC2020 will look like
These design options are now available here or are on display in the church.
A summary interpreting the options is available here.
Survey results here
Thank you to the 155 people who completed our survey and gave your views. These have now been collated and discussed by the Parochial Church Council.
The Chaplain to the Bishop of Oxford, The Rev’d Paul Cowan, who was a curate at All Saints in the mid-2000s came to preach and share his thoughts on his experience of refurbishing St George’s ,Wash Common, Newbury whilst he was Vicar there. Here is the text of his sermon.
Read more below about the background and justification for this project
In doing the refurbishment we are adamant that we must retain the feeling of being a holy place and keep the heritage of more than 800 years of worship. Our church will still be open seven days a week, providing a suitable environment for private prayer and reflection. But we must move forward and enable a variety of types of worship to take place, for small groups and large, in a fully accessible, sustainable quality environment. With such a large important building we also want to offer better hospitality and opportunities to use the building as a venue for local events. The brief and justification are here. The full feasibility study is here (48MB download)
All this is not new. In mediaeval times, there were no seats in churches. Later, people brought their own seats and in the 1600s and 1700s, seats were provided so that people could concentrate better on lengthy sermons. Currently, many other churches are redesigning their interiors not only to be more adaptable for services but to allow the church to be used by local people for many different purposes. For an article about uses of a church, please click here and for a pictorial timeline here.
Our CC2020 team visited other churches to see what they did, and why, and some of the pictures they have collected are here. We have had discussions with local organisations on how our church might be used in the future, and have asked them what restricts their use of the church building now. All of this helped us compile our brief for the work.
We want to hear what excites you and what concerns you, so please talk to any team member or e-mail CC2020@allsaintswokingham.org.uk. Also you might like to look at frequently asked questions here.
The CC2020 team members are: Anne King, team leader, The Rector, John Boylan, Ian Brooks, Clive Charlton, The Revd Anna Harwood, John Hook, Ian Hopkinson, Graham Leeson, Su McArthur, Kathryn Pelling.
A Prayer for CC2020
Almighty God, who first inspired the people of Wokingham to start the building of our beautiful church more than 800 years ago, inspire and direct us now to provide a building fit to worship you and serve our community in the 21st century.
We ask this in Jesus’ name.