More Open, More Accessible, More Welcoming
A Message from The Reverend Canon David Hodgson Rector of All Saints Wokingham
I’m delighted to welcome you to these webpages about our community project: spaceforall.
We hope that what you see here will inspire you with the exciting vision we have been given for the future of our church building. We’d love to have your interest, support, and prayers.
spaceforall involves repairing, adapting and extending the church building. We are describing it as a community project because the purpose of these works is to create an open community space for our growing community in Wokingham. The name we’ve chosen for the project – spaceforall – reflects the vision. The church will become a centre where many people and groups can meet in a safe and welcoming environment. We are turning the church building into a flexible space and a functioning accessible venue which we believe will guarantee its indispensable value and importance for the future life of our town.
The new spaces will also enable both current and future parishioners to express worship and spirituality in new and more varied ways as the times and needs change.
The impact of coronavirus
Coronavirus has changed our lives and our thinking. At first, I thought it would delay the achievement of our spaceforall plans here at All Saints Church.
But now we know much more about the impact of what has happened, on our communities and on our church. We are all in different stages of rehabilitation and we recognise that we cannot continue living the way we did.
Instead of stepping back, we need to step forward and be part of the answer to meeting needs in the new situation. Adapting the church building to create a community meeting space for this area of Wokingham is needed more than ever. In All Saints Church, we have a large indoor space which can be made flexible and safe in a world where periods of social distancing and a growing trend to stay local will be with us possibly for many years to come.
Our plans going forward
Our plan is to phase the project. Phase 1 is about opening the church as an open community space as urgently as possible. It will include the essential elements inside the church to create a safe, welcoming and flexible space, with the new accessible entrance and paths. Our goal is to start the work as soon as possible in 2021, splitting the work into packages or sub-phases that can be started as soon as funds are sufficient for each part. The other elements in the full plan, such as a new parish room, will be in later phases.
spaceforall is such a significant step, both for our church and our community in Wokingham. It will make a huge difference to the well-being of so many people. It will secure the future of the church building as a vibrant focus and intrinsic part of our town’s life for decades to come. We have the opportunity now to step forward and to make a lasting and beneficial contribution to the lives of our present and future neighbours.
The spaceforall prayer
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. Amen.