To realise our vision, we will refurbish the whole building, add a new room between the church and The Cornerstone and repair our roof. This will include all the items below, with the first four in Phase 1.
- Replacing the fixed pews with stackable chairs and laying a stone floor with underfloor heating to open up a large flexible space, with redecorated pillars.
- Providing a new entrance on the north side with level access and automatic doors.
- Adding a servery
- Installing toilets, sink and storage in the area currently used as a choir vestry and later creating a new room above for the choir and for meetings.
- Upgrading lighting and audio-visual systems and replacing the current organ, which no longer functions properly.
- Repairing the nave roof, rainwater goods and drainage.
- Screening off the chapel in the south-east corner with its own external entrance to create a quieter area for prayer.
- Retaining the current entrance below the tower but removing the unsafe cobbles and widening the paved area outside .
- Building a new self-contained room at the north east end of the church for multiple uses. It will be accessible from the church and linked to The Cornerstone by a new covered walkway.
The impact of the COVID crisis:
The COVID crisis has increased the need for refurbishing the church to provide a safe community space and challenged our fundraising. This is not a comfortable position, and we have therefore phased the work so we can start in 2021. It’s a tall order but with hard work and generosity, we believe it can be achieved.
The new phased programme is to do the work as follows:
- Essential elements of the church refurbishment to provide the community space, including new floor and heating, utility area and mezzanine, servery and toilets, and the north door. These are shown in yellow on the plan.
- A package of slightly less critical elements, such as new lighting and AV, which can be done later, either together as one package or separately.
- Roof repair – ideally full replacement and insulation or, if necessary, just patching – and solar PV, in either case subject to planning and faculty.
- New parish room and walkway
- New organ installation, though we will have a temporary organ in the meantime.
Item 1 will be done first but otherwise numbering is not necessarily representative of the order in which items will be done: funding will be a key consideration.
The full plans can be seen on this link.
This is a really significant change and a massive challenge, but the team are convinced that it is the only way we will get even part of our dream.
The possible programme is:
2020 The Diocese has awarded us a faculty to do the work in items 1, 2 and 4.
Autumn 2021 Go out to contractors for prices
December 2021 Review money raised compared with contractor prices
January 2022 Let the contract and start work
Late Summer 2022 Open the church again
There are three key documents which that have got us to this stage:
- Statement of Significance, which is a fascinating description of the interior of the church, as seen through the lens of a conservation architect. Click here to read.
- Statement of Need, which described to the Diocesan authorities why we want to do the work. Click here to read.
- Initial Feasibility Study, which was the basis for discussion of the plans. Click here to read.