We aim to take our old church on a new journey so that it works for our mission and ministry in the twenty-first century. Times have changed and significant maintenance issues have been identified so doing nothing is no longer an option.
What are the restrictions and problems with the current building?
The main issue is with the entrance to the Church. The porch is narrow, unwelcoming, and impractical. The existing pair of stairs giving access to the gallery are very steep and dark. The location of the unused organ is raising concerns over fire safety.
We have identified a real need for a Ministers’ office to be sited in a prominent position within the Church towards the west end and also a great need for a Quiet room in a similar location.
Once in the worship area, the lighting is not as good as it could be to highlight the Grade 2 listed architectural features, and it is inefficiently heated with little storage. Much of the rear rooms are largely unused being mainly the old toilet block, and the rest are impractical and no longer fit for purpose.
The Next Steps project is split into two Phases for planning application purposes:
- To refurbish the rear rooms into a flexible accessible multi-use space, with good storage, new kitchenette, disabled access toilet and small office room.
- To remove and re-home the organ and relocate some of the ex-downstairs pews in its place.
- To rebuild the porch and to enlarge it, knocking through a single central entrance into a large welcoming foyer, reworking the stairs at the same time.
- To install new heating, lighting and sound systems. This would make the whole church welcoming, with a sense of arrival, accessible, practical, light and with a sense of space.
- A Quiet room is planned and new ministers’ office, off the foyer.
Jefferson Sheard are our Architects and they have produced plans for the church family to consider and adopt as a way forward. They will then guide us through the permission process and be with us when the construction takes place.
The drawings below are conceptual and work in progress, they indicate the current thoughts of the team but are still in the process of being finalised.
The floor plan for phase 1 which aims to improve the layout of the vestry and has been submitted to the Baptist Union Listed Buildings Advisory Committee for approval is below