Our Church Building Reordering project is wholly dependent on us having the money to pay for it
In this second article about our Church building Reordering plans, I will give you the hard facts about what is needed in the building; about what your money will be spent on; and about the plans we have in place for getting the best value for money.
Re-ordering the Church building is essential because
- It fails to meet current standards for safety, for accessibility, for heating, for lighting, and for environmental efficiency in a public building.
- It’s visually a mess, with cracked and dirty walls, worn out vinyl tiles, odd bits of furniture and carpet, and endless wiring draped around; and it’s dull, cold, and uncomfortable; and hopelessly inefficient, bordering unsafe, in the kitchen.
- Its use is completely inflexible due to the fixed pew seating. It lacks proper toilet facilities, and as one of the largest buildings for the community in Ware, it is used for less than 20 hours a week.
- Unfortunately, its Victorian design can be viewed as a real barrier to welcoming non-Church-goers in today’s world.
How much work have we actually got to do?
To rip out the rotting floor and foundations that support it, the Victorian heating system and boiler, the old wiring and electrical sockets, the pews, the lighting and old doors, and the kitchen servery and panelling that used to house the Curate’s office!
In their place we need to install new boilers and flues; a new underfloor heating system with carpeted floor; new doors, raised stage and ramp; upholstered chairs; repaired and cleaned brickwork; new wiring systems, lighting and power sockets, and renewed mains services. These are key elements of
The Essentials that will bring the building into line with current health, safety, and access guidelines, and corrects issues raised in the Diocesan Quinquennial report.
The New Welcome
To remove the brickwork from under the West window, and install new external doors directly facing New Road, with glazed panels to see inside the Church from the pavement. In this new entrance, there will be new toilets with all-access and baby change facilities, a new kitchen servery, and a quiet room; as well as new lighting, sound and vision systems throughout the Church. These are the key elements of The New Welcome for all Church and non-Church goers alike.
Building an extension on to the Church, as had been visualised for many years, is now probably impossible due to planning restrictions. However, The Expansion might be achieved through options for extending Church Centre including a commercial kitchen, so that up to 160 people could be served meals there. This Expansion could be a realistic prospect at comparatively modest cost.
Originally conceived with more seating space in mind, the new West entrance lends itself to be developed into a mezzanine floor seating up to 30 people; access is by spiral staircase, with glass balustrades, carpeted and heated. Another new feature would be to separate the sacred Chancel area from the main body of the Church, and a glazed screen with double doors has been designed that could fit across the whole width of the Chancel.
These are major elements of the Additional Features that could enhance both the worship areas and usable space.
What’s it all going to cost?
The Building and Management Committees, and our Architects, have worked hard to develop final specifications for the building work, for the electrical and mechanical services, for the audio-visual systems, and for the overall aesthetic look of the building. These specifications are currently being reviewed in detail, to ensure that every aspect of the work has been thoroughly examined for necessity, for usability, and for its cost, as well as meeting with Diocesan approval.
Our PCC members will be making the final decisions about what work we should proceed with, based on information provided by the Committees and our Architects.
And the answer about what it’s all going to cost is simple – we can only spend what money we’ve raised.
We may only have enough money at first for The Essentials; but we really do need The New Welcome in the first phase too; and many of you see The Expansion as necessary sooner rather than later. It would be great to incorporate some Additional Features, though these could follow in the years to come.
The one thing that you can all be absolutely sure about is that the PCC and the Committees are composed of people just like you – we have a strong faith that God will provide exactly what is needed, and our job is to respond to that and be fully satisfied with what God provides for us.
What’s next then?
In the next article, I shall explain how we are getting on with balancing the funds raised against the costs of each section of the project; what further progress we have made with designs and buildings; and where you can expect to be worshipping during 2019.
Chair, Building and Managing Committees