We are fundraising to build an extension, to house kitchen and toilet facilities, and make improvements to the interior layout. This will ensure our magnificent church is relevant for modern day community life and worship.
One of the greatest current shortcomings is the impossibility of providing refreshments after events and services in the church – or of offering reasonable lavatory facilities, with baby-change and wheelchair accessibility. This greatly limits the range of events that we would like to accommodate, and reduces the ways in which we can serve our community.
Early in 2016 we will be hosting a series of events, to officially explain the plans for this phase of the improvements to the church, which we will publicise shortly.
These artist’s impressions show details of our next development phase.
A completely new block will be built just beyond the north aisle, which will fit under the aisle windows and so be virtually invisible from the church and make only a modest visual addition to the exterior. It will contain male, female and disabled WCs, a kitchen and a flower room. They will be accessed from the church via new doorways contrived within the north wall in the westernmost bay on the north aisle.
Western Bay Narthex
A multi-purpose open space will be created at the main door, with a new even-level floor. We often need to gather over a hundred people around the font, which is not currently possible, so this will be re-sited to the centre of this new space. This newly-opened ‘narthex’ will also give us much-needed space to gather before and after services, to offer hospitality, to display materials, and hold exhibitions.
We will clear this area of pews, but for high capacity events and services, quality chairs will be used to provide the seating needed.
Glass lobby area at the main (west) door
This glass inner door will provide draught (and noise) proofing and will enable the church to leave the outer wooden doors open so that passers-by can see into the church and realise that it is open and welcoming.
The roof repairs in 2015 were essential to the building’s structural integrity and had to be our first priority, but this is the project we’re most excited by and will provide toilet facilities that have been greatly needed, and much discussed, for decades.