Internal Renovation Project
Welcoming visitors is probably one of the most important things we do Sunday by Sunday. An important aspect of this is providing comfortable seating just as we would at home. However for a number of people the pews are important reminders of loved ones especially when they have died. The problem is that our pews are narrow, the space between them is small and if you are anything over 5ft 10inches tall with long legs you need to sit sideways if you want to get comfortable. Fabric covered chairs have come a long way from seats designed in the 1980’s and 1990’s. In particular they are wider (to suit 21st C behinds) and depending on the design chosen can form an unbroken line which would give almost as much seating as the pews. Concerns have been expressed about stability of chairs especially with getting up and sitting down. This can be solved by a number of chairs having arms and proper linking. Although kneelers are not generally in use now, there is no reason why these cannot be renovated and hooked up on the backs of chairs in a similar way to the pews now, which will provide additional colour. The display at the back gives some indication of the visual effect that having chairs could have.
If we are going to be attractive to young families then the provision of a toilet and a crèche plus a kitchenette to make coffee and tea is also crucial. Current thoughts are to utilize the existing choir vestry and space below the tower. The next stage is to consult the congregations and do detailed design and costing.
Internal Renovation Project Update
What we have been given permission to do
1. remove the rest of the fixed Victorian pine pews out of the North Aisle and replace with Howe 40/4 slimline stackable shaped chairs;
2. reduce the level of the pew platform to that of the aisle, creating a new floor (making further adjustments to the back radiator);
3. remove the existing rubber backed carpet tiles throughout the church, check the condition of the quarry tiles below (document their condition with a full photographic survey) and re-fix loose tiles and re-carpet;
4. build a disabled access toilet with baby change in the crèche room with a walk-in storage cupboard;
5. build a drinks servery which can be locked away against the wall when not in use.
In addition, the Deputy Chancellor has indicated that should we raise sufficient funds to do similar works in the South Aisle and replace with the same stackable chairs, he will grant us his permission without any delay;
What has happened since the faculty came through?
We have had an additional challenge to deal with which has been the installation of a new boiler, as we learnt last September that the old one was going to be condemned in February 2020. This involved a new faculty application which we received in very quick order. This is now installed and working well.
Since the New Year, members of the PCC (Paul Cheetham, Dave Chapman, Brian Stanton and Peter Walley) have met with the Architect to go through in detail the drawings and specifications. Each item has been discussed and checked and cost estimates made a couple of years ago have been updated.
Based on the current estimates, the total cost of reflooring, installing the toilet, the drinks servery, purchase of carpet and chairs together with Architects fees and contingency (inclusive of VAT at different rates) is approximately £85,000.
If we were to raise sufficient funds, we would like to go ahead with the South Aisle at the same time. This would come to a further £20,000.Drawings of the planned drinks servery