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:
Listed building consent awarded September 2019
- 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.
Planning permission granted by Huntingdonshire District Council December 2019
The Baptist Union’s Listed Building Advisory Committee has given 'Approval in Principle' for Phase Two - the improvements to the front porch and main worship area. We will work through their list of conditions in the coming weeks.
- To refurbish the porch and to sympathetically open it up inwards into a large welcoming foyer through a single central entrance, 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.
- To create a new minister’s office and a quiet room off the foyer.
- To create space for a dedicated Techie area.
Jefferson Sheard are our Architects and they have produced plans for the church family to consider and adopt as a way forward. They are working hard with the Next Steps team to obtain the necessary outstanding planning permissions.
The floor plan for phase 1 which aims to improve the layout of the vestry has been awarded listed buildings consent to proceed
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, if you click on each picture it will take you to a more detailed drawing.