Building the Future – developing our Millennium Room and facilities
Presentation to St Peter’s Limpsfield
Sunday 24th January 2016
WWe decided at our church council meeting this week that it is the right time to share with our whole church where we have reached with the proposed development of our Millennium Room and facilities.
I’m going to use Rudyard Kipling’s ‘six honest serving men’ in this short presentation. So to the first question –
Please see the paper on Actual and Potential Uses and my short paper on Uses is offering an answer to that question. Many of you were there when our Mission Action Plan was launched last April. One of its main aims is to develop and make best use of our physical spaces to meet our church and community needs for the present and future. The needs are evident and immediate for the more comfortable serving of refreshments, and for our children’s groups, which have been much better for all over this side, and are growing, so need more space alongside our choirs and other present users.
But the proposed development would offer much more than that. What I am passionate about for the present and future of our church is that our pastoral and teaching and community space should not be cut off from our sacred space – in a climate where we can no longer take for granted that they belong together. These facilities are about opening up new possibilities of comfortably feeding people in body, mind and spirit, not only on Sunday mornings but also through the week. We are not seeking to replicate our church hall, which is very well used and offer a thriving nursery school, large scale dance and drama and catering events, and continues in its valuable and different role.
Please see the 3D models paper, SK19
All church building projects need input and recommendation by our Diocesan Advisory Committee (or DAC for short). The DAC consultant architect recommended in July that we seek to extend the Millennium Room eastwards in section on the least prominent side of the church, that is to build adjacent to the
chapel to square the church building off. We have pursued this suggestion and explored thoroughly various options in recent months, working closely with our church architect, Andy Burrell.
You may notice that there are a number of graves there, all late Victorian or earlier. These would need to be investigated and, if necessary, moved, in a similar process to that which happened before our present Millennium Room was built 16 years ago.
We hope to double the size of the Millennium Room, enable it to be divided
with better sound-proofing into 3 separate rooms or be 1 large room, build a kitchen capable of serving refreshments for 100 or a simple meal for 30 (which has proven across the church nationally so valuable in enabling welcome and building fellowship through all kinds of pastoral and teaching groups) gain
a 3rd toilet, meeting the up-to-date accessibility regulations but also reducing the bottle neck at the north door by turning the present toilets sideways; we want to introduce a TV and projector screen at the east end of the room with new stairs and storage above, create an internal courtyard around the St Cecilia window with a glazed link through, and have minimal impact on the other chapel windows and the fabric itself. [You can see what goes where on the sketch plan 1D, SK15]
Firstly, our PCC members have shared in this journey over the past year, and were unanimous this week both about the building plan and the allocation of the St Silvan’s money. This support is crucial, as will yours be. Financially, the ballpark cost figure offered by our architect is £300,000. In the way of things, this may well rise considerably. Our PCC this week was unanimous both in approving our sketch plans and in being willing to commit ‘up to all’ of our share of the St Silvan’s money, that is £250,000, towards this project.
It may be that the trustees of the Limpsfield Church Trust will be able to offer a contribution; but I am also hopeful that doing some fundraising will actually help us with our ownership of this project and our communicating what it is about to the wider community we serve.
This is not a commercial project. Rather we hope that achieving this project will help to open up the treasures of our church building and Christian faith and good news in word and deed to future generations through these new facilities and the
opportunities they will bring.
Our plans have crystallised sufficiently now that we can share them more widely and consult further with our DAC. It is not certain yet that this project will happen – but we have taken significant steps forward on the vision for uses, design, finance and communications.
We hope that our Diocesan Advisory Committee will consider our proposals on 16th February and be able to report back to our next PCC meeting on 15th March.
I hope that we can achieve it over the next two years.
Our Churchwardens and I are very grateful to Geoff Eastwood, the chair of our Fabric Committee, who has offered to manage the building project. We are blessed to have his gifts and experience in this role, [thank you Geoff!]. Our PCC has responsibility, our PCC Standing Committee will share oversight,
and I will be working to communicate our vision, to support those managing and working on the project, and holding the big picture.
So this is already a broad team effort with a unanimously supportive church council, and I hope that finding out more will help each one of you to play your part, however you can. It seems very appropriate the morning after another tremendous Big Paint Limpsfield community day yesterday, producing the massive picture which you can see in the hall after Wendy & Gerald’s party, entitled: ‘All on deck.’
All on deck indeed! So I ask for your support, your prayers, your involvement, your questions…but not now! Please have a good look at the papers attached to this article.
Our PCC Standing Committee is meeting on Friday 5th February, in just under 2 weeks time, so, Thelma and Tony, me, our new Treasurer David Stewart, Shona, or Charlotte will be glad to hear any comments or questions before then – as will Geoff or any of our PCC members. Please don’t under-estimate the value of a quiet word of encouragement at this formative stage! Thank you.