Church Open meeting on 1st February to discuss building development plans

Thank you to everyone who came to this meeting or who offered their thoughts and ideas via a response sheet.

This is a summary of what has emerged so far
We asked everyone at the meeting on 1st Feb…

A. What is about our current building which is…
1. Special /Cherished ?              2. A problem ?        3. Needs changing because it may hold us back?
Here are the responses…
Peaceful Atmosphere, Loving Family,
Supportive Church Family, Presence of God.
Chancel, Lady Chapel, Organ, Heritage.
Paintings Need More Prominence.
Chancel, Organ.
The Cross.
Organ, Chancel (Panels & Roof), Lady Chapel.
Flower Windows, Whole Building, Organ, Chancel.
Pew and Atmosphere.
Internal Design, Chancel Good Acoustics,
People and Heritage
Lady Chapel.
Lady Chapel in Church, Altar Area.
Altar/Chancel, Lady Chapel, Organ, Font (Stone).
Building its symmetry warmth and presence of God’s Love.
Altar, Organ.
The Organ.
Organ. Chancel, Organ, Lady Chapel, Stone Font.
Altar, Chancel.
Pews – Uncomfortable and inflexible,
Heating poor, Toilets and Kitchen Inadequate, Lack of Light.
Pews, Heating, Big Screen at Front.
Lack of Colourful Banners, Holy Spirit Banners.
Uncomfortable Pews. Support Pillars, Lack of Storage, Lack of Flexible Space.
Heating, Kitchen, Toilets, Sound System, Storage.
Toilets, Kitchen, Heating.
Toilets, Kitchen, Heating.
Pews, Kitchen.
We Need a Better Choir Location.
More Toilets, Larger Kitchen, Pews, Heating.
Toilets, Kitchen, Heating.
Heating, More Toilets, Kitchen.
Toilets, Kitchen, Heating.
More People to Help with Security Issues.
Need Welcome Area, Adaptable Space

Keeping the Pews,
Not Having a Good Sound System, Needing more Storage Space.
Finance, Storage Space.
Use of Space, Lack of Enthusiasm for the Future, Finance.
Main Entrance More Welcoming.
Pews, Upstairs Rooms/Walkway, Stairs,
Pews, Layout, Outgrown Room Capacity, Kitchen Too Small.
Attitudes, Being Insular, Look of Vision (Thinking More Widely)
Not too Much Change,
Pews Need Replacing With Comfortable Chairs.
Not Taking Pews Out.
Pews, Lack of Flexibility, Poor Toilets, Kitchen, Unable to Access Upstairs-even by stairs for disabled.
Children’s Facilities During Services.

We asked those who came to the meeting on 1st Feb…
From the current suggestions for developing the building what do you think is …

1. A good idea               2. A bad idea                  3. An even better idea

Here is a summary of the discussion and the points that were raised…

A good idea (and why?)
Larger kitchen
Better toilets
Removing pews
Having a day chapel and the lady chapel
Floored area between upstairs rooms
Day chapel being able to be used for children’s work

 A bad idea                  
Office being upstairs ( security, lack of welcome, confidentiality)

Is the upstairs floor strong enough to bear the weight of a safe?

 An even better idea? (…in some people views – others may not have had chance to share their ideas as time was short)

Office moves to choir vestry
Move lady chapel to where the font is now and make a glassed room
change entrance on the outside so it tells people that things have changed on the inside
A separate building next to (or joined to) the west end of the church
larger doors at entrance

Next Steps?
PCC meet on 6 Feb with Bryan Martin (Church Architect)
Bryan puts forward amended plans in discussion with the building development team of the PCC
More consultation with church and wider community
PCC discuss and agree plans
Diocese permission ( Faculty request and approval of Diocesan Advisory Committee)
Then … contracting, fundraising and action

A prayer as we develop our building
Living God,
Thank you for the wonderful building at St Anne’s
which has been handed down to us
Please guide us as we think and pray
about the future of our church and the building
Please help us to listen well,
to each other, to you and to the wider community.
May our decision making help us to grow in love, faith and hope.
Please build your church and your kingdom in us and through us
In Jesus name we pray.  Amen                                                                                                                                                                        Richard Westwood 2 Feb 2017

Building Development -  On 6 Feb the PCC met with Bryan Martyn, our church architect to discuss plans for the future of St Anne’s Building.  The meeting went well and there was general agreement on a number of key areas. 

Here is a summary of the discussion which took place…

ðRichard thanked all the PCC and members of the church for the way in which everyone had conducted the discussions about the building development.  People had listened to one another and shared views well in a kind manner.  This was excellent - please carry on in this way
ðThe PCC reviewed the outcomes from the open church meeting of 1st Feb where there was broad agreement that there was a need to
… improve heating and kitchen facilities
… if at all possible, keep the office facilities downstairs
… allow a space for prayer in the main church (side aisle)
… remove pews and provide comfortable, flexible seating
… have better toilets (downstairs)

ðBryan Martin reminded the PCC that the building is Grade II* and that this would mean there would be restrictions on what was permissible by the Diocesan Advisory Committee and other bodies who have a role in granting permission.  This is especially the case for any alterations to the exterior of the building.

ðBy the end of the meeting there was a consensus that…
… after the redevelopment the building should allow multiple use of rooms at the same time (e.g. a meeting in one room at the same time as a different activity in the main worship space)
… we should investigate having a ‘day chapel’ on the site of the current choir vestry available for use whenever the church building is open – possible using some of the pews and other ‘heritage features’ features of the church
…we should also keep a ‘prayer space’ within the main worship area (what people refer to as a Lady Chapel) so that prayer ministry, candle lighting and quiet prayer can happen
  smoothly during Sunday worship
… the office, toilets and kitchen should all be downstairs
… there was a need for a lift
… the pews would need to be removed in order to allow for underfloor heating, and to allow for more comfortable, stackable seating.

ðBryan Martin agreed to produce some new plans with these ideas in mind and report back to the PCC on 6 March 2017
Please keep praying about the building development and talking to one another about it. You may like to use the prayer below.
Richard Westwood  6 Feb 2017

Building Development Meeting: Monday 26 February 2018

Summary Notes

Archdeacon Simon Baker, Ms Kristina Williamson (DAC), Gordon Cain (Quantity Surveyor), Bryan Martin (Architect)  and from St Anne’s Carol Thomas, Sheila Murphy, Anita Brookes, Terry Smith and Richard Westwood
Apologies had been received from Pat Evemy ( Lichfield Diocese Funding Advisor)

Summary of discussion:
Richard outlined the history of plans for development of St Anne’s Building over the last 5 years
Bryan introduced the most recent drawings and Gordon highlighted the finances of the current plans.  It was noted that the DAC had given faculty permission for the removal of the pews following an earlier application, if plans were also in place for the alteration s to the area re-ordered in the 1980’s, but that this permission had now expired.  The fact that such a permission had been granted suggests that a faculty for this in the future is likely to be granted, within a scheme which explains the reason for the alterations requested.
All present were in agreement at the remarkable design of St Anne’s building and the possibilities it has for creative development.  The latest plans were welcomed and affirmed by all present.  It was noted that the plans required no alterations to the externals of the church and that the changes proposed would be improving and amending an existing (1980s) alteration which was not enhancing the buildings character. 

Archdeacon Simon:
Expressed warm encouragement for the scope and vision of the plans.  He suggested that the reasons for changing the church building would benefit from a slight change of emphasis:- It is important to stress the potential  benefit to the wider community, as well as the benefit to the church fellowship.  He reminded the group that these proposed changes may be highly desirable but are not essential in the short term, so the church needs to be clear about why it wants to undertake a building project of this size and cost – tying the need for the change to the vision of the church for the future.  It is important that the scheme improves and enhances the church building.  The Statement of Need would need to stress a clear vision of community transformation which makes clear specific circumstances for access to the community, and the benefits.

Kristina Williamson:
Raised questions about timescales of a one phase ( Nave and West end altered in one go) or two phase project ( Nave and West end altered in two separate phases).  To do the project in two stages would be more costly and would be the more expensive option of the estimates Gordon had produced for the project. 

It was felt that the 18 months which Gordon suggested for a one phase project would be a long time to be out of the church building.  (Terry wondered if leasing premises in the high street would mean we could do the project in one stage, the thought being that the extra cost of doing the project in two stages would compensate the costs of the lease.)  Kristina asked if existing funds were available to get the ball rolling for consultant’s fees, planning and fundraising.  No such funds were in place at present. Kristina suggested looking at the sort of requirements which were needed for an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). She underlined Simon’s points about community benefit being a key feature.  The re-ordering must be of high quality, employing specialist craftsmen to carry out specific work.

Agreed actions and next steps:

1.       Richard to contact Pat Evemy and Fiona North to invite them to meet with the building team in the coming weeks, hopefully before the end of March to take advice about           applications for funding.
2.       Anita with the help of David Buckley, will investigate requirements of HLF via their   website
3.       It was agreed that the AGM in April could be used to explain the actions involved in starting the building development, Richard and others to cast a vision of the future of St Anne’s Church and its mission with a redeveloped building.
4.       That a building development fund should be started, and that the Gift Day in July should    be split 50% to St Anne’s Mission (contributing to existing church costs) and 50% to St   Anne’s Building Fund.  Pledges as well as gifts can be invited.  Monies in this fund can   then be used to match fund applications to trusts and also pay some of the research and      planning costs at the early stages of the project.
5.       That after consultation with Bryan Martin, Gordon Cain and Pat Evemy, it will be possible to discuss with Kristina a suitable date for a DAC site visit to St Anne’s.  After this the a           preliminary application to the DAC could be made once an outline of the possible funding strands has been investigated.

6.       The ‘Statement of Need’ be drafted that will satisfy the DAC’s primary questions of

          (a)     What impact will the re-ordering have on its heritage?

          (b)     What benefits will there be for the local community?

          (c)      How the building needs to be re-fashioned to make it accessible for the

                    community’s needs as a meeting place. 
                    i.e.  heating/pews/kitchen/toilets/meeting space.

          (d)     How will the project be funded?

Please click on the LEARN MORE buttons below to see the proposed plans.

Richard Westwood  27 Feb 2018