Webteam: October 2015
Over a year has passed since it was decided to make alterations to our church. The Girls' Brigade was short of rooms having a good number of different groups and was having to use the back of the church which was restricted by the pews. The front of our church was bitty having been changed from the original design twice, firstly the communion area was enlarged and made more usable in the days of Bryan Gates and later we removed the choir pews and made a place for a piano and lectern. One of our problems was the church heating, being designed for a coke boiler heating the place all winter it was not good enough to heat the place for just one day. By removing the pews we could have radiators to increase the heating. We wanted to remove the inefficient steel pipes and by changing the front of the church we could give access under the floor for the heating engineers. The new front was designed to be on a level with our prayer chapel and with a ramp to allow wheelchair users. We thought that our pulpit could be utilised as a reading desk, but when it was removed this proved to be impracticable. We had a front barrier with an oak top which our joiner made into a beautiful cross which now hangs in the centre of the front wall.
Our request for permission to do the work stumbled when the District thought our church was a heritage building and nothing moved for months, but we managed to be able to start with the school holidays, when we had no mid week meetings. To save money we removed the pews ourselves and Higham church came and took them for reuse in their church. The front of the church was all removed by ourselves giving the heating engineers a week to install the new radiators. Our joiner then built the front platform. It was at this time that we decided to part decorate, we could not reach the top or the two arches, which from the ground looked fair. Our quotes for the carpet allowed us to re-carpet all the church complete with the prayer chapel and entrance porch. The folding wall between the hall and the church was replaced to give better soundproofing and also to keep the Fire Officer happy as we have been instructed to make this a fire exit from the church. The last part of the project was the delivery of chairs. We have enough chairs for our usual morning congregation which will stay in place for most of the time. Stacking chairs to match these are stored so they can be wheeled out if necessary to fill the back half of the church which is usually left clear for mid week use and for toddlers to be kept entertained during worship. We hope that our new layout will make a welcome for any visitors we have whether church people or not.
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