Project update 3rd October 2021 – and Special Appeal to complete Phase 2

New Kitchen Opens!

On 19th September we were delighted to be open the kitchen hatches into the main church for the first time. The new kitchen is a key part of the Renewal Project. It is fully equipped with four ovens, two large induction hobs and a commercial dish washer, all set for large scale catering eg Sunday lunches, as well as for hospitality at the end of church services, and many other occasions.

The new kitchen is a key part of the renewal project.

The Church has completed most of a major project for internal renovations and renewals:

  • New warm-air heater for the main church
  • New central heating boiler for side rooms and chapel
  • Internal redecorations of main church, side rooms and chapel
  • Restored brass memorials
  • Upgraded lighting – including controllable spotlights for daytime and evening services / concerts and events
  • Renewed flooring and carpet in the church
  • Restoration of the West Tower entrance
  • New kitchen in South Room with commercial dishwasher, 4 ovens, 2 hobs etc etc
  • Restored side chapel  – redecorated, with thick pile carpet for children to be able to sit on and new lighting
  • Raised and extended dais so same level as Chancel, together with ramp for wheelchair access to Chancel
  • Complete rewiring of dais for worship team etc
  • Moving the communion rail down one step to help those with mobility issues
  • Moving Font from rear of church to north wall, to create a special focus, and also a larger area at the back for coffee and children’s activities
  • Video streaming equipment with four cameras, allowing our online congregation of over 150 people to participate more easily
  • New round tables for sunday lunches and events
  • Many repairs to roof including galleys and drains
  • Tree surgeons, restoring garden benches, and major gardening works to improve the external appearance of the church

The total cost of improvements and renewals above has been around £155,000, including a proportion we have committed to giving away to other ministries outside the church. We have only been able to deliver all the above at that relatively low cost thanks to huge amounts of time generously given by many people.

We now need to raise another £85,000 for things such as:

  • Enlarging the car park – we were very overcrowded on Sundays before lockdown but many people have since joined the church.  We now have full planning permission and urgently need to get on with the work, which will include essential repairs to the existing surface, and re-levelling. This work is essential to ensure members and visitors are able to park easily and safely, particularly those with mobility issues.
  • Rebuilding a leaning stone wall by the car park entrance, and making other wall repairs
  • Replacing our wooden chairs – these date back to the 1980s and have served us well but are very heavy, impossible to stack, awkward to move, and worn out.  Chairs need to be moved constantly for different activities during the week, and also for events like church lunches on Sundays. After much consultation and testing, much lighter chrome chairs with fully padded seats and backs have been chosen, which we would like to go ahead and buy as soon as we are able to. These form stacks of 12 or more, and can be moved around on trolleys.
  • Improving the sound system – as our congregation grows, it’s becoming even more important to make sure that the sound is really clear in all parts of the church, particularly at the back in the children’s play area
  • New screen – our current projector and screen are no longer fit for purpose. The image is too small to be easily seen at the back, and the screen position blocks the view of the chancel.  We are exploring several options, including a completely clear glass screen suspended high in the chancel which becomes an opaque screen for a projector at the click of a switch.  A better projector and screen will also allow other activities such as outreach movie nights to take place more easily.

If you would like to help with funding of this Project, either financially or as a volunteer please speak to one of the church wardens or email:

Progress on the renewal project.

St John’s Church from above