taking care of our church
The East Window
The window in St Andrews Chapel – known as the East window – is in urgent need of repair. Over the last three years, much effort has gone into raising funds to replace or restore it. We are immensely grateful to everyone who has contributed, also to those who took part in the competition to design a new window.
Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances we now have to go into further consultations to find another stained glass artist to work on the window. We thank Jamie Clark for all the time and effort he has put into the designs he produced. We are told by those who know that the window is not in good condition, so speed is of the essence. We look forward to a more positive outcome, so thank you to all who have been involved for your patience.
Plans for the future
As with the care of all historic buildings, St John’s faces its own challenges in maintaining its essential characteristics and making it a space for modern times. Previous generations have altered the interior of the church in various ways and now the building faces a new phase to prepare it for future generations and allow more flexibility for the congregation and community to use it.
The main reasons for considering new plans for the interior are as follows:
Heating: The heating is very old, ineffective and expensive to run. Minutes of PCC meetings going back 100 years record complaints of the cold in the church!
Health & safety: Several different floor levels make getting around the building hazardous and the wiring also presents a few trip hazards.
Accessibility: We have to use a portable ramp to get wheelchairs and buggies into the church and the high entrance steps make it difficult for those who are disabled.
Flexibility: The way the building is laid out now means that there is no way to improve areas of poor lines of sight by being more flexible with the layout. Moveable seating and altar and a level floor will allow the congregation and community more opportunity to use the building how they would like to.
Facilities: There are currently no facilities attached to the church itself and the new plans would see a discreet loo extension added and also a hideaway servery incorporated at the back of the church.
St Andrew’s Chapel at the east end of the church was altered in 2002 and has been a great success as a smaller worship and performance area, more so since the church acquired a fine grand piano. If all the floors are made level and the seating more flexible, the piano can be moved more easily from the chapel into the church, to make best use of it for worship and recitals.
Every effort has been made in preparing new plans to make sure that the most important historic aspects of the church will be retained, including the ancient woodwork. The true beauty of the building will be cherished and preserved for those who come after us.