Thursday, 19 March 2009

DAC Site Visit

We had a very useful site visit at All Saints' this morning with representatives of the DAC and English Heritage. They came to meet the Church Wardens and talk about the church's plans for re-ordering.

It was a good visit and demonstrated the value of working together on a project, balancing the needs of a congregation with the need to preserve the best of the past for the sake of the future. The meeting quickly turned into a valuable dialogue as good ideas were shared and the project was given some slight modifications.

It looks like the underfloor heating and stone slabbed flooring will be approved - with some alterations - and they are going to suggest some possibilities for the new chairs. They also had some helpful suggestions about the furnishings and fittings. All in all, it was a good meeting and Roger seems to think it's worth ploughing on with the fund-raising - we're going to get there!

After the meeting I took Mary Saunders up to St Mary's to look at the work that had been done there. It was good for her to see how the work there had turned out. She liked the new toilet, church room and kitchen, and had some helpful hints to make about the old altar frontals. She was particularly impressed with our notice boards and thinks we should get a gold star for them - so well done Nelseys!

The St Mary's re-ordering is a very good example of a project which (after a couple of false starts) was focused on mission needs and resources, rather than an overambitious grand plan which was never going to happen... The image on the left is the architect's model for the original scheme which would have cost half a million - the final project did not bankrupt the church but did provide the resources which were actually needed.

So well done to both St Mary's and All Saints on some well thought out and sustainable development plans - and I am absolutely certain that both churches will use their new resources in creative and effective ways as they continue to develop their mission.

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