10th May 2015

St. Andrew’s Bicknacre, Building Project - Update

Ok, lets be honest, the end of February was a bit optimistic to have all the plans and people in place. However, since the decision in December, a lot has actually happened and not just Christmas and Easter!

We have held two more Parish Family meetings; to work out what we need to do and how we will organise the groups of people we need to achieve this... More preparation and planning, than plastering and painting just yet!

But, we are now starting to gather in smaller groups to really focus and get to work on planning and delivering the vision we have for St. Andrew's: -

A warm and welcoming home for St. Andrew's Church and the wider community
who currently and who will in the future, use our building.

Basically the idea that has been discussed and agreed, is a phased approach. We cannot realistically see how we could currently afford to build a completely new hall to replace our current one. Therefore, we plan to renovate and refurbish the existing Church building to become a flexible, multi-purpose space. Maintaining it's primary role as a place of worship, but in the process of improving it, we aim to functionally replace the current hall and provide a much improved facility for the needs of the community as a whole.

To make this happen we need to: -

And all this has to be planned in such a way that it is achievable with minimal impact to current users and our neighbours, is affordable and provides a basis for any later phase (i.e.. the addition of a purpose built community hall) if we need to grow and the funds can be raised to support this.

So, much planning and fund-raising to do and lots, and lots of prayers and practical help needed too.

There will be many ways to get involved and my role is to try and keep everyone informed and enthusiastic. Expect to hear more from myself and my colleagues in the communication group as we try to keep you all regularly updated on what we have planned, progress to date and how you can get involved. And who knows, maybe another youtube video?

The next building project meeting is at 4pm on Sunday the 31st May, at St. Andrew's. All are welcome, so whether you just want to find out more, provide feedback, or get involved, please do come along.

God bless,

Steve Porter
(Communication Team Member - St. Andrew's Building Project)

10th December 2014

St Andrew’s Bicknacre, New Church Building Project - Update for website, 10th December 2014

We are starting 2015 with an exciting new challenge!

As we know, St Andrew’s Church is in need of improvement, and there has been a project ongoing for some time now to rebuild the Church elsewhere in the village. In the last year we have been considering whether this is still the right strategy for us.

We looked at other options and after a period of discussion and prayer and a vote, the Parish Family has discerned that a refurbishment of our current site would be more appropriate to the present context and our resources. Plans for the refurbishment of the current site had been drawn up in 2002, but not used.

We must first of all thank all those who have been part of the project which sought to create a new building. The recent decision to change direction is no reflection on them.  We are very aware that a great deal of time, effort and commitment has been shown by the members of the Priory Acres Group and others in keeping the original vision alive over so many years, and in the face of so many challenges.  The change of direction is more a reflection of changes to our church life and context since the original project began.  The vision that was created and nurtured will no doubt form part of the inspiration for the new development. 

Now we need to start a new project. Our first steps will be to review the 2002 plans and confirm that they are right for us. We will be helped in this review by a Diocesan grant for a feasibility study by an independent architect, who will help us to make sure we make the most of our facilities.

We will then need to look at phasing and funding to come up with an overall plan. We will need a team of people to manage the project, and the PCC will oversee the development on behalf of us all.

We aim to complete the feasibility study, finalise our plans and get a team in place by the end of February 2015. This is a challenge, but we feel that we need to establish some momentum for our project.

If you would like to be part of this project please contact either Reverend Carol Ball (Priest in Charge) or Reverend Michele (Parish Minister), Mrs Sharon Hutton- Mayson (Churchwarden) or any member of the PCC. This is a real opportunity to serve God and the community. We need all sorts of skills to help, but most especially we need to hold this project in our prayers for the foreseeable future.