In order to keep the congregation informed about what is happening and in recognition of the need for regular updates, we are aiming to produce a monthly report on the outcome of our meetings and provide more detailed explanations about the different aspects of the re-ordering – heating, lighting, audio visual system etc.
These updates will also be in Seasight and on our website.
As a brief background for new members of our congregation - the proposed works are designed to address the need for certain elements of our church to be upgraded/replaced. There is also the need to look at using the space available in our Grade 2* listed building to its best advantage showing respect for “Holy space”. (More information is available on the display boards in Church – please approach a member of the building group if you have any questions.)
A plan of the initial proposals was drawn up by our architect, Rex Butland. Lengthy discussions have taken place at our meetings and the church family have also been involved in further discussions. Taking into account the many views that have been expressed, a further plan has now been drawn and is, again, being looked at in depth, following which this will be shared with the church family.
One of the big questions being asked is “How much is all this going to cost and how is it going to be paid for?” The feasibility study prepared in 2006 indicated an estimated cost of the project at £425,000. (This figure includes some £56,000 for essential repair work identified in the quinquennial inspection in 2005. These remedial works will be paid for from the Humphrey Bequest – as in the past). This leaves approximately £369,000 to be raised for the re-ordering project. There are legacies available of £54,000 with £6,000 from the Fabric Fund and £220,000 from the Humphrey Bequest (being 50% of the accumulated income). The balance that would need to be raised is around £89,000.00. However, it must be borne in mind that alterations and additions to the initial proposals will affect the estimated cost – and until a final scheme is agreed, the actual cost will not be known. We will, of course, endeavour to keep any additional costs under control. The Church Buildings Group Fundraising Team was formed with the express purpose of raising any shortfall. They do need more members with ideas for fundraising. (Please speak to Tricia Bridgman if you would like to become involved).
As a final note – several people visited St Peter’s Church at Henfield in June. This building was re-ordered about a year ago and is well worth a visit, with particular note to the flooring, lighting and seating – if you get a chance do go and see it. (Should you need assistance with transport - please speak with Tricia or Ann).
Please keep the group and the project in your prayers.
Most worthwhile endeavours require clear goals, hard work and good advice for a successful outcome. So it is with the Church Re- Ordering scheme currently underway. Experience has shown that such schemes progress quickly, but more often than not there can be delays arising from demands from many different directions, most of which, happily, can be resolved with co-operation, patience and goodwill on all sides.
During a church design and construction scheme the views of many organisations and individuals have to be taken into account and these include: From the Diocese, the Chancellor who has authority to grant Faculties, advisors such as for The Liturgy, Bells, Organs etc., the Diocesan Advisory Committee made up from Architects, Surveyors and Clergy. Local Government in the form of Planning and Building Regulation authorities, the Health and Safety Executive and Fire Brigade. Learned bodies such as the Georgian and Victorian Societies and the Council for the Care of Churches. The design and construction team; Architect, Surveyor and Engineers, Contractor, Subcontractors and Suppliers. All these people have a legitimate interest in what we do and we are in their hands as to when we receive their advice, since we have to take our place within their own priorities.
To add to that we need time to assimilate and discuss this information and make decisions upon it and at the same time to discuss and take account of any other relevant church matters which may be brought to our attention as we proceed.
So with your continued support the Building Group and the PCC will work diligently towards our twin aims to build a House that the Lord may appear in His Glory and to try to ensure that it serves his people well for our times.
From the beginning of the year we have had visits from Diocesan Advisors, one of whom was the specialist on Church Bells. He inspected the bell, it's frame and operating equipment. A copy of his findings and recommendations is pinned to the Re-ordering news board in the church. It is good to know that the bronze bell, cast in 1671 and timber frame [ possibly 150 years older ] are generally in good condition, but we are advised that the iron staple and straps that the bell hangs from are corroded and need to be replaced at an estimated cost of £5000. The Group considers that this maintenance work should be carried out as part of the Re-Ordering and we are already considering estimates from a suitable Bellhanger.
It would be possible to hang more bells in the tower but at an estimated cost of £45000 it has been decided to leave consideration of this idea for a later project.
In order to assist the Church Family in it's search for a good place to locate the Crèche within the church, we have applied for and received a Temporary Faculty to remove the last 3 Pews at the west end of the South Aisle, leaving the pew which backs onto the west wall in place. A small team from the church will take down the pews, carefully store them, lay a suitable floor covering [e.g. new carpet and underlay ] and make the area ready for use by the Creche for a trial period. The pews will be reinstated at a later date as required.
May we ask for your continued prayers for the Re-Ordering scheme.
This is the third in the new series of monthly updates from the Buildings Group designed to keep our church family informed on progress towards repairs and improvements to the church building.
Over the last few meetings a considerable amount of thought and discussion has centred on the vestries. We have been looking at the provision of better toilet facilities, storage, suitable areas for flower arranging and also for the preparation and washing of sacred vessels. Discussions are ongoing and we will be considering this further at the next meeting.
We have received a report from the Diocesan Clocks Advisor following his visit to the church in August. Our clock dates from 1769 and was installed in our church in 1905. (It was originally made for Great Bedwyn Church in Wiltshire). As part of re-ordering we have been exploring the idea of moving the clock to provide more space at the west entrance for a welcome area. The Advisor has recommended that the clock should be placed in the tower directly behind the clock face as this is normal for this type of instrument. He has also informed us that the clock face is in a poor state of repair and recommended that it should be replaced. The current dial is not thought to be of any significant age to be worth restoring. We are obtaining further advice from specialist firms as to the feasibility and cost of these works.
As a Buildings Group we are aware that re-ordering presents exciting opportunities to discern how the building could be better used to enhance our worship. Central to this is the proposal for a Nave Altar. The suggestion, approved in the consultation exercise with the church family, is that an altar is placed on a dais just in front of the chancel step. This will enable more of the congregation to see the altar during the consecration of the elements and should provide a greater sense of being ‘the body of Christ’ meeting together around his table.
History often repeats itself and down the centuries the church has moved from a typical centrally placed altar to a remote altar where the priest celebrated on behalf of the people away from the congregation and behind a screen. The Parish Communion movement has given us a fresh understanding that we are to be participants not spectators at the Mass. A Nave Altar will help give that sense of participation.
On a practical level we have spent a lot of time discussing the size and shape of the dais, balancing the requirement for enough space to move around comfortably and sufficient space for communicants, against the rearrangement of seating in the nave. We have also been thinking about the provision of communion rails, standing versus kneeling. The construction and floor covering also have to be considered. Other factors include the materials used for its construction and whether it should be removable.
As you may gather from the above, the Buildings Group is not short of subjects for deliberation! The outcomes and inevitable questions arising from our discussions form a dialogue with our architect Rex Butland. These then develop into the detailed proposals that will be put to the Parish.
May we ask for your continued prayers for the Re-Ordering scheme.
At its last meeting the Church Buildings Group continued deliberations over how the vestry and toilet area might be improved, as mentioned in the November update.
A great deal of consideration was given to storage, since there is much need for this, and also to improving the toilet/sink area. It was proposed that the architect should develop a suggestion for: the combination of the two toilets into one, of sufficient size for an accessible facility; the provision of some heating; the incorporation of a simple refreshment area (for use at choir practices and other occasions when going to the hall is not practical); better provision for the Sacristan and flower arrangers and incorporation of as much storage as possible, without building on to the existing vestry rooms (as this would incur considerable additional expense not included within the architect's original costings).
It was agreed that any alterations should not be over elaborate, nor make further improvements at a later date difficult.
As you may also have read in the November update, it is intended to establish a Nave Altar on a dais while also retaining an altar at the East end of the Chancel. Thus the Chancel would become the area where services could be held when there is only a small congregation attending and would also serve as a quiet area for prayer and contemplation. The construction of the dais and the type of covering for both it and the Chancel are important issues. It is proposed that the dais and Chancel should be finished in stone as for the Nave, and then both of them should be carpeted throughout, in an approved colour, providing continuity, warmth and richness to the interior of the church. A further recommendation is that the Nave flooring should continue under the dais.
These suggestions allow for flexibility, should future generations wish to make changes, without compromising the continuity of the Nave and the Chancel flooring.
Layout drawings for proposed new internal lighting and heating systems together with illustrations of the types of lighting units to be used have been received recently from the specialist contractors and will be subject to ongoing discussion.
In the past, Churches have been somewhat exempt from the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act, although most churches did at least follow the spirit of the regulations. However, following a fatal accident at a church in our Diocese, the Archdeacon has reminded all churches that they must comply with the regulations in full, where applicable. Since volunteers are now considered to be the same as paid employees for these purposes, we have a fairly large workforce and must, therefore, produce an Health & Safety Policy, as any small business would. In order to facilitate this, a small team of volunteers from the congregation has been formed, under the guidance of a member of the Buildings Group. Obviously, the re-ordering will incorporate all the necessary Health & Safety requirements and a new policy will be produced on its completion.
May we ask for your continued prayers for the Re-ordering Scheme and for the Church Buildings Group?
It seems appropriate, at the beginning of a new decade, to be thinking about exciting solutions to our Heating and Lighting needs. Recently, members of the Buildings Group shared a productive meeting with our Architect and Mechanical & Electrical Consultants to discuss these aspects of the scheme in depth, with a view to incorporating them into the detailed plan.
This Update outlines current thoughts on the Heating scheme. Lighting will be dealt with in a future communication. The cold weather has certainly highlighted the inadequacies of our heating system. Even with it on full power, the air temperature was such that members of the congregation were obliged to sit through services in overcoats and scarves. Some of our Church Family even stayed away because of being unable to cope with the cold. As one aspect of our Mission Action Plan focuses on encouraging attendance by providing a welcoming atmosphere, we must attend to this need. Inefficiency, the high cost of running the present electrical system and the very real dangers to property and person of easily accessible high-temperature pipes, clearly demonstrate that a new approach is needed.
The proposal is for underfloor heating which can maintain a steady comfortable temperature. An advantage is that the rising warm air will heat the congregation first so that people will feel the benefits of the system quickly. At times of a sharp drop in outside temperature and in areas where there is no space under the floor, there will be some low-surface-temperature radiators to boost the system. These will run from the same energy source as the underfloor heating.
Our Consultants have undertaken an extensive survey of the most appropriate means of powering the system and have recommended an Air-Sourced Heat Pump. This extracts heat energy from the outside atmosphere and concentrates it in order to heat the interior. (Even on a cold day, there is sufficient heat energy in the air to be used in this way.) The lack of a gas supply to the Church and the high cost or bulky storage requirements of electric or oil-fired boilers have all contributed, in part, to this conclusion. Some significant advantages will be the benefit to the environment of this ‘green’ source of energy and the reduction in our energy costs.
Please continue to pray for this important Church Family project.
February is half done, the first snows have all gone, but another batch is threatening.
How nice to think that future winters should see us sitting happily in a well-warmed Church. As related in last month’s bulletin, the main element of the new heating system will be under the floor. At present, the floor under the wooden platforms upon which the pews are mounted is just bare earth and rubble. The installation of underfloor heating presents a wonderful opportunity to build a new, raised, stone floor, which will not only contribute to a clean, bright and inviting first impression, but will make access more nearly level at both doors.
This impression will be further enhanced by a new lighting system, which will improve the quality of services by providing suitable illumination for different types of worship and other activities. Up-lighters will give a background light and enhance the view of our fine timber ceiling, while other lights provide good reading conditions throughout the building, and spotlights pick out the key areas and people. The Church lights now are either off or on and do not give flexibility in use. The plan is to have lights which can be varied in brightness. A standard Eucharist Service does not, perhaps, require the same lighting as a family service, a Nativity Play or a concert. Under the proposed scheme, different levels and shades of light would be available to meet all foreseen requirements. This lighting would also be used to enhance the beauty of the Church architecture; some of which deserves more attention than it gets at present. Despite this sophistication, the use of energy efficient bulbs will keep down the running cost and the carbon footprint.
Our Church is a landmark in the village, but at night it hides behind its screen of trees and looms rather forbiddingly out of the darkness. The Buildings Group is seeking estimates now for various exterior lighting options, which would show the building off clearly at night as a spiritual beacon in our community.
The Group has had a long and difficult journey, with many decisions to make and many differing views from members of the church family to reconcile. Please pray that, as planning enters the final stages, the results may truly help us to glorify God in Rustington and to reach out to the community at large.
As preparation for the installation of a new heating system, the present pews will need to be removed and a new floor laid because, under the wooden pew platforms there is earth and rubble. In order to provide a more nearly level entrance to the Church, the opportunity will be taken to raise the floor level to improve accessibility for all.
The new floor will be of stone chosen to provide a warm and light welcome to the building. The old pews cannot be refitted after the new floor has been completed. Replacing them with chairs will enable the new floor to be seen and will create a better sense of space and lightness.
Chairs will provide us with flexibility in layout, allowing consideration of how the sacred space is used most appropriately for our variety of worship and for other activities that will create opportunities for our community to share our joy in the church. Flexibility will also allow those with particular needs, such as wheelchair users, to have choice about where they sit in the body of the church.
It is exciting to have a vision for the ways in which our church building will be able to support a range of worship and other events. Much thought and prayer has been given to the range of uses that already exists and that we hope to encourage as our church continues to grow and serve the community during the 21st century.
During a Carol Service there is no need for a centre aisle or a nave altar. Comfortable chairs could be continuous across the nave with access via the north and south aisle. The choir could sing from the dais facing the congregation, most of whom could enjoy the service from the main body of the church with no sight lines obstructed by pillars.
At Harvest Tide, when the church is always so beautifully decorated, the building could be used imaginatively in many ways to encourage visitors. With flexible space, it could also be possible to enjoy a comfortable Harvest meal in God’s house, amidst the decoration, as an extension of our thanksgiving.
Our building has been used for concerts, both orchestral and choral, and also for recitals. With flexibility of space it will be possible to accommodate many more appropriate and comfortable arrangements which will allow us to have more chance to build partnerships and relationships with our wider community. One of our Mission Action Plan statements is to commend God’s love to the World. When opening a house to make new friends, it is always pleasant to be able to invite them into a warm, comfortable and beautifully maintained environment. We can attend more effectively to the differing needs of any performance both for the audience and the performers.
Narrative and drama are central to our Christian faith. There are occasions when Christian teaching is movingly enhanced by creative and dramatic use of space. Many churches now are able to use aspects of drama and dramatic reading powerfully to enhance worship at times such as Eastertide; to share a modern version of the Bible, such as the Junior Church nativity this year and to aspire to outreach events that combine music and drama. The current seating severely limits the extent to which these approaches can be used both in our worship and in any future development.
Using the church for exhibitions, for example, to display art or floral art, will allow the building to be shared by more people than at present worship in the church. We know that our church provides peace and sanctuary to visitors at the moment, and with flexible space, chairs can be removed to allow paintings and sculpture to be viewed in the beautiful setting of our ancient church. With new lighting and more creative use of space, we can share our church more thoughtfully.
We must consider the practicalities of maintaining our church building, and the flexibility which chairs provide will allow us to use towers to reach high items such as lights. This is impossible with the current arrangement.
Reordering a building is also about renewing our mission. In our Mission Action Plan we stated in 2007 that we want our church to be known as a welcoming and inclusive church that continues to grow in holiness; we wanted all members of the church to have a heart for supporting the work of the church through their giving; we wanted to be known as a church that examines existing structures to ensure that they are best placed to reach out and nurture the younger generation within the whole community.
Much time, thought and prayer has been given to the recommendation that alongside the improvements to heating and lighting we will provide more comfortable, flexible seating in the form of chairs.
We have now reached an exciting stage in the process, because at a meeting of the PCC on 16th March, approval was given for the developments outlined below to be drawn up into a final plan, which can be used for costing and tendering procedures. Our architect has suggested that the appropriate approvals could be achieved in time to commence work in the Autumn of 2010 with a view to completion in 30 weeks.
The developments have been greatly influenced and encouraged by the Church Family’s Mission Action Plan.
It is hoped that the proposals will help us to:
Attend to God as we develop St Peter & St Paul to be known as a welcoming and inclusive church that continues to grow in holiness and as we inspire members to have a heart for the work of the church through their giving.
Build Christian Community as we examine existing structures to ensure that they are best placed to reach out and nurture the younger generation within the whole community and as we provide that outreach which allows us to be recognised as an all-encompassing community where everyone will experience love, joy and togetherness in the presence of God.
Commend God’s Love for the World in the enhancement of a sacred space which allows our Church to develop more teaching to expand our knowledge and understanding of our faith and to give us confidence to proclaim it.
The Statement of Needs, drawn up and agreed by the PCC in 2005, gave the initial outline for the Re-ordering Project and it may be worth identifying where the current proposals fit in with the main sections of that document.
Making People Welcome:
• The development of the West Entrance as a Welcome Area;
• Levelling the Floor and introducing Flexible Seating to make provision for those with particular needs;
• Proposals for a Children’s Area;
• Providing a light, comfortable environment.
Making People Comfortable:
• A new Heating scheme;
• More comfortable, flexible Seating.
Helping People to Celebrate:
• Moving the Altar into the Nave;
• A more convenient position for the Font;
• A single focus for the place of the Word;
• Provision of a new Audio-Visual system
Enabling People to Pray:
• Provision of a quiet, reverent Prayer Space;
• The possibility of Prayer in the West Entrance when the main part of the church is closed.
Inspiring People to Worship:
• Lighting which picks out and enhances the main features of the church while providing good background illumination;
• Interior Decoration including exposure of some stonework;
• A new Floor which draws together the various aspects of the church building.
Update Topic of the Month.
When entering someone’s house, a warm and friendly welcome lets visitors know that they can look forward to a happy and relaxed experience. The House of God is no exception, although He depends upon us, His servants, to attend to the physical needs of His guests. At St Peter and St Paul, we are quite a friendly bunch, who do provide a smile and a kind word to those entering the building for worship, prayer or just to visit. Unfortunately, the entrances to our Church make welcoming a difficult task. The north entrance is narrow and congested, and the inevitable noise generated in the welcoming process is in the centre of the nave; a distraction for those wishing to prepare themselves prayerfully for the service to come. The west door and tower area, with its cupboards, clock and access ramp, is also not well-suited to the welcoming process.
The Buildings Group is currently examining ways to make the west door into the main entrance; providing a vestibule in which people can be greeted without disturbing the peace inside the Church. It is intended that provision of secure glass doors on the outside of a strengthened Porch and in the arch between Tower and Nave will allow a view into the interior of the church even when it is closed. There is still some debate over the possibility of inserting glass panels into the existing wooden door to further achieve this end. There is a proposal that, with the interior glass door locked, the Welcome Area may provide a place for prayer while maintaining security of the main building.
The existing cupboards will be removed, and the Clock will be moved to a higher position to allow an unimpeded area. Because of the raised floor, there will be no further need of the ramp, which currently takes up space. A large hatchway will be provided in the ceiling of the Tower so that additional Bells may be installed, if that is thought appropriate at a later stage.
Proposals for Enhancement of the Audio-Visual System
An essential aspect of any worship experience is the ability to hear spoken word and music clearly, both the content and expression delivered by voice or instrument being important to an understanding of it.
Our sound system is vital to worship at St Peter & St Paul, allowing the congregation to be more involved in the proceedings and providing a real service to those who can hear less well. Whilst our current equipment has been of good quality, it is showing its age and requires frequent repair and adjustment. Such specialist attention is not cheap and the interruptions to services have been a source of irritation to many.
We have long subscribed to the idea of enhancing worship through the use of images. It has been used to good effect in many services and visiting speakers often expect to be able to use projection equipment. To provide this, we must employ a heavy, cumbersome screen, propped up on the nearest piece of furniture, and a data projector or, more often, an overhead projector installed in the centre aisle. This is time-consuming to set up, hinders movement, is difficult to see and greatly restricts what can be achieved through the incorporation of images.
Too often, some members of our congregation have pointed out that they cannot see or hear very well, particularly with a full church, and we must address that deficiency. The proposal is for a flexible, integrated audio-visual system which will provide the most appropriate of current developments in church applications and be as simple as possible to operate.
Audio Aspects: It is recommended that the sound scheme should be based on a number of radio microphones supported by fixed microphones in suitable positions and designed for this particular purpose. This will provide a much better system when, as mostly occurs, there is more than one principal speaker, removing the need to ‘share’ the one radio microphone or be restricted in movement by having to use one of the fixed microphone positions instead. In situations involving a number of speakers, such as dramatic readings of scripture or Junior Church presentations, there will be much more flexibility in how the words can be transmitted to the congregation. Sound quality should also be enhanced as there will not be such a variation between speakers or loss of volume when a speaker turns slightly from the microphone.
Our musicians play instruments which vary in volume and, provision for these to be relayed through the sound system will allow for a better balance and be of great benefit to this aspect of worship. It will also help those who must use the induction loop to aid their hearing. Sounds which come through the system are relayed by the loop, those which come directly are not.
Currently we are not able to play recorded music directly through the sound system. Recording from it is not straightforward and only onto tape, which is little used these days. The proposal is that both aspects will be provided for in the new system.
It is also thought that services or talks will be able to be recorded and copies provided for those who are unable to attend church through illness or other reasons, with a loan scheme, if necessary, for the equipment required to play the recording.
Visual Aspects: As already mentioned there is often a need to enhance worship through the use of image. Although this has been restricted to particular types of service, there is no doubt that most services could benefit from this approach.
It is proposed that a permanent screen be installed with a data projector at a higher level and with the capability of being easily brought into use. The equipment will also be able to play through the sound system and a camera to provide a better view for large congregations is suggested. Various arrangements are being considered, from drop-down screens which can be hidden when not in use, to fixed screens or plasma displays.
There are some areas of the church where visibility is restricted and the use of small screens serving these areas is recommended.
As well as images to illustrate talks, words of hymns or parts of the Liturgy could be projected and this has the benefit of enabling people to look up, not down, for worship, increasing the awareness of collective participation.
Images also can greatly increase the retention of what we hear when employed as part of good biblical teaching.
This way of providing images, though not the use of images themselves, may be new to our church. However many places of worship, of all churchmanships, employ these systems to very good effect. One incumbent of a church similar to ours, who installed such a scheme five years ago writes: “In our visual age, I would highly recommend the use of digital projection. Indeed, if the church is to relate to the world as it is and grow for the future, I would see it not as a luxury but as a necessity”.
The Buildings Group is currently considering proposals from three contractors and a decision must be made soon. Please include these deliberations in your prayers so that God will show us His will in these matters.
First published in the weekly newsletter of 23rd May 2010
Since the last update, the Buildings group has approved the consultants’ plans for electrical services, lighting and heating systems. To cater for all possible needs in each of these areas is a tall order, but it is hoped that most contingencies have been allowed for. It is very exciting to see the flesh being put onto the bones of a project like this, and it is becoming ever easier to visualise the new, well-lit interior of our warm and welcoming church.
Group members are currently working to select an Audiovisual contractor, as mentioned in last month’s bulletin. This means that some of those who have experience of the work of each firm will be consulted to discover how good the performance has been, both in the initial installation and subsequent maintenance. An important aspect of this research will be to find out how well each church’s requirements were met; in terms both of suitability for the building and compatibility with forms of worship used. We may not find other churches with exactly the same needs as ours, but we must be sure that the chosen contractor will be sympathetic to our requirements and will not impose his own ideas upon us. The Group members may visit other churches to see systems in operation. This process will be concluded in the next few weeks, after which the selected contractor will work with the Group to define the system we require.
Some members of the congregation have expressed concern about what will happen to the memorial stones in the main Aisle of the Church when the new, raised floor is laid. No final decision has yet been made, but there will be provision for their recognition. Moving them will probably not be an option, as they would be likely to sustain damage, but if the new surface is to cover them, they will be protected for posterity, and their position marked in some way on the new floor. Similar arrangements will be made for the Mensa, which is currently located under a hatch in the floor of the North Transept. This is a fragment of the pre-reformation stone Altar, which was discovered when repairs to the Lady Chapel floor were carried out in the mid 1990s.
In any project such as this, where an old and much loved place of worship is to be re-ordered, there will always be some who look for radical change, and others who resent any attempt to alter the present environment. Your Buildings Group members are very much aware of the two extremes, and work prayerfully and conscientiously to try, where possible, to reconcile these opposing views. Our hope is that changes, when they are made, will provide a welcoming space, in which history will blend with unobtrusive modern technology to give every member of the congregation a joyful and uplifting experience in worship.
We ask for your continuing prayers for God’s guidance to produce a final result truly worthy of Him.
We are another step closer. On 22 July some members of the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) visited the Church to hear about the reordering plans from our architect, Mr Rex Butland.
Although this was an informal meeting, it was an important step in the process. Before any work can start, the project must be approved by the Chancellor of the Diocese of Chichester, who issues a certificate authorising the reordering. The Chancellor takes advice in this matter from the DAC; a group of people with a range of qualifications, who provide expertise in the various specialisations involved, such as architecture, aesthetics, stained glass, lighting, heating, furnishing, sound and vision etc. Without favourable comments from the DAC, the Chancellor’s Certificate would be withheld.
Therefore, it was very reassuring that the DAC members present on 22 July all agreed that the project for St Peter and St Paul was going the right way. They also gave some useful advice on preparing the application.
Most of the planning has now been done, and we are nearly in a position where the architect and consultants can make their final drawings. The sound and vision element of planning has yet to be finalised, but that should be achieved by the end of September.
There will then be an opportunity for Church members and the people of Rustington to examine the plans, before they are sent off to the DAC for approval. We are told that we should allow two to three months for the approval process, which means that work could start by Spring 2011.
Previous updates have concentrated on specific elements of the reordering, so perhaps this is an opportunity to give an overview of the whole scheme; both to clarify it for those who have been following the plot, and to put new readers in the picture.
The main driver of the scheme has been the need to improve the heating in the Church; the present system being old, ineffective and expensive to run. It has been decided that underfloor heating is the best solution for a building like ours, and it has been shown to be successful in several churches in the area.
The Church floor under the pew platforms is earth and rubble, which means that a new floor will be needed throughout the building. The opportunity will be taken to raise the floor level throughout, which will improve access to the Church by reducing the number of steps. In order to do this, the pews and platforms will have to be removed, and this provides a chance to replace the pews with chairs, making the space in Church more flexible.
The West door will become the main entrance; the outer iron gate being replaced with a toughened glass door and the porch weather-proofed. The current wooden door will be retained, but a second toughened glass door will be installed in the tower arch, to make a good-sized greeting area and reduce draughts into the building. The Font will be placed at the West end of the Nave, to symbolise the start of the Christian journey.
At the East end of the Nave, the Chancel will be extended by means of a dais with a curved front, on which the Lord’s Table will be positioned. Here the Eucharist will be celebrated, although the present Altar will remain in place under the East window. This will allow morning and evening prayer and other smaller services to be held in the Chancel, rather than the North Transept as they are now.
A new, more efficient lighting system will be installed, using modern lamps, which are cheap to run, and which will allow a number of different lighting schemes to be used to good effect for different services and other events.
A new sound system will be installed, making more use of radio microphones and modern technology, while a projection system will allow words and images to be viewed by the congregation; both to illustrate sermons and talks, and to display the words of hymns. It is hoped that a camera will also be installed to allow all present to see what is happening, for example, when children are performing at the front, or during weddings and funerals.
In line with the desire for a more flexible space, wiring provision will allow the organ to be moved to different parts of the Church. The organ console cannot remain in its present position, because of the Chancel extension, but the position of organ and choir for normal services has not yet been determined.
Plans have also been drawn up (money permitting) for changes in the Vestry area, which will include improvements to toilet facilities.
This is an ambitious project, which involves much change, and the Buildings Group members are very well aware that, while the majority are behind the scheme, some Church members find it disturbing. That is understandable. In any project of this nature, it will always be impossible to please everyone. We have made our plans prayerfully, however, and hope that in this attempt to improve God’s House, both He and our Church Family will look kindly on us and help our plans to mature in a way which will bring Glory to Him and harmony to our community.
We continue to be excited that we are making progress towards the final plan which will go to the Diocese as part of our Faculty Application - the ecclesiastical equivalent of Planning Permission that provides approval to carry out our vision for reordering. We felt it appropriate that this Update should focus on informing the Church Family of the current progress.
The revision of drawings over the last year has incorporated changing ideas and now, once a few points have been clarified, we will be able to make some last amendments to produce the completed plans. This stage is significant because our Quantity Surveyor will be able to draw up a schedule of costs so that we can see the final amount which will be needed to bring the scheme to fruition.
Interim estimates have been very close to the projected cost of £450,000 stated in the original Feasibility Study. However, this includes approximate figures for essential aspects such as Lighting, Heating and Audio Visual and it is also likely that alterations will be made as the work progresses, particularly if recommended by the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) which will process the Faculty Application.
Fundraising has already started. It will be strengthened when it can be targeted more precisely on an amount that we know our community will need to raise. Our grateful thanks are due to those who have offered a lead in fund raising and to those who have made contributions so far. Our church vision now is for everyone to be involved.
Audio Visual (AV)
The previous update outlined the proposals for this aspect and now preferred contractors have been identified. The terms and conditions specified by two contractors are being looked at carefully to ensure that we can provide the best outcome for our church.
An AV adviser from a local DAC has visited to discuss the scheme and the contractors’ proposals. While being supportive of our overall ideas, he made several useful suggestions for improvement and will also be available to help in negotiations with the chosen contractor as detailed plans and specifications are drawn up for the Faculty Application.
We have had a visit from a representative of CWO, the organisation who carried out the exterior stonework repairs to our St Elizabeth window so effectively. The purpose was to discuss appropriate flooring materials which will, in turn, affect the substructure in which heating pipes will be contained.
A preferred material is Purbeck stone, sourced from a relatively local quarry and available in a variety of colours and textures. We are currently waiting for samples of the stone which will allow us to seek wider opinion on the final choice with the proviso that flooring material and chairs need to look well together. An adviser from the Diocese who specialises in interior design of churches has suggested that it is helpful to provide a warm, neutral background through flooring and furniture and to introduce colour through furnishings, wall hangings and other articles helpful to worship and prayer. The flooring consultant also made some suggestions regarding the memorial stones currently in the central aisle. We had always thought that it would not be possible to move these but have now been advised that it would be relatively straightforward to lift the stones out without damage and re-lay them in the new floor in positions that will protect them from further wear by foot traffic. It is good to find a satisfactory solution to an issue that has been on the minds and in the prayers of many of us since the start of the project.
The development of our project has involved taking responsibility for a range of issues and all decisions have been made prayerfully. Those involved in the Buildings Group and the PCC appreciate the prayers of the Church Family for an outcome that will help us now and in generations yet to come to continue to glorify God here in Rustington .
It is with joy that we anticipate the completion of the Planning Stage of our Church Reordering project, something which has been the focus of much prayer and hard work over a number of years. Recently we supplied the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) with draft versions of the documents which will form the basis of our formal Application for Faculty Approval, a necessary step before work can be carried out. These materials include detailed drawings of the scheme and specifications for each aspect of the proposals. Initial response, regarding the range and format of the materials, has been very encouraging and they will now be looked at by DAC Advisers and Architects who are experts in each field and who will recommend any necessary amendments.
We anticipate that some adjustments are inevitable before final Application is submitted and will welcome their comments. The process of amendment is one which will go on throughout the planning and realisation of the project to improve it and continue to make it most appropriate for our situation. Indeed, following recent calculations, we have asked for some redesign of the Heating system. This is an important aspect of the project and we must ensure that it is as efficient and effective as possible.
In the Statement of Needs, produced in 2005, we declared it our ‘duty to provide a sacred space which meets the expectations, aspirations and spiritual needs of a changing congregation, growing in its understanding of the centrality of worship’.
This involved addressing the areas of:
• Making People Welcome
• Making People Comfortable
• Helping People to Celebrate
• Enabling People to Pray
• Inspiring People to Worship
We firmly believe that the proposed scheme fulfills those aims and will provide inspiration to those who come to St Peter & St Paul, now and far into the future. All involved welcome and appreciate your continued prayers as this important work progresses.
England’s Thousand Best Churches, The Good Church Guide and How to read a Church are just 3 of the books on my shelves about churches. Some of my recent holiday itineraries have been based around visits to cathedrals and churches. The likely dates for our Men’s Fellowship Church Visits, led by Geoff Winsor, are among the first to be entered in my diary each year. Last month, I had the opportunity of a Sunday off to worship at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Brighton where my grandfather was (the first) Vicar 1922-1947. You’ve guessed it - I just love churches!
Just as it fell to the priest Zechariah ‘to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense’ (Luke 1.9) so it falls to me to go in to church most days, light candles and offer prayers. As I do so, I’m often conscious of my predecessors – amongst them, Edmund Stansfield, Thomas Kirkland, and Ken Masters - whose names, together with all the other previous incumbents are listed on the north wall of the church (and in the Guide to the church, pp33-34). This year I am mindful of Henry John Rush who founded the School in 1859, and who undertook the restoration of the church, completed 150 years ago, in 1861.
Churches contain so many echoes of the past. Have you spotted the vestiges of the wartime blackout in the church, or the evidence that – prior to the vestries being added in the 1950’s – an altar stood at the east end of the south aisle? During the restoration carried out in my previous parish (Findon)in 1993, beneath the C19th Lady Chapel floor, we discovered a much older floor, together with the Green family vault (to which John Cheale Green, Vicar of Rustington 1802-1852 belonged).
Many churches, including ours, contain aesthetically pleasing features – arches, columns, furniture and fittings, frontals and hangings, windows and works of art. During Epiphany, I was especially mindful of an ancient alabaster sculpture depicting the Adoration of the Magi, at Holy Trinity, Long Melford, Suffolk. And then there’s the liturgy, - the worship offered faithfully day by day, week by week in churches, ancient and modern. Locally, I enjoy occasional visits to Boxgrove Priory where – after my last visit – I came away believing I had indeed been given ‘a foretaste of the heavenly banquet’! The worship we are privileged to offer, in our more modest building and with slightly less ceremony is nonetheless satisfying, and hopefully offered ‘in spirit and in truth’. (John 4.24) When I think of the music, the floral decorations, the sound of bells and the attention and care churches inspire I cannot help but conclude that churches are definitely worth having, preserving and – where necessary – restoring.
The current project to re-furbish, reorder and restore our church began in 2003. It has gradually gained momentum to the point set out in some detail in the two most recent updates (Seasight Nov, Dec/Jan 2010) from the Buildings Group. There is a high level of commitment amongst the members of the BG to the project, and a wonderful sense of co-operation among them. In 2009-2010, others of you joined members of the BG for visits to recently reordered churches where we felt inspired as we listened to priests and people in those parishes share their experience and vision. Many of us have grown in our understanding of the significance of ‘sacred space’, and what the Psalmist might have meant when he wrote ‘O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness’ (Psalm 96). We are encouraged to think that, through the generosity of the Humphrey Bequest, we have been able to be quite ambitious in our plans to refurbish and reorder. We remain confident that the majority of our present membership, and perhaps others more loosely affiliated, will wish to identify themselves, prayerfully and materially, with this ‘kairos’ moment – this moment of opportunity - in the history of the Parish of Rustington.
Keith Henderson chaired meetings of the Buildings Group from the outset until recently when he has found it necessary on health grounds to relinquish that responsibility. Keith’s contribution to the project has been phenomenal as has been his understanding of its detail and ‘the story so far’. It was Keith who, in the previous Buildings Update, referred to the Statement of Needs, which we were required to submit to the DAC at an early stage. Recently, when we came to look again at our SoN, first written in 2005, we were encouraged to realise how strong and enduring the agreed vision for the church building is.
I am so looking forward to being able to worship in a warm, bright and more subtly lit space within which the majority are able to see and feel part of the worship, everyone is able to hear clearly, where access to and from the building is easier and less problematic, where we have colour, flexibility and space and a more clearly defined place for private prayer.
There is still a way to go. Rex, our Architect, in association with our consultants, is about to submit the plans to the Diocesan Advisory Council, and working together with the Churchwardens, to prepare the faculty application. Fundraising has been going on for some time, and there is renewed energy and impetus producing ideas to raise the funds that will be needed over and above what can be drawn from the accumulated interest and rents from the Humphrey Bequest. When the work begins – if all goes to plan, sometime this year – the church will be closed for 6 months or more, and services will be held in the church hall. We will become a ‘pilgrim people’ – although that is, of course, what the People of God have always been – a people on the move!
As we seek to progress the Project, we may meet with delay, difficulty and setback. But with prayer, persistence and people pulling together we will be able to face up to, and overcome them. There is much encouragement to be found in scripture, including these instructions for the building of the Temple in Jerusalem issued by King David to his son Solomon:
‘Worship and serve him with your whole heart and with a willing mind.... Be strong and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the Lord God ... is with you. 1 Chronicles 28.9a,10b, 20 (New Living Translation)
With the help of God, and by praying and working together, we can take this opportunity to re-furbish, reorder and restore a temple fit for the Lord!
With you all, in His service
Over the years and months during which this project has developed, the regular updates have kept us all in touch with what has been planned, and with what has been achieved. In the February Seasight the Vicar spoke of a growth in understanding of the significance of ‘sacred space’ and echoed the Psalmist’s exhortation to ‘worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness’.
How do you think of your Church? Is it for you a glorious memorial to generations who have worshipped here; full of ancient reminders of its prayerful history and a monument to the piety of our forbears? Is it, perhaps, a vessel taking us all onwards to future glories and helping us to anticipate wonderful things to come? Or is it simply a place of tranquillity in which to seek refuge temporarily on a Sunday from the cares and pressures of the week?
Whichever viewpoint you have (and all are perfectly valid) please spare a thought for the challenges your Buildings Group faces in seeing through a refurbishment, which will please the forward-looking without devastating those for whom history is of great importance. Our Church certainly has some history, as can be seen in the guidebook. Over the centuries the shape and form of the building has been altered many times. Forms of worship have also evolved, but God is still praised and glorified in this building amid much the same sentiments and emotions felt by the first Church Family in Rustington.
Well, the plans have now been drawn for the latest attempt to make our Church an even better place in which to pray and praise; to glorify the Lord. They are ambitious plans, as you have heard, and when fully implemented they will show that, though we follow a religion founded two thousand years ago, we are a family firmly planted in the present, and eager to show the community at large the wonder of Christ’s love.
Contractors have been invited to tender for the work. By the end of February, we should have a good idea of how much this work will cost. Those with sharp eyes will have noted, from the PCC meeting report in the February Seasight, that the latest order of costs for the project was £536,000.00 plus VAT and fees. Those with more mathematical ability than your scribe will have realised that VAT (now at 20%) will add a further £107,200.00. Fees are also likely to add a significant amount. Fortunately, we are advised that, in order to gain contracts in the present climate, contractors are shaving their prices down to a minimum, so the Group is hoping to receive some tenders which will be much lower than the estimate above.
If that does not happen, then there are several alternative courses of action. The work might be done in stages, to allow for interim fund-raising; specifications might be lowered; or some of the planned work might be set aside for a later date. Obviously the first option is much preferred, even though the current climate may make fund-raising difficult.
Some of you on reading this will be muttering “I told you so!” We know. You did. But in defence of the Buildings Group it must be said that the experts on whom we rely do, at present, appear to have been a trifle optimistic. So please withhold your brickbats, at least until we have seen the tenders! Experts may sometimes be right! It has been known!
By the time you read this in the magazine, the tenders should have been received. Then, once the Faculty has been granted, we can move on to the next steps.
As we get closer to the start point for re-ordering our Church, the decisions to be made become more urgent and more important. By the time you read this, we hope that the application for a Faculty will have been prepared as the next step towards obtaining the Chancellor’s permission to start work.
At the time of writing, the Buildings Group has interviewed two of the six contractors competing for the work. Armed with more precise cost estimates than before, it is now, unfortunately, necessary to consider which parts of the work may have to be either cancelled, or delayed for a possible phase two of the project. Of course, we cannot expect the Chancellor to permit us to commit to a contract unless we have the means to see it through.
There are still loose ends, which must be securely tied very soon. Fundraising is now starting in earnest, with a target of £150,000.00; a sum which, together with the £535,000.00 already committed, will enable us to accomplish all that has been planned.
The contractors tell us that work will take about 26 weeks to complete. During that time there will be many deliveries of materials; including stone for the new floor, underfloor heating pipes, electrical equipment and so on. Storage will be needed for tools and equipment. Decisions need to be made about where to offload lorries, and where to store and stack the deliveries until ready for use. We are resisting as far as possible the use of the hall car park for any of this activity, since the hall will still be in use as usual during the works. The contractor may have to close off part of one of the paths through the churchyard to use as a hard standing for waiting materials.
There will be fencing around the work area during the six month period, and during that time the contractor, who is responsible for Health and Safety on the site, will decide who may be allowed in. All this will inevitably disturb the daily life of this corner of Rustington, but, by careful advance planning by us and by the contractor, the nuisance will be kept to a minimum.
One of the major expenses will be seating. A range of chairs will, (probably by the time you read this in the magazine) be displayed for comments by all the Church Family. We hope that some of you may wish to purchase a chair or chairs, either in your own name, or in memory of loved ones. Each chair donated will be marked with a small plaque, and will be a good way to record the generosity of our congregation.
Your prayers and good wishes for this important project continue to be needed and are very welcome. We have also had some very generous financial contributions, for which the whole Church family is very grateful. We know that this is a time of financial strain for all, but if your renewed Church is to be a fitting House of God, every penny will be a valuable contribution.
Happy 150th to all our readers!
Anniversaries with round numbers somehow always seem more interesting and more worth celebrating than the ones in between. Don’t you agree? Much more important to celebrate your age or marriage at 30, 40 or 50 years that at, say, 31 or 62.
So what a magnificent opportunity we have now to celebrate a century and a half in the life of our Church, since its last major refurbishment in 1861 by our Victorian predecessors. What a privilege to have the opportunity to follow in their footsteps and to use the improved technology of our age, as they used theirs, to make our worship in God’s House a wonderful ‘modern’ experience.
Probably in the mid nineteenth century, sitting in a cold and draughty church was not much worse than being at home in a cold, draughty house! They were a tougher breed, perhaps. But when, nowadays, we leave our centrally heated homes, an hour and half in a wintry environment on a Sunday morning can be quite a daunting prospect.
And when one was used to reading by candle or gas light, a dark church interior would not, perhaps, have seemed gloomy..... But enough of the Victorians. I’m sure you get the picture!
Over the last year or more, these monthly bulletins have said much about the good things in store for us in our re-ordered church. How the lighting will enhance the beauty of our services; how the heating system will provide a warm embrace; how the flexible seating will accommodate traditional services, while allowing the younger and more flamboyant among us to glorify God in their way also. But if you feel that the psalmist’s injunction to “Clap your hands, all you nations, acclaim God with shouts of joy” (Ps 47) is rather over the top, don’t worry. Tambourines won’t become compulsory, just because the pews are going.
How about a choir concert? An orchestral evening? Perhaps a Passion play? Your suggestions will be welcome, and many things will be possible. But you’ve heard all this before, and maybe you can’t quite envisage it all?
Help is at hand! Make a note in your diary of Saturday 7th May, when you will be able to see the new designs. You will hear from Buildings Group members how the 150th anniversary refurbishment will improve our lives and help us to glorify God with renewed energy and enthusiasm.
How blessed we have been to have the use of the late Mr Humphrey’s very generous bequest. Since it was received in 1984 we have been able to fund in excess of £400,000 worth of building maintenance and improvements, for which otherwise we should have had to raise money. That same fund is now able to contribute £500,000 towards the cost of re-ordering; leaving (coincidentally) £150,000 to be raised. On 7th and 8th May, you will have the opportunity to contribute towards this amount.
Meanwhile, your prayers are needed, and remember the promise of our Lord, quoted in Mark’s Gospel chapter 11 verse 24: “I tell you, then, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.”
Happy 150th to you all!
The trials and tribulations of your buildings group scribe continue unabated this month I fear. What to record? How to fill the page?
We have just heard that, once again, at their October meeting, the Diocesan Advisory Council could not find the time in their busy programme to consider fully our faculty application. It is gratifying to hear that they need to take the time to ensure they ‘get it right’, but tempting to suggest that ‘more haste less speed’ as a motto can be carried too far! But we must remember that the DAC, like our PCC and the Buildings Group are all giving their spare time generously to the task and are not full time professionals.
On the UP side, it is now certain that the Christmas season will see us still in the church. On the DOWN side, I would not wish to tempt fate by wondering what the situation may be at Easter 2012!
But all is not doom and gloom! At least this further delay will give us an opportunity to achieve our £150,000 appeal target in relative comfort. Speaking of which, do keep your eyes peeled for fund-raising events, such as the excellent evening of choral music to be provided by the Worthing Choral Society on 01 November.
Designs for the new nave altar, with matching ambo, credence table and president’s chair have been produced by the designers at Treske, but they have not been completely successful so far in producing sketches which fit well into our building. Once the designs have been amended to the satisfaction of the buildings group, they will be submitted to the PCC for their consideration. The overall plan is for the chancel furniture and altar rail to be made of the same light oak as the chairs in the nave; thus producing a pleasing and calming uniformity throughout.
Those on the buildings group, having lived with the developing plan for some time, are fortunate in being able to visualise what the building will look like after work has been finished. I think it is fair to say that all group members are convinced that the transformation will be spectacular and well worth the wait. However, all are also aware that those not fully ‘in the know’ may be looking at the continuing saga of delays and rising costs, and may be beginning to feel that this whole operation is a cross between a wild goose chase and a white elephant!
I find it helpful to reflect on the gradual development our church building has seen since its twelfth century origins, and to realise that at each of its many periods of change there must have been similar hopes and fears about the outcome. In the end, despite the many changes – in fact, because of them – the spirit of the building and its sense of calm and peace have been strengthened. We look with great interest at the way in which works from different periods have combined and aged together to produce a fine building.
God willing, the twenty-first century works will further enhance the power and beauty of the building for future worshippers and visitors.
Then David said to Solomon his son, ‘Be steadfast and resolute and carry it out; be neither faint-hearted nor dismayed, for the Lord God, my God, will be with you; he will neither fail you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work needed for the service of the house of the Lord’. (1 Chronicles 28 v 20)
Building the Temple in Jerusalem was a tough task for Solomon, but David, his father, ensured that he had all the manpower and materials he needed to complete the job, together with very detailed plans of all aspects of the work. Finally he assured him, in the words above, that God would be with him all the way.
The PCC Buildings Group do not have nearly such a large task to achieve, but on the down side, neither do they have thousands of support workers and virtually unlimited materials and money. Lucky old Solomon! However, they do believe that they have God on their side, and that perhaps the delays they are suffering at present may be part of a larger plan.
On 15 November a letter was received from the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) informing us that, at their November meeting, the Committee had decided to refuse our application for a faculty; issuing a Red Certificate.
It seemed at this point that the project had hit the buffers. But could it be that, to continue the railway analogy, this will give us an opportunity to switch the points and pull out onto a new track? At the time of writing, the Buildings Group is holding regular meetings and is in discussion with the DAC and with other bodies who have an interest in the project, and it must be said that the DAC are being very helpful.
At a meeting on 14 December between Alan Thurlow (DAC Chairman), The Archdeacon, the Vicar and Tom Mitcham, an assurance was given that the DAC was generally in favour of the proposed refurbishment and changes, and anxious to see the work start as soon as possible. It was the detail of the application that was not approved.
To try and resolve the apparent impasse, the Buildings Group are meeting with some DAC members for a briefing on 24 January. After that meeting the Buildings Group will be able to make a decision on the way forward and the best way to prepare an adequate submission. A new timetable will then be produced and all will be informed.
And now for something completely different .... Great news!
A new anti-theft alarm system has been installed in the church to protect the roof from metal thieves. It is a system by a company called E-Bound, which has proved effective on other churches in the UK.
We have been fortunate in that the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, for whom metal theft has become increasingly expensive, approve and recommend this system for churches. They suggested to the Archdeacon that we would be a suitable church for their “alarm seeding campaign”. EIG have therefore agreed to pay the installation costs and the first year’s monitoring costs. In return, we have agreed to allow representatives of other churches to come and see how it works.
Meanwhile, your prayers are needed; both for the successful completion of our re-ordering project, and for grit and determination to keep the team working steadily through any further adversities they may encounter.
“As we get closer to the start point for re-ordering our Church, the decisions to be made become more urgent and more important. By the time you read this, we hope that the application for a Faculty will have been prepared as the next step towards obtaining the Chancellor’s permission to start work. There are still loose ends, which must be securely tied very soon.”
Those of you who read your monthly Seasight attentively may find the above passage vaguely familiar. It is in fact the opening paragraph from the Buildings Group report of April 2011, which, had your scribe been an idler man (or should that be a braver one?), could have been used without much amendment for this episode of the saga!
Alas for those loose ends! But we hope that, by following the helpful guidance of the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC), and with all hands applying themselves to filling in the gaps in our previous submissions, we shall be able to put our application before the DAC at their May meeting. On that occasion we shall seek what is technically known as “Informal Advice”. They will consider it carefully and tell us what, if anything needs to be changed. Those changes will be made. In the light of new specifications, procedures and requirements, the contractors will be invited to update their estimates.
New pricing from the contractors will then be included in the application paperwork, which will be re-submitted to the DAC for formal approval at their June or July meeting. This may sound like a series of retrograde steps, but be assured that, by approaching the matter in this way, your buildings group is confident that the DAC will this time be able to grant their approval. Indeed, they are keen to do so, and share our view that the overall scheme is exciting and well-conceived.
At the time of writing, our architect is working hard with the various technical consultants to ensure that all the ‘holes’ in the previous submission have been plugged, and that every necessary detail has been considered and included. Meanwhile, the Buildings Group members are working to ensure that the non-technical side of the paperwork is in equally good order. April 2nd has been set as the deadline for completion of this hectic activity, which will allow final checks to be made of the whole, massive document before submission to the DAC.
Your prayerful support is much needed, please, to help this project to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of a dreadful 2011 and to see work commencing in 2012. “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain who build it.” (Psalm 127 v 1)
And, on a more mundane level, the re-pricing will inevitably see an increase in the overall cost of the project! Please keep an eye out for, and join in with fundraising events, and if you have any good money making wheezes, the Buildings Group would love to hear them.
Your scribe is looking forward eagerly to writing a much more upbeat report for the June edition of Seasight; believing with Juliana of Norwich that “... all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”
RE-ORDERING, RE-NEWED, RE-STARTED
“Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends”
Shakespeare had a way with words, but let’s hope that the sentiment above will not apply to the hiatus from which our building project has recently suffered. Certainly the Buildings Group are hopeful that this particular delay could lead to a better end result.
The good news is that, following the resignation due to ill health of our original architect, a successor has now been appointed. He is Mr Richard Andrews, who is a partner in the firm of Carden and Godfrey. He lives in Havant and works mainly along the South coast, which means that he is much more conveniently situated for Rustington than was his predecessor. He is also a member of the Diocesan Advisory Committee, so although personal interest will not allow him to take part in DAC decision making on our case, he is completely familiar with the way in which projects should be presented.
At the time of writing, we do not know what amendments, if any, Richard will be suggesting, but he will be meeting the Buildings Group on 28th August to discuss the whole project, which he is now studying carefully. He has also expressed a willingness to talk to the PCC and to the church family about the re-ordering plans, so keep a look out for notices about that.
So we’re on the road again! At present we cannot give a timescale for the rejuvenated project, but your scribe is looking forward to giving some really good news in the October edition of Seasight. What a pleasure that will be!
Those who read the Seasight magazine carefully will recollect that the last re-ordering update appeared in the September issue and expressed the hope that there would be “some really good news in next month’s Seasight”. Someone once ambiguously remarked that ‘no news is good news’. Perhaps they were right.
Richard Andrews, the new architect, has attended two Buildings Group meetings and has provided much food for thought. He has also been talking with the consultants and is preparing some proposals for reducing the potential cost of some areas, which he believes were far too high. He has also made some useful suggestions for improving the plans for the vestry area.
Richard has now asked the Group to make some decisions, which will inform the next stage of his planning. The advice and guidance he has given so far have been very valuable and will probably give rise to several minor changes in the overall plan. The new ideas from our new architect certainly deserve serious consideration, but Richard Andrews will put all the proposed changes and the overall plans to the PCC and the church family before they are sent to the DAC for approval.
There is sad news too. Due to pressure of other commitments, Colin Cox has resigned from the group. His contribution has been significant and his well-reasoned and astute comments will be greatly missed. Chris Dalby has also announced that he will be moving away from the parish shortly, so that he will also have to leave the group soon. His architectural knowledge and artistic skills have been particularly valuable. Both of these members of the group have contributed much to the project, and we thank them both and wish them well.
Your scribe will not this month risk making promises of good news imminently! Work is in progress and decisions are being made. Your prayers for a good result are needed.
As was mentioned in the last update in Seasight, the new architect, Richard Andrews, having examined the plans in some detail, made several suggestions for changes. In particular, he proposed alterations to the vestry.
As you know, the Buildings Group had been working on the plans for several years with the previous architect, and the new proposals have required a quite radical re-think. At a meeting with the architect on 05 March a decision was taken to keep changes to the vestry for a second phase of the re-ordering. This will have advantages, in that, once the interior of the church has been modified, it will be easier to gauge the requirements for the vestry against any new uses of the building, and we shall also know how much money can be made available for this element.
In the meantime, since the vestry is of 1958 vintage, the plan is to undertake some minor refurbishment at minimal cost in advance of the second phase of the project.
As for the rest of the re-ordering, the architect now has his brief and will start work on redesign where necessary. He has promised to provide a new timetable for the process, which will be announced as soon as we receive it. We understand that he will use whatever existing plans and drawings he can, but that he will need to ensure that they are technically acceptable and provide exactly what has been requested. He has also found several areas in which significant cost savings can be made without affecting the appearance of the finished project.
Where changes are proposed to the existing plans, the PCC will be briefed by the architect at the earliest opportunity. The decision of the PCC will then be communicated to the church family.
Let us pray that the details now being worked up will meet all our requirements and that submission of plans for approval by the Diocesan Advisory Council will not be too long delayed.
GOOD NEWS FROM THE BUILDINGS GROUP
‘What is a church? – Our honest sexton tells,
‘Tis a tall building, with a tower and bells.’
So, sardonically, said George Crabbe in his poem ‘The Borough’. Of course, we all know that the church is much more than the building, but just occasionally, for some of us who sit on the Buildings Group, there has come a feeling of sympathy with the view of ‘our honest sexton’. The re-ordering process, with all the delays and frustrations involved, has sometimes loomed over us and given the building rather more significance in our minds than perhaps it deserves.
But now once more we are on the way! On 11th June our Church Architect, Richard Andrews, presented his plans to the PCC at a meeting in the church. At the next meeting of the PCC, on 18th June, these plans were approved in the main, with some minor points referred back to the Buildings Group for further study. I am delighted to say that Richard Andrews has now submitted his plans to the Diocesan Advisory Council with a request that they be tabled at the Council’s July meeting for ‘Informal Advice’.
That is the opportunity for the DAC to suggest any changes they would like to see and to let us know what needs to be done to be sure of obtaining a faculty to carry out the work. All being well, the formal application should be with the DAC for their September meeting. Yes, I know – we’ve been here before! But the architect has wielded his new broom and given all of us a renewed sense of excitement and eager, confident anticipation. Hurrah! We shall still be in for a chilly Christmas, but by Summer 2014 the underfloor heating should be working.
You will be pleased to learn that there are some advantages to be had from the delays. Technology advances apace, and appears to be moving particularly fast in the field of lighting. Our previous plan incorporated a comprehensive and very expensive lighting scheme, which has in part been rendered obsolete by new lamps and control systems. The consultants are drawing up new plans, which we look forward to seeing shortly. The new lamps should, we understand, be both cheaper to buy and very much more economical to run.
Once the informal advice has been received from the DAC and the plans have been amended as necessary, we shall ask Richard Andrews to present the whole plan to the church family, so do keep a look out for that. I’m sure you will find it as exciting as we do.
I for one can’t wait to walk through the new glass doors – no steps or ramp – into the bright, uncluttered welcome area and look down the church over the stone floor of the beautifully lit nave to the Holy Table set on a dais in front of the chancel arch.
As ever, the Buildings Group ask for your prayers and belief in this project.
Well, as I said in the July Seasight article, ‘we are on the way’! The Diocesan Advisory Council (DAC) looked at our plans at their July meeting and made some suggestions; none of which will stop the progress of the scheme. I was a little bit ambitious in saying that our formal application would go to the DAC in September. Because it is now most important to ensure that every smallest detail is covered, our architect has decided that we should aim to catch the DAC’s October meeting.
But this doesn’t mean nothing is happening, or that the Buildings Group is idle! Mel Howse, a local artist in glass is preparing some designs for our new glass doors at the West entrance, while a local conservator will be coming to the church to see if paint can be removed from some of the stone, so that columns and arches can be seen in their original, natural colours. You may remember that the Cathedral Works Office did some trials with chemical removal, but these were not successful. It may not in the end be practical to strip the paint, but we believe that, if it were possible, the results could be very beautiful.
You may have noticed that the patches of stone, which have been revealed in the church, are a pale honey colour. This has led the Buildings Group to re-examine the choice of floor stone. Samples you may have seen before were from the Purbeck Whetson and Roach beds and were rather cold and grey in tone. We are now examining the possibility of selecting stone from other Purbeck beds with a rather warmer, yellowish tinge. A good example of this sort of stone is the beautiful floor at Boxgrove Priory Church.
Plans are now being finalised and the mass of paperwork required for the DAC application is being assembled. Our mechanical and electrical consultants are putting the finishing touches to their drawings of heating, lighting and audio-visual systems and the architect has produced all the necessary drawings and sketches of building work.
Now a note for your diary. On Saturday 31 August at 10:00hrs in the church, Richard Andrews, our architect, will present and explain the whole scheme. This presentation will be open to all members of the church family and to anyone else in Rustington who may be interested. Please do come if you can, and bring your friends.
I know that this re-ordering process has been a bit of a roller-coaster ride and that many people had begun to think that it would never happen. But now the Buildings Group and the PCC can see signs of action at last and enthusiasm is mounting again. We all appreciate your good wishes and your prayers, which are needed particularly now that we are on the brink of such exciting events.
Please continue to pray for the success of the project, have faith in a good outcome, and do your best to attend the presentation on 31 August.