Over the last eighteen months, we have been consulting widely, have worked on the details with our architect, and have had visits from the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC), English Heritage (EH) and the Church Buildings Council (CBC) whose advice and guidance continue to shape our thinking. Before we can do anything to the church building, we will need a ‘Faculty’ from the Chancellor (the church’s Faculty system is rigorous and demanding, and means that we are exempt from normal planning permission procedures). As part of the process for applying for a Faculty, the DAC, EH and CBC and other heritage bodies are required to give their formal advice, so it seemed wise to us to consult with them at an early stage.
We have reached the point where we can begin the process of applying for a Faculty for Phase 1 of the proposed works, which include: repair and redecoration of the interior walls, removing the pews and replacing them with high quality chairs, replacing the floor to create a level surface, moving the font to the south east corner of the nave and making it more accessible, reducing the height of the choir screen to open up the view into the chancel, installing a basic kitchen facility in the south west corner of the nave, renewing the lighting and heating and installing an up-to-date audio-visual system, and installing a glazed screen between the tower porch and the nave to reduce heating loss. The overall aim of all these works is to create a church that is warm, comfortable, welcoming and flexible in use – a church fit for the twenty-first century