Shaping the Future is the vision and ongoing project to renew St.Mary’s church building to a high standard for it’s life and widest community use. We’re very grateful to all who’ve given to these projects and those who continue to support the Shaping The Future fund.
Shaping the Future 2017
During 2016 an Archdeacon’s Licence allowed for experimenting towards the next stage of Shaping the Future by granting 15 a month trial for the removal of the wooden pews along the walls in the north and south aisles.
The space proved to be hugely beneficial both to worship, hospitality and special events. It also afforded carpeted areas allowing for the provision of creche and young people’s seating, along with supporting hospitality and prayer.
A faculty followed in 2017 allowing for the installation of a stone floor and plinth beneath the significant War Memorial on the north wall and re-furbishment of the wooden flooring in the north and south aisles plus redecoration of the walls. The works were completed in time for Remembrance 2017.
Shaping the Future 2014
Building on the success of the project in 2012, St.Mary’s had a project to install a new Sound & Vision system. Nearly completed in time for Christmas 2014, the final parts of the project were installed at the beginning of January 2015.
A large new screen lowers from the rafters within the Chancel arch and is supported by a number of Monitors around the church, especially serving the side aisles. A new PA system has provided improved hearing to the Nave.
Shaping the Future 2012
Three years of energetic fund-raising resulted in the completion of the internal re-ordering of St Mary’s church in 2012. The project, which cost £104,500, entailed major works at the front and back of the nave, while leaving the majority of the area untouched, retaining the visual impact and cohesion of the original Victorian design. We now have a superb stage area between the pews and the chancel, which has already proved its worth in services, concerts and major events like the Christmas Tree Festival.
At the west end of the church there is now a discreet kitchen area in the south corner, the font having been relocated just to the north side of the centre aisle to make room.
In the north corner a purpose-built range of cabinets has created much-needed storage space and doubles as seating for a dedicated children’s area. To achieve these changes fundamental (and expensive) alterations were necessary to the elderly heating system, and two rows of pews have been removed from the front of the nave.
We now have space and improved sight-lines to enable better views from the pews of the action at the front of the nave, and space and the facility to allow the west end of the church to be comfortably used for after-service coffee gatherings, better access for families to the font at baptism services, and more welcoming surroundings for all ages when they first enter the church.
We are very grateful for all the support that was received towards the first stage of Shaping The Future, and thank all those who are giving towards the future developments made possible by our ongoing Shaping The Future – Thank you!