The 21st Century Project
The creation of additional space and facilities for accommodating an increasing range of Church and Parish activities has long been an aim of St. Mary's Church members. Under the overall title of "The 21st Century Project", much work has already been done within the Church building, and the major task now remaining is to build an Annexe to house additional space and facilities.
19th November 2017 Diocese Go Ahead for the Church Centre
The faculty authorizing construction of the building, now formally named as St Mary's Church Centre, was signed by the Chancellor on 10 November.
The Yew bush outside the Parish Office was felled and its roots grubbed out. Those gravestones that occupy the site were moved in preparation for levelling the whole and will be replaced around the graveyard boundary adjacent to the north and west walls. An access track for contractors' vehicles was made along the edge of Mill Green, and then later re-grassed..
Preparations in 2018
Work on excavating for the foundation pads, situated at 12 points around the periphery of the building, which will support the concrete base slab, is now in progress. As expected, this has necessitated work by archaeologists wherever old burials were encountered, some from the middle ages and possibly earlier. The soil which was removed was taken to the New Cemetery ("The Chalk Pit") and used to create a fresh area for the interment of cremation ashes in the future.
The whole process should be completed by Christmas (2018, that is!). Watch this space!
St. Mary's Church Centre
The proposed building is on the north side of the Church, abutting the outside walls of the Lady Chapel and the Parish Office. The front entrance for visitors will be adjacent to the Parish Office with pathway access direct from Mill Green. Access from the Nave will be through the North Door and a short pathway into the rear of the Centre. The meeting area is partitioned into two rooms divided by a folding screen. The kitchen facility and toilets will be next to the wall of the Lady Chapel.
Convenient access from the Parish Office enables the meeting rooms to double on weekdays as offices for the clergy/voluntary workers. The centre offers advantages for mid-week meetings, such as Christianity Explored, and provides space for discrete discussion groups where people can talk and pray in a calm and uncrowded environment.
The construction has two distinct elements.
- Completion of the shell starting with the piling and floor slab, the steel based frame, the cladding and roof plus the underground drainage
- Fitting out of the interior, wiring, plumbing and heating, joinery and decoration
Donations to this project can be sent to the appeal chairman Bob Austen, 7 Dunnock Way, Wargrave, RG10 8LR or via the Parish Office, by completing the attached Donation and Gift Aid Form.
Plan and Images
Preview of St. Mary's Church Centre
|Computer Generated Image from the north-east of the Churchyard|
|Computer Generated Image from the west of the Churchyard|
|Computer generated image of the meeting room interior|
St Mary's Church Centre - Ground Floor Plan