Towards a more user-friendly Worship Space
Our Church building has probably been re-ordered dozens of times over the centuries. Each generation has taken these opportunities to respond to the needs of the worshipping community and many of us remember that this was the background to the last time we looked at this issue in 1991/2. At their last Away Day, the PCC spent some time looking at our current Worship Space and what worked well and what improvements could be made. The decision was made to appoint a committee to consider the issue in more detail and to recommend ways of enhancing the previous re-ordering and building on the foundations laid to make our Church building even more flexible.
These are the ideas that we are currently considering:
The current Dais was built in 1991/2. Its area and height were determined by the installation of the Baptistery at the same time. The Baptistery is used infrequently, but we would not want to remove it. Instead, we are considering the idea of moving it to the North Aisle, ie behind the current Dais. If we were to leave the Font in situ, we could then remove the remainder of the Dais and level the floor. We can then create a Dias from modular blocks, enabling it to be smaller than the current Dais, but with the added attraction of being completing flexible so that we could:
- Remove the Dais completely to have a large uninterrupted floor area for events
- Make the Dais larger or smaller for various different services
- Place the Dais in an entirely different position in the Church
- Remove the Dais and reconfigure the chairs to face east with an central aisle for weddings
PA/VA & Welcome Desk
In the 1991/2 re-ordering, new PA and VA systems were installed and although we have replaced certain items as and when required, some of the original elements still exist. The PCC considered that the PA/VA desk took up valuable room and this has lead us to consider the complete removal of the desk and its possible relocation to the Welcome Desk area. Indeed, sound and vision technology has moved on so much in the last 25 years, that the area required to run the systems can now be a fraction of the size. This would require an investment in some new technology.
The need for a Welcome Desk has always been questionable as it can create a barrier between those welcoming and guests arriving. We believe that the best way to welcome people is in the area in front of the bookstall, which we have recently re-branded as the Information Point.
We currently run 24 spot lamps in Church which, aside from costing a small fortune to run, constantly need replacement bulbs. We have been looking at replacing these with more cost-efficient and eco-friendly LED spots for some time. Within the new scheme, we would like to go ahead with doing this, but use the new LED spots to light up the ceiling and then install chandeliers to enhance the light in the main area of the Church, as has been done with great effect in Wakefield Cathedral.
The current carpet and seat coverings are beginning to show their age. Aside from this, if we are to remove and replace the Dais and remove and reconfigure the PA/VA and welcome desks, we think that we would need to re-carpet throughout if possible. Subject to sufficient funds, seats could also be re-covered, repaired or swapped. Paying for it all! We are busy gathering various quotes to fully cost the ideas that we would like to implement. We do have existing funds to cover such a projects and several gifts have been given explicitly to put towards fabric and re-ordering. However, we would certainly need to seek further funding. If you think that you would like to help, please have a word with Derek Howell. Moving Forward We are looking for feedback and further ideas. Please let us know what you think or if you can think of other ways that we could enhance our Worship Space.
Alan Murray, Andy Vanstan, Jonathan Brennan, Derek Howell, Diane Brennan – July 2015