Project 21 seeks to enhance and improve the facilities of St Helen’s Church in order to meet the needs of church and village in the 21st century. For more information, please have a look at the Project 21 Leaflet.
Project 21 – Keeping you in the picture, October 2011
This autumn we have been excited to launch the Vision for St Helen’s and St Peter’s. This confirms Project 21 as one of the Strategic Priorities that will enable our church to be a vibrant centre for Christian service to the community in Wheathampstead and beyond.
The summer months have been busy progressing the Project further. So – Where have we got to?
South Porch The first very positive stage of Project 21 is the work on the South Porch of St Helen’s: developing and enhancing the porch will make a warmer main entrance to our valued heritage building which is a key focus for God’s work in our village. While retaining the oak door, the porch will be glazed (high quality double doors of toughened safety glass) top and bottom. A new handrail will make for easier access on the steps. The area will be heated when necessary, providing a warmed area, and a warmer welcome. It will assist in keeping heat within the main building and excluding the cold down-draughts that currently cause our heating to be so inefficient. We now have approvals from St Albans District Council, English Heritage and the Diocesan Advisory Committee to proceed with the work. The cost has been underwritten by the Parochial Church Council. Now we just await the formal paperwork from the Diocesan legal authority, hopefully within the next week or two. Then we can place the order with the specialist contractor, and it will be all systems go – maybe work can commence before Christmas!
What about the new extension?
Over the last few months very detailed consultations have taken place on site with officers of St Albans District Council Conser-vation and Planning, together with English Heritage, our Architects and Project Manager from GHM to consider ways of building an acceptable linked extension to St Helen’s on the North West corner of the churchyard.
The latest meeting on 20th September resulted in a recommendation for our Architects to draw up a revised proposal which locates the extension some 13 metres away from the main church, linked by an attractive walkway. This would allow minimum obstruction of view surrounding our Grade 1 listed building. We anticipate seeing the new drawings by the end of October and these will be presented for final comment before submission of a formal Planning Application and public display soon after.
Meetings of a group to consider ways of raising funds have been started, and it is recognised that a great challenge lies ahead, particularly in these times of economic restraint. Actual cost estimates for the various aspects of Project 21will be forthcoming as soon as the final design is agreed. Our Project Manager is preparing to calculate these when the information is available.
In spite of the daunting task we face, our Vision can be accomplished and with prayerful consideration we move forward in faith.
We look forward to the exciting developments which lie ahead. On a number of occasions recently St Helen’s appears to be bursting at the seams. More space is needed not only for the important aspects of worship but in meeting needs for other weekday activities for the community in general.
- Brian Gwinn
For more information contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org