Summary from the Village Meeting on 21st Jan 2010

Village meeting, led by Patrick Crawford and Alex Veal from Caroe & Partners, Architects. Summary by Rev Martin Green.

The presentation opened with a reminder of what had happened on Palm Sunday 2008, a fire that had been so intense that there was nothing left inside the church except rubble and charred timbers. The whole roof structure had been completely destroyed, and a significant amount of the internal stonework had been very badly damaged.

Patrick then explained the process we have been through following the fire – of gathering together ideas and hopes of the rebuild from the church community, and putting together a working brief from that.

These ideas in effect brought the facilities currently in the old church room into the main church complex – facilities like toilets, kitchen, office space and meeting areas.

They had then produced some outline designs which have been refined and developed to the point we have come to today. These plans have been given initial approval by the Church council (PCC), Coventry Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC), the amenity groups (including English Heritage, The Victorian Society, Council for the Care of Churches …) and by the local authority.

There are elements of the work which will restore the church to its former glory, and other elements that will be new.

The effect of the restoration work will be that the aspect of the church from the road will look as it did before the fire. The new work will add two small extensions to the rear of the church, and adapt the interior to be more open and flexible as a resource for the community.

There will also be an alteration in the roof structure over the North aisle which will bring in more natural light and give a wonderful new focus to the church.

We hope to be able to open the East end of the church during the week as a distinct and separate space, for visitors to the churchyard, for some of the groups that used to meet in the church room, and for meetings.

The whole church can be available for worship, concerts and other larger gatherings.

The timescale for this is that there is 9-12 months building work, and we hope to re-open the church in July 2012 (if not before !) There is much to do between now and then.

There were some questions raised following the presentation:

We are exploring sustainable heating and lighting systems, to make the church as ecologically friendly as we can.

The materials to be used for these extensions are being explored at the moment, but will be sympathetic with the church and its environs.

The new facilities are designed to complement the Community Hall in the village.

There are no definite plans as to where the contractor’s site will be, but much of the work can be done off-site and brought in at the right time …

We will not meet these plans within the insurance settlement, and therefore will need to raise a further projected £90,000, plus something more to cover uncertain VAT costs.

The following files are available for download:

Summary from Village Meeting on 21st Jan 2010 (copy of the above post)

Architects Model Presentation on 21st Jan 2010 (PDF, 2.5MB)

Architects Model Presentation on 21st Jan 2010 (Powerpoint, 10MB)