St James' Church
Methodist/URC, Woolton, Liverpool, UK
What have we done and why?
1. REPAIR THE FABRIC OF THE BUILDINGS
There is no doubt that St James’ Church buildings - both the Church and the Church Hall - are already much-loved and well-used. The first, urgent requirement was to deal with the structural weaknesses in the two buildings, and then the redevelopment of the Church building could proceed as the 2nd phase of the project.
2. REDEVELOP THE CHURCH
There was a growing awareness that the spiritual and secular life of any community is more closely linked now than ever before, and that St James’ Church building has unexplored potential as a space for both traditional purposes and exciting new ventures. After securing the structure we adjusted the church building so that whilst it continues to be a place of worship it also enables us to take part in Woolton's 21st century village life as a:
As mentioned above, the style and layout of our Church building was not able to accommodate all this in a practicable manner and so modifications were required:
Exterior: Replace a section of the boundary wall with a gate, to improve street level access for people with limited mobility, wheelchairs, prams etc.
Interior: Improve the entrance area to the Church to increase access and visibility; Create a common floor level throughout the building; Replace the pews with more flexible and comfortable seating; Install environmentally-friendly heating and lighting; Upgrade the audio-visual resources; Provide a space to prepare refreshments; Provide additional toilet facilities and improve the existing ones; Redevelop and redecorate the building throughout.
Our work is now complete; the church was stripped of all fixtures and fittings; the main floor was levelled; the original steps to the apse were uncovered and we have preserved them in their original design; the large inner double doors and side panels at the rear of the church have been removed to create a wonderful new space; we have been able to retain our beautiful doors and reuse them in other locations; the new toilet block is ready; a new doorway has been created into the kitchen / store area and we have used one of the existing porch doors in this location; the doorway from the choir vestry to the main vestry has been blocked up; the kitchen area also now ready with new kitchen fittings; the interior has been decorated and the floor finishing laid; the sound system, tables and chairs are delivered and installed, the removable communion rails have been ordered and the installation is scheduled; a stackable temporary staging has been delivered too.
For details of the costs of our work and to see the work as it progressed, please visit the 'Church refurbishment' page or take a peek at the photos in our 'Photo Gallery'. We believe this work was vital if we are to make the very best use of this special space in the heart of Woolton Village. If you would like to become an active partner in the project by offering financial or practical support, or to obtain more information, please use the "Get in touch" page.