Reshaping High Street for the 21st Century

Tuesday 7 November was a landmark day in the life of High Street Methodist Church.

Your Church Council voted overwhelmingly to move to the detailed-design phase of a significant development project which will transform our buildings and energise our mission.

In the first stage of our plans are major improvements to the Church with new seating, lighting, sound and video. Further phases also planned are the redevelopment of the Rear Rooms and Wesleys.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the feedback process which helped, enormously, to shape these proposals and ensure that we go forward together in faith with this exciting project.

We will be producing a detailed document to describe our plans. In the meantime, please take a look at the feedback summary and recommendations, now available from the website or the Church Office.

Church Council

JBKS Architects specialise in sensitively reshaping church buildings to make them fit for the 21st Century. They have been working on possible plans for our own buildings at High Street and have now presented their Feasibility Study.

Why are we considering reshaping our premises?

This feasibility study is a natural progression of much of the praying and thinking that we have been doing in recent years. A year ago we held a comprehensive consultation with all those who are actively involved with each of the many different forms of worship, work and witness based at High Street Methodist Church. We wanted to capture an accurate picture of all that we do, and to consider realistically how these various activities are likely to develop as we seek to continue our strategy of Encountering God, Equipping God’s people and Extending God’s kingdom.

As part of this process we asked all the different church groups and teams to highlight any space implications of their current activities and their projected future development. In short, we wanted our hard-working volunteers and staff to tell us from their fully-engaged perspective what physical changes to our buildings would best enable us to do all we discern God is calling us to do. The consultation responses confirmed that, whilst we do have a perfectly located site on the High Street, our buildings are not ideally suited to many of our current activities.

The feasibility brief upon which JBKS have been working flowed directly from our consultation responses, and is contained in the consultation Summary Report published in March 2016. An electronic version of this is available to download below.

What can we expect from the feasibility study?

The plans JBKS are preparing to show us will demonstrate what is feasible given the limitations of our site and the listed status of our buildings. We have a landmark building within an attractive Conservation Area, so we are very keen that anything we do will enhance and improve what we already have, not only for ourselves but also for the wider community of which we are part. This initial feasibility study will enable us to see what is and what is not possible, and also provide an indication of costs for each potential element.

Beyond the presentation of this initial feasibility study, further recommendatios will be prepared for the Church Council to consider as they seek to agree our next steps.