You will know that for some time now we have been working to achieve the goal of rebuilding All Saints in such a way that it will serve future generations even better than it has served us. One of the ways people told us this would best be achieved was by removing some, or all, of the pillars from within the nave of the church. We have therefore been working on options to achieve this.
It has now become clear, however, that we are very unlikely ever to be given permission from the relevant authorities to significantly change the internal structure of the church, and so, reluctantly, the PCC have now decided to abandon this route and instead to work on the best achievable building option.
This decision has been made because
- Every expert advising us has advised us that permission will never be granted to remove pillars
- Pursuing this option further would entail further significant delay to the project, with no real expectation of success.
- Delay is doing harm to our ongoing mission and ministry, as well as the good will of our community.
- Delay will significantly increase the eventual cost of the project, and reduce the proportion of that cost likely to be recoverable from insurance.
For all these reasons I believe that the PCC have made the correct decision, though I appreciate that not everyone will agree.
Please be assured that following other options will still mean that we will have a much improved new All Saints which will respect and celebrate much of the past, whilst providing significantly for the future.
We will still be striving to improve access, sight lines, natural light sources, toilet facilities, lighting, heating, sound etc. The options for a restored west end entrance, and extended facilities on the north side of the church are still very much part of our plans, and we believe that these goals are achievable.
There will still be many hurdles to get over however, so please continue to pray for the building group, our architects, and all involved directly with the project.