Join us to sing Community Carols outside All Saints Church on Saturday 16 December at 4.00pm.
This will be followed by mulled wine and mince pies in the Fleet Parish Community Centre afterwards.
All Saints Church, Church Road, Fleet, GU51 4NB
QUESTION – Will All Saints Church be rebuilt?
ANSWER – Yes it most certainly will, and it will be better than ever.
QUESTION – Will it look like it did before?
ANSWER – Yes it will. From Church Road it will look much as it always did. Inside, the structure of the church will be substantially as it always was.
QUESTION – What will look different?
ANSWER – On the north side (Behind the church, where the churchyard is) we hope to build a new lady chapel, vestry, meeting rooms, and other facilities, with a cloister and separate entrance in order to provide facilities for prayer, reflection, small meetings – even some larger gatherings, which will we hope honour God and serve our community. We also plan to improve access to the church by restoring the west end entrance and porch that were there when the church was first built.
QUESTION – What about the font, pulpit, monuments, etc
ANSWER – The new All Saints will have all of these things. The old font was so badly damaged it will need to be replaced. The pulpit and monument can be repaired. Decisions will have to be made about when and how to repair these in a way that means the new church is fit for purpose for many years to come, rather than simply reproducing what was there before. –
QUESTION – How long will all this take?
ANSWER – It will probably not be completed until the latter half of 2020.
QUESTION – Why is it taking so long?
ANSWER – From the beginning we were determined to bring something positive and good out of the tragedy that was the fire. We want the church to serve God and our community for many years to come and we want the new church to be the best it can be. None of us anticipated that it would take so long to clear, make safe, make plans, consult, appoint architects and other experts, produce a mountain of necessary paperwork and obtain the necessary permissions – all before a brick is placed! Others who have been through this experience tell us that actually we are moving quite quickly!
QUESTION – What is happening now?
ANSWER – We are working with our architects and the church community on the fine detail of the plans for rebuilding. We are working with our insurers on how much it will cost and how much they will give us to pay for it. We are making plans for fund raising, which will almost certainly be necessary if we are to get the building we need. We are working with the diocese and others to get the permissions we will need to embark on the project. Things are now moving very quickly.
QUESTION – How much will it cost?
ANSWER – We don’t know, because we still don’t have the final plans and costings. The church was fully insured and so most of the money will be paid for by insurance. The extra features we want to build will have to be paid for by making savings elsewhere, and/or from fundraising. The community of Fleet and others have already donated over £70,000 to the project without our having asked, so we are confident that money will be there to complete the project.
QUESTION – When can we see the plans?
ANSWER – The options we have been exploring up to now have been published on our website. New, more detailed plans will be available by the Spring, and will be widely publicised then.
Revd Mark Hayton, Vicar
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
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.
This week has been a much more encouraging one for the rebuilding project.
• The Chair of the DAC has passed details of our project to the Chancellor of the Diocese in quite positive terms.
• The Archbishop has received and read our letter to him, expressed sympathy with our plight, and has passed our letter on to the director of the ‘Renewal and Reform’ process (The person trying to bring about change at a national level).
• Our own Bishop has agreed to lend his support to our project.
• I spoke to members of the Rotary club on Monday night, and they are very interested in, and very supportive of, our attempts to improve the inside of All Saints.
• None of this necessarily means that we will get what we want, but it is all helpful and encouraging.
This was published in the Weekly Newssheet of 9 July. The newsheet is available each Friday afternoon on the parish website . If you would like it to be emailed to you on Friday please contact the Parish Office
All Saints church was gutted by fire on 22nd June 2015, so we have just marked the 2nd anniversary of this terrible event.
In the aftermath of the fire it took many months to clear away the debris and make the church safe and secure.
Immediately after the fire the parish received overwhelming support from people in our community and far afield.
Despite our never having launched an appeal, over £75,000 has so far been donated to the ‘All Saints Fund’.
An appeal has not been launched because All Saints was thankfully fully insured, and a ‘like for like’ rebuild of the church would be covered by insurance.
However, from the beginning the parish decided not simply to rebuild, but to build in a way that will ‘Honour the past and build for the future’. We therefore set about asking the community what they would want from their church in future. Their responses formed a 56 page document.
It was quite clear from this response that people loved All Saints church but would want it to be a more flexible building in future, accessible to all, usable by a wide range of community groups and activities, and with improved site lines.
We then set about the task of appointing a firm of architects who could help us realise our vision for the rebuilding of All Saints. We eventually appointed Acanthus Clews Architects of Banbury.
Acanthus Clews drew up plans for five different ways we might meet our needs going forward:
After wide consultation and costing, the PCC agreed to pursue option 4 as its preferred option.
The Diocesan Advisory Committee, English Heritage, Victorian society, and others were then consulted about whether permission would be granted to go ahead with option 4.
It is clear that there would be significant opposition to the removal of piers from the nave of the church. Other options were more favourably received.
In the light of this the PCC now have to decide whether to continue with their preferred option, or modify their plans.
It is still our hope to provide Fleet with a church that will serve God and its people for generations to come.
Our day of prayer to mark the 2nd anniversary of All Saints fire is now underway. It would be great to see lots of people here to pray today for the rebuild but if you’re not able to make it you can still join us from home by using the attached prayer booklet.
If you come to the church you will find a number of different prayer stations with prompts for prayer – tactile things like sweets, bubbles and string, and also verses for meditation and space for reflection. The presentation of the plans for the building will be running continually in the hall and there will be refreshments in the coffee bar through until 3.30pm. The presentation of the plans for the building is also available online.
Some of the Crew who responded to the fire from Fleet Fire Station joined us for a coffee and photo.
PRAYER DAY – Thursday 22nd June, 9am-4pm.
All are invited to join in prayer for a short time on this day, the 2nd anniversary of the fire in All Saints Church. Prayer stations will be set up around the outside of the church and in the FPCC and sheets will be available for people to use if staying at home to pray. Please consider signing up to commit to a 15min slot during the day so that we can be sure that we have prayer cover for the whole time. The day will start with praying together at 9am and the rest of the day will be self-guided with materials provided.
• Following widespread consultation, the PCC have agreed to rebuild All Saints in a way that will both honour our heritage, and provide a building that will resource the congregations and community of the future.
• With this in mind they have submitted draft plans to the DAC (Diocesan Advisory Committee) and are waiting for a response as to
whether these plans are likely be permitted under ‘Faculty regulations’ (i.e. Church Planning law.)
• The DAC have up to this point been very supportive and encouraging, but are currently waiting for a response from English Heritage before they give us their formal advice.
• Meanwhile, the rebuilding group are working with Architects, Quantity surveyors, Conservators, and our insurers, to ensure that we are in a position to move forward quickly with the rebuilding project.
Please continue to pray that in all this God’s will be done.
The 2016 Accounts for the Parish (Registered Charity 1129190) are also available. The All Saints Fund is a restricted fund of the Charity – all donations to the All Saints Fund will be used for the purposes of the Fund.
Although we have not officially launched an appeal, the All Saints Fund continued to grow thanks to the activities and contributions of many people whose efforts and generosity are very much appreciated. The Fund now stands (end 2016) at over £64K.
To date our insurers have paid out over £400K towards the rebuilding costs (e.g. for clearance, scaffolding, architects, security, quantity surveyors, structural engineers, conservators etc. etc.). So far the Buildings Group has had to engage with and supervise well over 20 different companies covering a wide range of disciplines, an enormous amount of time and effort.