THE UPLIFT PROJECT
IN THE SUMMER OF 2018, we are already beginning to develop the second phase of our long-term redevelopment strategy, which we are calling the Uplift Project.
The existing St John’s lift serves all three current levels of our building. It has now reached the end of its useful life and has to be substantially upgraded to meet the need for improved access. We also need a lift that will accommodate the anticipated growth in numbers of our visitors – comprising local people, plus others from a wide area around the town and its environs.
Along with this, we plan to improve the access areas at all levels of the building.
This development includes:
At ground floor level, the lift entrance and new toilets will be enclosed to form an entrance lobby, which will also incorporate a cloakroom area. The door on this side of the building already has level access for wheelchairs.
At mezzanine level, glazed screens will enable enclosure of the space, which will effectively separate it from the upper and lower floor level spaces and their dedicated uses. This will create a quieter, informal and well-appointed area for casual groups, talks, and meetings, with the provision of a small servery and office.
The upper first floor level lobby area is badly rundown and untidy, having never been properly completed when the church was restored following the fire.
This area requires a complete remodelling to provide enhanced circulation and access to key first floor areas, including new toilet accommodation, upgraded kitchen facilities and substantially improved storage. Additional storage will be created by putting in a new ceiling and floor, to enclose the currently exposed roof space, and by taking the new lift up to this new level.
Further phases of the Five-Year Strategy will include:
The copious Upper Hall needs considerable environmental improvements, including radically-enhanced acoustic performance, and a new soundproof flooring to prevent noise transmission to the worship area below.
The top of the chancel arch at the east end of the hall was blocked during the 1979-80 rebuilding works. We plan to open this up and insert a glazed screen to enable the upper section of the existing stained glass window – by Peter Tysoe – to be visible once again.
The tired upstairs kitchen needs to be upgraded to full catering standards. This work, along with improved access, will increase the range of activities which can take place on the upper level of the building, and thus likely increase community usage.
Re-opening the West Door: Beyond the re-ordering of the downstairs kitchen and toilet facilities, which are part of the current project, we are looking at a complete re-modelling of the downstairs lobby area, between the main body of the church and the presently blocked tower.
This will be achieved by reinstating the principal access through the West Door at the base of the tower, which has not been in use since the restoration of the church after the fire in 1976. This will also enable the tower to be brought back into use, by providing continuous movement from west-to-east (liturgically) across the whole of the ground floor plan of the church.
A remodelled vestry, office and reception, and a reconfigured stairway to the mezzanine floor will also be provided. With reinstatement of the principal west entrance, a planned full remodelling of the roadside frontage, to create a welcoming environment, will provide an important opportunity to enhance both the setting of the Grade II Listed Heritage asset, and highlight the significance of the conservation area.
If you would like to understand more about our hopes and dreams for our wonderful building in the heart of Bridgetown, please have a look at our special video, below, about The Uplift Project.
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