More recently we have been concentrating on the "church" parts of the building: the Chancel and Lady Chapel have been repainted and all the fixtures and fittings given a good clean! Now we'll turn our attention to the main hall which needs updating - heating, lighting, electrics, redecoration... See Part 2 for more details.
Back in 2011 we recognised that the building of St John's was in need of some major repairs and improvements. Over the previous few years we had been suffering from occasional leaks through the roof above the chancel and the kitchen/toilet area when the wind and rain were in certain directions. Although a number of repairs have been made, this was no longer solving the problem and those areas were looking very unloved and tatty - especially the kitchen. Also the heavy snow in December 2010 caused severe leaks in the Lady Chapel.
So we launched our Renovation Project to raise money to pay for all the necessary repairs so we could offer everyone who used the building the best possible facilities.
The first phase was to make the building weather proof - replacing roof coverings, flashings and roof lights; installing adequate insulation; repointing parapets, renewing copings, replacement and repair to rainwater pipes etc. This was completed in October 2011.
It took us longer than we would have hoped to raise the money for the next phase, which was for a major refurbishment of the kitchen/toilet area, including
installation of new toilets with disabled and baby-changing facilities
widening the door between the hall and the lobby to the toilets so wheelchairs can go through
repair to the internal damage caused by the leaks
completely refitting the kitchen, replacing all storage units and existing appliances - and adding some more
resiting plumbing and electrics
installing heating to the kitchen, toilets, meeting room via radiators fed from the kitchen boiler
redecorating and recarpeting the whole area
But with many generous donations, grants and fundraising activities we got near enough to the necessary total to get the work underway. The first sign of activity was back in October 2014 when new doors were fitted but the major work was done early in 2015, giving us facilities we are really proud to be able to offer everyone. The work cost about £48,000 and we have finally raised all the money needed - but it was definitely worth it.