We were delighted to be joined by the Bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines, this morning for a service of Thanksgiving and Rededication following the completion of the redevelopment to the west end of St Mary’s. We were also joined by our patron, Robert Brudenell, representatives of the contractors (Roy C Smith Ltd) and other local dignitaries.
As part of the rededication, Gemma Hornby was confirmed by Bishop Nick.
The vision of the redevelopment started in 2009 when feedback from organisations and the community all pointed towards a more flexible space in church including a kitchenette and toilet to move the church forwards. This became the core of our Transformational Plan and 6 years on this vision has become a reality. We now have a disabled ramp, toilets (disabled as well), and kitchenette all disguised by curved seating which harks back to the monastic beginnings of St Mary’s near 1000 years ago.
This service was not held to mark the end of the project, but the beginning of a new chapter in the life of St Mary’s. One which is more outward-looking to minister further into the community.
St Mary’s embarks on a new chapter of its ministry. We give thanks for God’s provision, and rededicate our building and ourselves to serve God afresh in this generation.
Thanks be to God!
Bishop Nick with Gemma Hornby, confirmed this morning.
A large congregation joined us for the service. The font can be seen in its new position. Many have commented they cannot imagine it being in another place now!
Bishop Nick with Vicar Amanda Barraclough
Hopefully the conclusion of the building works is this week.
One of the final jobs was to complete the kitchenette – looking good!!
As you can see from the pictures the pews are complete, toilets and lights almost done and only the work surface and sink to go in the kitchen. Once that’s done, carpet, pipes back for the organ and tidying up!! Definitely on the countdown!!!!
The kitchenette is coming on, and the plasterwork and structure of the toilets and cupboards is pretty much there.
As you can see from the photos, the font has now been moved to its new position. If you recall, the font has been for many years to the left as you go through the main door. However this would be in the way of the slope for disabled access to the toilets in the tower base, and so a very creative idea was to place it in the middle of the main aisle. As you can see it is perfect! We can’t believe that it’s not been there for 1000 years.
Around the font the pews will be replaced, but cut down so they provide adequate movement around the font – the gorgeous display for Christmas in the font is by Averille Milburn, our wonderfully talented flower expert.
You can see from the other photo that the circular seating has developed further, and that the heating has started to go in – there will be a fight for those seats in the winter (apart from this isn’t the normal worship space, but the new community space!)
Behind the right-hand seating is where the kitchenette will go, not much there at the moment apart from lots of electrical wiring.
We will keep you updated throughout the project . . .
This week more progress has been made on the monastic style seating at the back – this is important not only to rest on when sitting there, but also to mask the view of the kitchenette in the far corner. The last thing we want is for the kitchen to be the first thing people are when entering the church!!
The slope is of course the disabled access ramp to the tower base where the toilets are to be located.