19th November 2021
We are really excited to be able to welcome the community into our new open space with its lovely kitchen. It’s already being put to good use with the return of Wednesday coffee mornings in addition to providing a great space for Praise and Play and the opportunity to have a chat over a drink and biscuit after church.
It’s an ideal area for use by small groups – much needed in our community – and we are keen to hear from anyone who is looking for space, or who has ideas about potential use. As you can see below this is just the start of our Big Welcome Project and we aim to improve accessibility in the future.
Please do get in touch here with ideas for use, or for supporting further development.
St Matthew’s stated mission is “Sharing the love of Jesus with all through friendship, prayer and service” and we look forward to being at the heart of our growing community.
The main access to the church is through the west door, up two steps.
The Church wishes to be welcoming to all and needs to improve the access for people of reduced mobility including those using wheelchairs, those with walking impairments, pushchairs, as well as pall bearers.
The existing tarmacadam paths to the south side of the church will be regraded to rise gently to a sandstone platform which will enhance, denote and celebrate the point of entrance to the church.
Whilst conforming with current legislation, the level access more importantly demonstrates that the church is for all, as part of the church’s concern for all members of its parish and congregation.
A foyer will be created under the tower, by moving the existing screen doors by the west door forward to the east side of the tower (to be in front of the book shelves and cabinet housing the Mothers’ Union banner). This will provide a foyer for greeting people as they enter the church and can also serve as a space for other activities during services, perhaps children’s activities or as a “cry space”. The glazed doors will allow people in the foyer to follow the service.
A new screen door will be provided just inside the west door, glazed top and bottom, so that the west door can be left open during services – allowing people outside to see into the church.
Either side will be cupboards, one of which will be used to store chairs. A ceiling will be provided over this area, with an access hatch should bells require lowering.
The parish tapestry beside the pulpit will be relocated into the foyer on the north wall, which will give it more prominence, and acknowledge the church as being at the heart of the community. The cabinet for the Mothers’ Union banner will be relocated to the nave, being placed on the north wall between two windows.
The pews in the north aisle adjacent to the pulpit face inwards (south), and do not have a view of the chancel, being obscured by the pulpit. These are rarely used, and are currently used as a storage area.
The parish tapestry is across an arch to the organ, and muffles the sound of the organ, and will be relocated to under the tower. The DAC’s Organ Adviser has advised that this will improve the acoustics of the organ into the nave.
The church’s stated mission is “Sharing the love of Jesus with all through friendship, prayer and service” and these proposals aim to assist in this.