Building Project update
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The contractor has continued to make excellent progress with the construction works over the past two weeks. Demolition is almost complete and concrete is being poured into the new foundations. It is hoped steel will start to be erected for the rear building in the first week of June.
Over the past week and over the next week work will span:
• Demolition of remaining internal walls.
• Final stages crushing rubble which will be recycled in the foundations and the
• Further digging and concreting foundations for the new rear building.
• Taking first deliveries of concrete blocks.
It is expected twice daily lorry visits will continue over the fortnight to remove excavated materials. We now have clarity on where the soakaways and services may best be deployed. Recognising these may again traverse unmarked graves, we will as planned be issuing a second Public Notice on the arrangements to support an application for a second Ministry of Justice Licence
While the building works have been progressing well, there have been some problems with logistics over the past week or so. Please pray for smooth arrangements, speedy resolution of specific issues and minimum impact of operations on neighbours nearby.
Do visit the blog to see the latest photographs. As always -if you detect any concerns, or have suggestions or encouragements to share, do email us at the team address.
The week has seen transition arrangements engaging fully both mid-week and on Sunday, while the builder has made huge progress demolishing major parts of the church structure that we are not retaining for the new building. Photographs in the News Blog share progress stripping out the roof and floors. Most of the rear walls are now down. The rest will be removed over the next day or so. While some of the materials are being retained for re-use on-site, much has been removed for offsite re-cycling and disposal.
The immediate next task will be to dig out the foundations for the extended building walls and to support columns and beams for the new rear building structure. This is a sensitive stage as there is a risk we may discover unmarked graves. Should this happen we have specialist teams standing by to assist. Do pray for this phase that there will be few if any discoveries.
Several have asked for a summary of the 8 month plan. It is difficult to be precise as the weather and many other factors can influence the pace week by week. In broad terms we expect:
April-mid May – demolition and foundations.
May-July – steel work, walls and roof.
August – phase 1 fit-out, electrical, plumbing and plastering.
September – phase 2 fit-out, electrical, heating and kitchen.
October -mid November – tiling, flooring, external works and finishing.
The audio visual system and shelving will be installed immediately following handover.
As mentioned last week it is very important we are aware of any problems or concerns. Email or invite those concerned to email immediately.
We are delighted that new visitors have joined us at both services at LWS having made initial contact through the web-site. We hope and pray this will continue strongly throughout the transition period.
It was fitting that the baptistery pool should act as the focus point over our last few days before building work commenced - Cornerstone used our pool for their baptismal service on Easter afternoon (as the River Thame was too cold!); LCBC celebrated with a baptismal service on Easter Sunday evening; then 20 of our work party ate much-needed fish & chips during our work party on the Monday, and, as there was no furniture left, sat around the edge of the now-empty baptistery with feet dangling over the edge to eat!
Every remaining church fitting has been removed for storage in homes, taken to the tip, or put in our trailer which will serve as our 'portable church' over the transition period, taking the items that we use every week (from drums to crèche equipment to PA system to Bibles to tea urn etc.) to and from our temporary morning service 'home' at Lord Williams's Upper School. Our Sunday evenings will be a variety of different meetings based at Church House and the Pavilion, including times of prayer and share, small groups looking at different topics, youth services and occasional services at St Mary's.
The builders are now on site and we apologise for any disruption that the work may cause to daily routines in the village. We have sought to minimise this through detailed discussions with neighbours and the parish council leading up to this point and are continuing to work with them to address some teething problems with regard to pedestrian access and information flow. During May and early June there will be many vehicles delivering and removing materials from the site via the High Street but the builder will have someone located at the front of the church throughout every day to manage movements. If you have any concerns, please email us. We hope to be back in the new building by the end of November ready to celebrate Christmas. While this will be a demanding period, we look forward to being able to welcome members of the community into our new, attractive, safe and practical facilities.
We have certainly had a month of heightened activity knowing that on 2nd April work will start on our building project! Every item in the church has either been given away, disposed of, recycled, sold, or earmarked for storage in someone's home, garage or loft so that we are ready for the builders. We thank God for the congregation and other supporters who have provided so generously towards the project’s total cost of £1.5m.
Plans for relocation of services and other activities and meetings during our time out of the building are now complete (see Transition arrangements) and our final services before handing over to the builders will be on Sunday 31st March, Easter Sunday.
A flyer is being distributed to all villagers this week explaining what is to happen over the next 8 months. You can download a pdf here.
We appreciate that the building work will inevitably cause some disruption to daily routines in the village and have sought to minimise this through detailed planning and discussions with the Parish Council and our neighbours. All deliveries will be managed by the site manager to ensure there is only one vehicle delivering at any one time and no delivery vehicles travel through the High Street beyond the church. The builder will have someone located at the front of the church throughout the day to manage movements.
There will be a telephone number for the site manager once work has started. The builder will be issuing updates every fortnight which will indicate the nature of worked planned over the following two weeks. If you would like to receive this via email or post please email us your details. Also if you have any other concerns, please feel free to email us.
We are pleased to report that preparations for our building project are moving ahead according to plan. Following the tender process that we ran before Christmas, we have now selected a preferred contractor with whom we are in detailed negotiations. Assuming that funding arrangements are finalised by the end of February, we hope to be in a position to sign a contract at the beginning of March and start construction at the beginning of April.
We have met with our immediate neighbours several times over recent months to listen to their concerns about potential disruption during the construction period and it is encouraging that the preferred contractor has been very understanding of the situation. A further meeting is being planned for March when neighbours will have the opportunity to meet the contractor before construction begins.
We still plan to continue our Sunday services and midweek activities during the period in which we will be out of the building and more information will be available shortly.
We were pleased to be granted planning permission to carry out improvements to our buildings by AVDC at the Development Control Committee meeting on November 24 2011.
Our application included a Parking strategy report (see link below) in which we described our measures to reduce the number of vehicles travelling to the church as well as the number of vehicles parking in the street. We have already started working with the Parish Council on an agreement to demonstrate the sustainability of the strategy and will be consulting with neighbours before implementing any agreement - see:
For everybody who attends the church we have a Parking leaflet that highlights the village roads close to the building where we don't want people to park as they should be left clear for residents. In some of these it is easy to create a blockage that takes time to clear - see our Good Parking Guide.
- Plan of existing building
- Plan for new application
- Plan of roof
- Site plan - existing
- Site plan - proposed
- Parking strategy
- Design and access - part 1
- Design and access - part 2
- Community engagement
More information is available via Helen in the church office.