A New Beginning
For over three years we have been eagerly awaiting the day that we would be able to step back into our sanctuary. The doors of St Martin’s were shut because of Covid restrictions when one Sunday our ceiling started to collapse. One of 200 ceiling panels crashed down close to where the service leader would have been standing. Others were to follow. It soon became clear the entire ceiling needed replacing.
A time of contemplation, communal prayer and consultation followed.
A new vision of our church began to take shape, a church that was not closed like a fortress but whose doors were open wide to all. St Martin’s would welcome people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and abilities.
We were challenged to reimagine our sixty-year-old church.
This church would open its doors not just on a Sunday for a couple of hours but be open to our community during the week – to become a place of meeting, learning, and enjoyment; to bring people together;
to build community and foster positive relationships.
We have removed the heavy wood pews to make way for flexible seating. This will allow our building to be used for many different purposes. We received grants that matched the donations from the very generous worshipping community. The cost of the repairs was well above £200,000.
In the early days of this year the building work finally commenced.
The old panels were removed and replaced with attractive new ones. The ceiling was insulated, allowing the space to be more economically heated and cosy during the colder months.
This September, after much anticipation, our doors swung open again, and a renewed sense of hope filled the air. Our familiar space had been reimagined, creating an atmosphere that is welcoming, inclusive, and ready to serve as the gathering space of the community.
Our Building Project leaflet, posters and questionaire: