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On this page, we will update you with the work of the Big Build Steering Group.

Steering Group Meeting - 15th January 2024

The main focus of our meeting was the Community Audit that we plan to conduct over the coming weeks. We have drawn up questions that we’d like to ask of people and organisations in the local area who can help us to identify any specific needs within the community. We’re hoping that this will assure us that our project aims are correct and that, where we can, we’ll be serving the community in the best way possible. We’ve divided the ‘interviews’ between us and will now start to make some appointments. Watch this space!

We looked again at the quantity surveyor's report that has been updated to include our requirement to have greener and more efficient heating systems.

Sophie outlined our plans for fundraising events, starting with the ‘Board on Saturday?’ games afternoon that we’re holding this month.

Steering Group Meeting – 2nd December 2023

Our first topic was the outcome of the Gift Day to raised funds for the first part of the project – mostly professional fees. Thanks to much generosity, we have reached our target of £25,000.

The majority of the meeting was spent looking at a report we have had from the quantity surveyor. He has looked at each area of potential development shown on the architect’s plans and has done some broad cost estimates. The group discussed each and whether we’d need to prioritise and phase the project.

Before we make any significant decisions, we want to be sure that any development at All Saints, serves the needs of our local community as much as it can. We’re therefore pushing ahead with a community audit (see update of our November meeting). We want to be certain that we’re not missing out on opportunities and needs that we might not have foreseen.

Simon and Paddy are working on the questions we’ll be asking of local leaders and we’ll then divide the interviewing between members of the group. After the interviews, we hope to invite these local leaders to a group meeting to share our findings. We hope to complete the audit by the end of January.

Meanwhile we're awaiting a geotechnical survey to assess the ground in the areas we may wish to build on, 

The group meets again on 15th January 2024.

The Parable of the Talents - Sunday 19th November

Watch Beverly's sermon on this very appropriate parable and some facts about the Big Build project to date.

Steering Group Meeting - 6th November 2023

Robin Holdsworth updated the group on where we are on various surveys that are needed. We need surveys to investigate the structure of the high-level windows in church; ground investigations to see what type of foundations we’d need when we build; and a measuring survey for accurate drawings. We have also been visited by a quantity surveyor who will be helping to figure out the likely cost of development.

Hockley & Dawson have performed a visual inspection of the site and have produced a lengthy report. The group will be considering this report and ensuring that the damaged part of the church is not endangering anyone.

The group talked a little bit about finance and how we are going to adopt a new finance system for the next financial year. Chris Lambert is going to be stepping down as our Treasurer and so we are looking for a new candidate. It is likely that we will need to employ an accountant if a volunteer doesn’t come forward.

Now that there is more detailed work to do, the steering group members will each be working in smaller groups to cover the areas of finance, events and communication, and building tasks.

The steering group is also going to run a ‘Community Audit’ so that we fully understand the needs of our local community. This will help to confirm that we are developing All Saints in the right direction to be a place for worshippers and also for our neighbours. Paddy and Simon are going to be working on the questions we’ll be asking of key people in the community, for example: doctors, local councillors, head teachers, OVRA etc.

Steering Group Meeting - 18th October 2023

The group review the updated plan from Robin Nugent and noted some points that would be fed back to the architects. We agreed that we would proceed to the next stages of the process with Robin Nugent. This will include the drawing of elevations and preparing the detail that is needed to present to the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC). 

There are some additional surveys required; a full measurement survey and a geotechnical survey. The full measurement survey is needed by the architect for precise drawings and the geotechnical survey is to ensure that we build any new structure on the correct foundations. Quotes have been obtained and we will be seeking second quotes for due diligence.

Beverly spoke about finances and how we need to raise an initial sum of around £25,000 to cover the various professional fees. When we have paid for the initial design phases and have a better understanding of what the project will cost, we can then start to apply for grant funding. The group agreed that we will hold a 'Gift Day' on the 26th November as a focal point for gifts.

As we are now getting into more detailed work, Beverly would like each steering group member to focus on one of the three following areas:

  • Finance
  • Events
  • Building

At the next meeting in November, each member is to commit to an area.

Steering Group Meeting - 20th September 2023

One of the big questions in this project is whether we should build on the subsided area at all. Hockley & Dawson (structural engineers) have visited and will produce a report for us and the architects. It is likely that we will need further investigation to see what type of foundations are needed for the proposed development work.

Our 'ideal' design involves expansion and reconfiguration of the foyer, to create a more welcoming and functional space. The group discussed a few changes we'd like to the design that will be fed back to the architects.

Part of the project is to significantly reduce our carbon impact on the environment. As a start to this part of the project, we commissioned an energy audit on both the hall and the church. At this meeting, the group reviewed the reports from the energy consultant. Our biggest carbon impact is our gas heating and so we will be reviewing how we should heat our buildings, and ensure that the heat loss from them is as low as possible.

Beverly, the wardens and Trish recently met with our Diocesan Mission Enabler for Community, Victoria Ashdown. She has recommended that we perform a 'community audit'. This involves talking to key people on the ground (Councillors, doctors, head teachers, police etc) to ensure that we fully understand the needs of our local community. The group will look into the best way to do this in due course.

Steering Group Meeting - 4th September 2023

We are now at the point of having selected our architect, Robin Nugent Architects. Having visited us and understanding what we want to achieve, they have provided us with three design options to review. At this meeting we looked at the options and decided what we liked in each. From this, we derived our 'ideal' option, essentally features from each of the options.

Steering Group Meeting - 28th June 2023

By the time of this meeting, we had met all our prospective architects and we discussed who we thought would be the best fit for our project. We were pleased that all the architects we saw could bring a lot to the project, but it was decided that previous experience of church development work was critical. On this basis, we selected our top two to talk to further.

Steering Group Meeting - 26th April 2023

For this meeting, Bijou had prepared a summary of the ‘project concept briefs’ that we had all filled in. Although there were a variety of views and thoughts on budget, we were able to agree on our keys aims:

  • Fix the area surrounding the library and the chapel.
  • Make the church more welcoming and inviting to the wider community whilst still upholding the spiritual function and purpose of the church.
  • Improve the overall accessibility and use of the building.
  • Achieve net zero for the church by replacing the heating. 

The next steps will be to develop a brief to send out to a number of architects with experience of church projects, in the hope that we can get some initial free consultancy.

Funding the project will likely be a mix of grant funding and fund raising. Beverly and Robin are attending a webinar ‘Funding Capital Projects for Churches’ later this month, and we’re hoping this will give us some more pointers on raising funds.

We have all committed to pray on a daily basis for God’s will and guidance.

We’ll be meeting again later in May with the hope that we’ll have some responses from architects

Steering Group Meeting - 30th March 2023

We heard this time, about Jo and Bijou's visit to St Mary's at Frensham where they have done an amazing project to build an extension that fits beautifully with the ancient church. It's a very different project to ours, but they still gave us some useful tips. Paddy has reviewed all the visits and has summarised them into some key points which we talked through.

We spoke about the vision for our church and we think that our current vision for the church of 'Joyfully living Jesus, welcoming everyone, growing disciples and deepening community' supports what we want to achieve with this project. Being a place of welcome is a strong theme for us and we want the building to match the welcome we get from the people inside.

Bijou very helpfully took us through some thoughts on working with an architect and the process involved. We need to be in a position to approach an architect with a vision for the work. To help with this, each member of the group has been given a 'Project Concept Brief' to complete and return for Bijou to analyse.

On the finance side, the Finance Vision Group are going to look further into the grants available from the National Churches Trust as they are the most likely to provide a large sum for repairs.

We'll meet again on Wednesday 26th April.

Steering Group Meeting - 2nd March 2023

At this meeting we heard feedback from the visits to other churches, including: The Church of the Good Shepherd, The Sands; St John's, Cove; Christ Church, Shamley Green; St Mary's, Guildford and St Andrew's, Oxshott. We're starting to recognise the lessons that we can learn from these other churches. Choosing the right architect seems to be critical and the advice is to select one that has experience with church buildings. Before our next meeting, Bijou is going to look at the portfolios of the architects used by these churches and give her view on their suitability for us.

We have also decided that we must take this opportunity to address our Net Zero obligations. Most of our carbon footprint will be the use of gas heating and the Church of England is asking us to try to reach net zero by 2030. It would be difficult for us to do a large building project in the next couple of years, and then start another big project to address our heating. We have therefore decided to get energy audits done on both the church and the hall. These audits will recommend solutions that are best for our buildings. There is a strong chance that we will be able to get some funding help with this part of the project, especially if we have plans in place for what needs to be done.

Steering Group Meeting - 19th January 2023

This was the first meeting when we really started discussing what the project might entail. We realised that it is key for us to have a vision for our church building so that we can direct our energy into delivering what will achieve that vision. We agree that All Saints is foremost a place of worship, but one that aims to welcome the whole community through its doors.

We recognise that there are extra things we need in the building:

  • More toilets
  • Better kitchen space
  • Quiet rooms
  • Storage
  • Access

We also recognise that we need to do all we can to help meet our net-zero obligations by 2030.

Steering Group Meeting - 15th December 2022

This was our first gathering as a team and we generally got to know eachother a little more and what each of us had to bring to the project table. The group has a lovely spread of age, experience and interests and we're confident that they're a team who will deliver.


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