Why change things?
If you read the page on the church’s history, you’ll see that the generations that went before us at Holy Trinity made many changes to the building. They needed to adapt it to suit changing needs. We have reached the point where we too need to take that step.
At present the building is dark and gloomy. The internal layout makes it difficult to do services that engage with people today. And it has poor access and facilities. With our architects (Brownhill, Hayward, Brown of Lichfield) we have developed a reordering scheme that addresses those problems.
The drawings you see on this page were created by our architects and should not be reproduced.
To reorder the building we need permission from both the church & civil authorities. Also, as we’re a Grade I listed building, the scheme has to balance both our needs as a congregation and also the concerns of heritage bodies like English Heritage.
It took a long time to get permission, but in December 2012 we got there. Work won't start yet though - first we need to raise funds!
At the centre of the plan is a new location for the altar. A dais will be built out into the nave on the same level as the chancel, and the new altar will be placed there, beneath the arch, together with a new lectern. That will make the altar visible to everyone in the congregation.
In the nave, the pews will be removed and the floors all set to the same level, with heating underneath. Moveable, comfortable seats will be introduced and generally set out in an arc facing the altar. The pulpit will stay as it is at the north edge of the dais, but with new steps located on its north side.
In the chancel we will remove everything – the clergy stalls, the low screens next to them, the choir stalls, the altar rail, the altar and the two bishop’s chairs. Then we will replace one of the choir stalls at the east end, facing the nave, and install new moveable seating, again facing the nave and the new altar.
The chancel will be used for smaller services – effectively it will become a chapel. As it has a higher floor than the rest of the building, there will be a ramp giving access
Vesey Chapel & south east porch
In the Vesey chapel we intend to remove all the furniture, including the altar & altar rail. The floor where the altar stands will be lowered. We’ll place the memorial book, and probably a votive candle stand in here. There will be moveable chairs, and the whole area will be a quiet area, a prayer room if you will.
The porch in the angle between the clergy vestry and the Vesey chapel, currently used by the flower arrangers, will be extended outwards to make a proper room. This will contain the boiler, better storage for cleaning materials and flower arranging facilities.
The north gallery will stay where it is. It will be accessed from the front, using the current staircase – which will have been relocated to about halfway along the Vesey aisle. The gallery will have a rail at the front to raise its effective height and so allow us to use it properly.
Underneath the gallery we will create a series of rooms for use by the children’s Sunday groups and for other meetings. They will be separated, from each other and the nave, by moveable clear partitions – the idea is that, when the occasion demands, they can be opened up to form one long room, or be made part of the main nave area.
At the west end of the north gallery, the last of these rooms will be a refreshments area.
New entrance & toilets
At the west end, the west gallery will be removed. The bottom half of the window it currently blocks will be removed to allow for a new main entrance to the church. The corridor, existing toilets and what we term the ‘pigeon hole’ will be demolished, and a new entry way built extending outwards towards the turning circle.
The floor level will be continuous from outside through to the nave, giving far better disabled access than at present.
To the side of this new main entrance, the current choir vestry will have the floor lowered, and will house a suite of modern toilets, including one for people with a disability.
We intend to remove the organ. Why? Because the current location is acoustically poor, it needs a very expensive rebuild if not replacement, and it is blocking a large stained glass window. We will have a new organ, but haven't yet finalised what it will be.
The dark outer doors and inner porch will be replaced by a new glass design. The font will be moved up to the top of the steps to make it more visible – effectively we will use the space as a baptistry
Where we currently have our crèche area, the floor will be lowered to the same level as the rest of the nave – as long as archaeological work on the vault underneath doesn’t stop us. Various bits of furniture in the area will go, as will the ramp to the south door. The semi-transparent fibreglass material in the porch will be replaced.
The area at east end of the aisle will be emptied. The organ console & choir organ will be removed, & a screen moved to create a space big enough for the new choir vestry. (The new organ console will be in the nave, nearer the new organ).
That leaves a couple of general things. To lighten things the architect intends to have the stonework cleaned. Throughout the building we’ll replace the lighting, as we’ve already done in the nave. We’ll also be making sure the hearing loop system covers everywhere.
There are some items we want to move – especially from the chancel – that heritage groups want us to keep in the building. We’ve generally reached agreement on what those are & where we will put them.
Making these changes will cost a lot of money, so we will soon be starting to raise funds. But we believe that what we are planning will secure the future of Holy Trinity, & with God’s help we will achieve it!
Meanwhile, if you would like to know more about these plans, or help us with fund-raising, please contact John Routh, the Priest-in-charge using the contact details on this site.