More than just a building project, CONNECT is this church’s commitment to provide improved facilities and community partnership opportunities.
Connect has taken years of prayer and planning, but now we are excited to say that the building work is complete and we are using the church with the new facilities, obviously with Covid restrictions. The front of the church is a welcoming cafe, called Make and Brew, a space for people to meet and connect.
We have developed a wonderful partnership with Kirsty from Make and Brew to enable this to happen! We have also installed a lift and have updated our upstairs facilities in order to make our premises as accessible as possible, and to provide high quality meeting and event space for our community.
We still have to contInue to raise funds for CONNECT, so please do keep an eye out for any events happening that will help us pay for all of these wonderful improvements to the building.
The new emergency exit is completed. This will enable us to open up the first floor for wheelchair access. The new toilets are a great hit with youngsters!
The concrete sub base has been poured. Once this is set and the roof is on, then the installation of the under floor heating can begin.
The steels which form the roof and front of the new link extension have been craned in and bolted together.
Contractors arrived on site as agreed on 16th September and have already demolished the air raid shelter. The work will continue for a total period of 34 weeks. The construction work will be phased as follows;
- Phase 1 – Pre-school toilets, washroom, and play area. Renewal of newly configured fire exit. This means that the existing car park will have a restricted number of parking spaces
- Phase 2 – Link welcome area. This will concentrate on the Link area and mean that the garden area will be screened off and access to the worship area will be either via the front church door by the organ console or rear doors of the church
It is hoped that following phase 2, phase 3 will continue seamlessly to complete the improvements and disabled lift platform access to the first floor. This includes re-surfacing of the car park and lined spaces.
A vision morning has helped the church to consider ways in which a fully operational café in the Link area will aid the churches desire to continue to improve its presence and availability to the local community. Always guided by our strapline “Loving God, Loving people.”
Alongside the construction work two additional groups continue to look at more detailed aspects of turning these visions into reality.
There is the Operations team who will look to develop a 5-10 year business plan for the church going forward and the legal requirements for partnership arrangements required to operate a partnership to run the café in the Link area.
The Link team will work on bringing together the ideas from the vision day into a vision statement for the café. They will also work to bring back to church council a proposal for the design, layout and future use of the café and Link area for the advancement of the church’s aim to serve its local community.
These are exciting times and a realization of a great effort by a lot of different people committed to achieve what we set out to do.
More than just a building project, Connect is the church’s commitment to improve facilities and community partnerships (Connect strapline 2018)
Since our development project was launched in 2016 much detailed work has been done with the Architects CPL Ltd, and all the necessary planning and building regulations obtained. Our preferred construction contractor has been selected and this is Greendale Construction, a relatively local company (Poole based), who have significant experience with new building work and extensions to Church premises. They have been notified of their selection and are happy to work with the Church and accommodate the Church’s expected programme of work in 2019. Finance is of course a major part of this project and we now have some confirmed grants, and a significant amount of fund raising done by our own members either by direct giving or by specific fund raising events, details of which are shown on the back of this brochure. We need now to concentrate our efforts in fundraising and direct giving to have the necessary funds in place so that building work is able to commence as has been planned, in June/July of this year.
Church and Community
As a church we reminded ourselves in the recent publicity card that Jesus challenged us to be Salt & Light to its community and that we have a strapline “Loving God- Loving People”
From my contact with a wide cross section of people in the area and those who use our building I am made all too aware of those who consider that this church has made a difference to their family or them as an individual. The test will always be; “What difference does this place make to others?”
There will be some who rightly say these premises are brilliant as they are. However we also have to remember those who were visionary enough to make significant improvements to the building under Link 2000 scheme and we thank them for that, but we cannot stand still. Life moves on and the needs of the local area change, for example the need for a youth facility and the way in which people relate to and engage with faith.
These days a coffee shop for example has become the place to hold meetings, undertake business and to meet others in the community. It is my belief that by completing these plans, we will be better equipped to be salt and light in our ever changing community.
Deacon Brian Purchase
The plans for the alterations and new building work are the product of much thought and prayer at church vision mornings, discussions between the development group and our architect, CPL (Church Projects Ltd.). Following the special meeting of the Church Council on Sunday 28th October, the order of the construction works was changed to reflect the advice given by the Southampton District of the Methodist Church and our national body, the Methodist Connexion.
Phase 1 and 2: Extending the Link welcome area to provide a greatly improved open and attractive area for all the community groups to see plus demonstrate the many and varied activities that take place within the building. Also to amend the access to the Link from the main church hall as well as additional toilet facilities and a new coffee/refreshment bar with lounge area. Also to update and improve the toilet and washroom areas within the area of the building currently used by the Pre-School Group which are in a poor condition.
External works to install a new fire escape, demolish the old World War 2 Bomb shelter, create an external area for the Pre-School play group that use the premises daily, and update/improve the car park.
Phase 3 Works: To provide a lift to the first floor community rooms and accommodation,new toilets for both able bodied and disabled, new kitchen facilities and enhanced room layouts
If funds permit, and to keep costs as low as possible, it is hoped and expected that phase 3 works will follow on directly after the completion of phase 1 and 2.
To All Members and Friends of St. James Road Methodist Church
It seems a long time since we launched the discussions about ‘Connect’ and shared with you our vision for the Church’s future, but we continue to be committed to the project and the work we hope to achieve in the improved facilities.
We are grateful for all the contributions that have been made so far but the work of fundraising is not over yet. And so, once again, we are asking you to consider how you can contribute to this work, so that we can serve our God and our community better. Thank you.Christine Coram – Minister
Christine Coram – Minister
- Planning permission granted
- Project name & logo announced
- £55,000 already received in granted
Since our last update, our church building development project has got its name, logo and identity.
Separate to, but in keeping with our church logo, we need this SPECIFICALLY for the development and fundraising project. It will identify the project and raise our profile with fundraising bodies and businesses.
The name and concept was developed by a small group nominated by Church Council. They used all of the ideas gathered at the most recent vision morning and worked with a designer on the logo itself. This is the thinking behind the final product…
The Name: CONNECT is a similar word to ‘Link’, which was the name of the previous development project. The word ‘connect’ suggests being involved, connecting community and church, connecting with each other, discovering common ground and celebrating different ideas
The Strapline: A SPACE TO SHARE can be interpreted in many ways, similarly to our church strapline –‘Loving God, Loving People’. It can mean to share our faith, to share our premises, to share our joys and sorrows, to share our ideas and activities, to share between generations, to offer a calm space for thoughts and a sanctuary.
The Image: The cross shape echoes the cross from church logo but is less distinct than in the logo for our worshipping community. The image of light coming through stained glass blends with our surroundings as church and symbolises how our faith blends with surrounding community.
The Colours: These come from a colour palette in keeping with existing SJR church logo, but the colours are brighter to reflect the light that is shared through all that the project will enable us to do. The fragments suggest different things being brought together.
‘CONNECT’ is being officially launched at the Christmas Trees and Music Festival.
Following the receipt of planning approval from Southampton City Council, with practically no significant changes being requested, we are now able to move forward with our project on several fronts.
Firstly, it opens the doors for more Grant Applications which our Financial Controller, Neil Hitch, is currently preparing. In parallel with this it is hoped that Church giving by our Members will continue or even increase as there is a real relationship between what we ask for in a “Grant” and what we have contributed as a Church body. Any increase in giving to our project will be greatly appreciated.