Kitchen and storage improvements

The photo above (from Bollington Photo Archive) shows how the “west” end of St Oswald’s looked when the church was first built. Below is how it looks now.

The parish has submitted a Statement of Need document to the Diocesan Advisory Committee for them to give us informal advice about redeveloping our kitchen facilities. It reads as follows:

Statement of Need

1. In addition to our Sunday and Mid-week Eucharists and our monthly Family Worship Services, our church building is presently used on a regular basis, for

  • Praise and Play Parent and Toddler Group on Tuesday mornings
  • RiCH Youth Group after school on Thursday afternoons
  • Recorder Group on Friday afternoons
  • Choir and Orchestra practices on Thursday evenings
  • Faith Hour discussion and prayer meetings on Wednesday afternoons
  • #quietspace: the church is open to visitors during daylight hours on Wednesdays for prayer and reflection (self-service refreshments are available)

Beyond these weekly commitments, on a regular basis we have the “occasional offices” such as Funerals, Baptisms and Weddings, All Souls’ Day Services, Lent Groups and Lent Charity Lunches, monthly Mothers’ Union meetings, PCC meetings and Growth Action Planning meetings. The Church also hosts occasional Deanery Synod meetings, Bollington Festival Choir Concerts, Maundy Thursday Agape Meals and Watch of Prayer, numerous Christmas events, Family Fun Days in the summer holidays, Fundraising activities, Teaching Opportunities for schools and uniformed groups, our annual Schools’ Experience Weeks offered to all five of our local primary schools, and Bollington Cross School’s PTA regularly offer refreshments prior to their children’s events such as annual Reception Class welcome services, Harvest Festivals and Christmas Plays.

2. An extension with fully accessible glazed main entrance porch and three toilets plus an adjoining small storage room was opened in December 2012, using a large proportion of the proceeds of the sale of Holy Trinity Church, Kerridge. The PCC decision to allow the closure of Kerridge Church in 2009 was made with the plan that we would use the sale proceeds to improve the comprehensive welcome and hospitality provision at St Oswald’s, now the Parish Church of Bollington. The new extension (together with our subsequent beautiful community mosaic installation of 2014) has signalled to the local community that we are indeed a vibrant, healthy Church. However this positive image is marred by the inadequate and unsightly kitchen facility that impacts on the eye of the newcomer as they now enter our building from the new porch.

Since its installation under a Faculty granted on 30 July 1999, the existing kitchen/servery hatch and adjacent space (formerly housing an accessible loo) has served its original limited purpose well. However, now that St Oswald’s is our only place of Anglican worship and outreach, our limited catering facilities are restricting our growth, given the ever-increasing necessity of finding innovative ways to accommodate the needs of young and old alike. With inadequate washing-up facilities, limited &/or inaccessible storage cupboards, no fridge, no cooking facilities, and a cramped (and at times unsafe) serving hatch and with only room for two kettles or a small urn to heat water for drinks, we recognise the urgent need for expansion. The consensus is that we need a larger, more fully equipped kitchen so that we are able to offer a wider range of refreshments to our congregation and also importantly to the variety of groups presently using the church, plus other community groups who might be encouraged to use the church in the future. We need greater floor space within the kitchen facility and far more work surfaces so as to allow safe and proper preparation of food and drink, and to enable speedy service of refreshments to all, including members of our regular congregation, our young peoples’ groups and other existing users. Ideally we also need to create better and more discreet storage space for our eleven large and four small folding tables and the rack of 50 stacking chairs, when not in immediate use.

3. Following initial advice from the DAC Secretary in July 2015, reinforced by comments from our Archdeacon in August 2015, we were encouraged to “be bold” in our plans as we consider possible ways forward. The Archdeacon has also suggested that funds may well be available to us as a PCC from the net proceeds of the sale of the former Vicarage, up to a maximum of £20,000, only for use on a mission project, into which category substantial improvements to our kitchen facilities would indeed fall. In considering any plans, the DAC Secretary Paul Broadhurst ventured that “tinkering with your existing west end arrangement is highly unlikely to be the best way forward.” Consequently the PCC is considering two possible proposals, the first idea offered by David Nixon (a student of architecture from our congregation) and the second suggestion offered by our Church Quinquennial Architect, Mark Pearce:

The proposed options can be downloaded by clicking on the highlighted text. each file may take some time to download!

  • (DN option) To reconstitute the kitchen facility in its present location, replacing the current inadequate narrow serving space and store area in such a way as to create an open plan kitchen with worktops/serving counters; to provide much more adequate cupboard space (both wall-mounted as well as below the new work surfaces) for all crockery, glasses, cutlery and other equipment, including cleaning materials; to retain the utility sink; to install a variety of kitchen units and appliances including double sink, hob and oven, fridge, instant boiling water dispenser, dishwasher. This option would necessitate the additional creation of enough storage for our stacking chairs and folding tables, which could be achieved within the former main entrance porch by internally blocking up the outside doorway and maybe replacing the immediately adjacent window at the “west” end of the “south” wall of the nave with a new fire-exit emergency door.
  • (MP option) To relocate kitchen into the former main entrance porch, incorporating most of the improvements envisaged above, again internally blocking up the former main entrance doorway; then to create storage cupboards along the long “back wall” of our existing kitchen/former loo to give enclosed space for our stacking chairs and folding tables; to re-site the existing utility sink within these wall cupboards, together with storage space for cleaning and flower-arranging equipment. This option would have the benefit of also creating much more flexible and open space at the “west” end of the church. As with the first option, Health & Safety rules may also require us to replace the adjacent window at the “west” end of the “south” wall of the nave with a new fire-exit emergency door.

4. At present, our one (awkwardly placed) sink and the single work surface are not sufficient to allow us to cater for anything more adventurous than cakes/biscuits/tea/coffee/juices and are inadequate in catering for increasingly large numbers of people. Currently only a maximum of two people can work (albeit with difficulty) in the enclosed space at any given time. There is no room for a fridge or any other appliance. Inviting greater use of the church building by local community groups/societies is hampered by our limited catering facilities. By providing better kitchen facilities and a more open and flexible space (to complement our new extension) we would hope to increase the use of the building by groups from the wider community, with the added bonus of increasing our income. (For more ambitious catering occasions, as a congregation we are presently able to access the neighbouring Bollington Cross School Hall, but this is subject to permissions, restrictions, payment and other conditions of hire as may be set out by the Head Teacher and Governors of the School pro tem.) We are a forward-looking Church, wanting to invite the community to participate more in activities and services within our own building, including those events that attract larger numbers, such as Christingle Services and Nativity Plays, but also thinking on a more moderate scale where we could offer refreshments after Funerals or Baptisms when families do not always wish to move on to another venue afterwards. We need to be able to offer suitable facilities for refreshments, more safely, quickly and efficiently, whilst spending time with our guests and ministering to them in a more open and unhindered way.

It was agreed at our PCC Meeting 30 January 2017 (12 in favour, 1 abstention) to send our SoN, accompanying photos and outline plans to the Diocesan Advisory Committee for informal advice.

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