Current Status


October Update -   Ground-breaking developments imminent!

I reported in June that our project was on track for work to start on site in September.  The tender process took a few weeks longer than expected, but we have now chosen our preferred contractor and have an official start date.  Perhaps we should be celebrating with a grand firework display, as that day is Monday, 5 November!

We are now busy agreeing the detailed terms of the contract under which we shall hand over a large part of the church premises until, in November 2019, we can take possession of it once more.   This involves reaching agreement on the contract sum and in what circumstances it might be varied; on the rights and responsibilities of all parties; on insurance arrangements, and a host of other matters.  We are grateful for the guidance provided by the legal team at TMCP (Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes) and we appreciate the good support we are receiving from our professional advisors.

In the meantime, David is master-minding all the preparations for us to vacate the main entrance and TCs area, the sanctuary, the west side storage huts and access path, and the back hallway on both ground and first floors.  In a few days’ time, we shall only be able to access these areas with the contractor’s permission.  The main job was to remove the pews, which have nearly all been either sold or stored in the Annexe.  The TCs space had to be emptied, except for the kitchen, so that it can be used as the contractor workforce’s ‘welfare’ area.  The contents of cupboards have been re-sited; the organ is being stripped down and protected; WorkAid have collected tools from the scout-huts; a doorway is being knocked through into the Annexe, for greater flexibility; even plants in the front garden are being dug up and ‘warehoused’ among church members!

Services are being held in the Bevington Hall, as they were during a previous interruption in the availability of the sanctuary, and this is working well.  On 1 September our new Superintendent minister Alexandra Terrett took up her post, and church leaders are working with her to take forward our mission planning, which received such a boost in July from the inspirational Healthy Church exercise led by Wendy Beard, London Region Learning and Development officer.

After all the preparations, it is marvellous finally to be on the threshold of the construction phase of our project!  It is a shame that forecast total costs obliged us last month to postpone (hopefully only  temporarily) one element of the original project, namely the remodelling of the under-gallery area, but we retain the significant elements: the atrium new-build and complete sanctuary refurbishment.   A meeting soon with our contractor will discuss their work plan, and Church Council will shortly meet to receive reports on the project, its funding and cash flow in the context of overall church finances.

Funding continues apace.  We eventually attracted from grant-making trusts and foundations a total £137,000 disbursed and committed, and we shall shortly embark on a ‘second round’ of fund-raising, with a focus on the local area, as people notice the physical site change.  Any church member who would like to help with this initiative will be very welcome on the team!  In September, a fourth Tea Concert given by students of the Royal College of Music, and hosted by St George’s to contribute to our project, raised over £1,000.  Books donated for our April book and jigsaw sale continue to fly off the shelves!  More events are planned leading up to and around Christmas.

In my next update, in early January, I will set the scene for our project as we embark on the year in which it will complete!  Any queries on the project please send to me, Mark Cheesman, Chair  of the Redevelopment Committee, on                                                               




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