WIVENHOE CHURCH STARTS WORK ON THE TRANSFORMATION PROJECT
After nine years of careful consideration and planning, St Mary the Virgin church in Wivenhoe has signed the building contract with Bakers of Danbury for work to begin on its Transformation Project. The project comprises the re-ordering of the existing Nave, and the construction of an annexe extension on the South side of the church . Work has already begun on the site and is expected to finish around Summer 2021.
St Mary’s does not have a church hall and community space in Wivenhoe is limited. With this construction the church aims to fulfil a need and serve all who worship and live in the town. The new annexe will provide a 40-seat room with French doors opening onto the grassed churchyard; modern toilet facilities and a small kitchen. Very importantly it will also provide level access to these facilities and to the main part of the church itself.
The design by Colchester based Architects, Inkpen Downie, allows the annexe to be used independently from the Church, with its own entrance through the Carolin Garden off East Street. It will be available for use by community groups and by individuals for events such as christening receptions, birthdays and wedding parties and will become an exciting and much needed venue for support groups of all kinds.
The remodelling of the main seating area of the church will create a bright, open space, with new flooring and light-weight chairs. This will allow for so much more flexibility for various forms of worship and for weddings, funerals and christenings. It will also significantly extend its use for large community events such as concerts, plays and exhibitions and for smaller, social activities such as quiz nights.
An important decision was taken to leave the Chancel – the area around the Altar – untouched. All of the pews with their beautiful carvings will therefore remain in this area.
Revd Erwin Lammens, Rector of St Mary’s comments: “Bringing the project to completion will make St Mary’s more sustainable, efficient and environmentally friendly. It will be a new start not only for church people but for the entire community of all backgrounds. This is no longer just a dream – it is the reality of taking up our responsibility as a church to serve society, care for the weak, protect and endorse our heritage, strengthen cohesion and promote tolerance.
The future for St Mary’s is indeed very exciting!”
And finally St Mary’s very much appreciates the support it has received from so many people and really looks forward to welcoming everyone into a revitalised building later in the year!