St Michael the Archangel Church in Mere is the most prominent building in our community. Yet despite its visual prominence, the church building is under-utilised. If the church is to thrive it needs to redefine its space in ways that enable it to function both now and into the future.
Our project seeks to liberate space at the rear and front of the nave allowing more freedom to move around and to install much need toilet facilities in the tower and upgrading the Friends corner to provide kitchen facilities. By modernising, we will be able to become more creative with our worship services and also permit community groups to make wider use of the building.
We are aware that developing our project and adapting our church building is not a simple process. The building is much loved by the local community and in our desire to refocus the use of the building we have taken into account the fact that the building is viewed by the local community as sacred.
It has superb acoustics and space that lends itself to major community musical and theatrical events. It has “atmosphere” and the potential for special lighting and sound effects would provide a marvellous place and backdrop for drama, films and exhibitions, as well as becoming a “classy” meeting venue.
By providing additional space and services to the community we believe we will create a wider group of people able, and importantly willing, to take on the shared responsibility of maintaining the building, as well as the divinity of the church.
We have recognised the need and our project enables our building to continue as a place of worship, while at the same time serving a specific need for an expanding local community. These works in the church will provide updated and suitable hospitality to church members, visitors to the church and those within the community that wish to make use of its facilities.
With an ever increasing local population and the pressure on other community facilities, the need to maintain a place for religious encounter, spiritual engagement and worship becomes ever more necessary, and we feel our role is as much to enable this encounter to be made all the clearer by enhancing the simplicity of the space for worship without detaching it from the heritage of hundreds of years of Christian worship.
- Removal of one row of pews at the front and rear of the nave.
- Install a servery in the Friends corner
- Raise the floor levels between the Children’s area and Friends corner (to include ramps to enable prams, wheelchairs etc to move around easily)
- Install two toilets within the tower area
- Upgrade the North porch entrance to improve access with wider steps and centre handrail
Thus our project seeks to
- Open up our church building for wider community use.
- Enable the building to continue as a place of worship, while at the same time helping to meet a specific need or needs of the community.
- Use our building to reconnect with the local community while also providing a sustainable future for the church as a place of worship.
- Improve the quality of life for the local community.
- Broaden the range of activities taking place within the local community.
- Conserve the historic fabric of the church building while also using the building more effectively.
It is our intention to seek funding from grant funding bodies who support the restoration and redevelopment of church buildings for use by the local community; local community events; local businesses, national lotteries.