St Luke's development

st ls 1In 2008 the Bishop of Gloucester published a document ‘Building the Future’ in which he called the churches of the Diocese to consider how best to use and develop their buildings.

Initial consultation on the use of our church buildings

In March 2008, there was a consultation with the congregations and community on the use of the church buildings in our parish. It was generally felt that St Luke's church in Tutshill, due to its position and facilities, offered the greatest potential for development and increased use.

The PCC set up a working party to consider and prioritise the ideas about St Luke’s Church and to produce a specification. Their remit was to consider how to ‘create a flexible space which can be adapted to meet the day to day needs of our contemporary church and community, whilst at the same time remaining a dignified place of worship sympathetic to its heritage and architecture.’

Preliminary ideas for St Luke's

The group reported back to the PCC at the January meeting of 2010 and put forward an outline proposal incorporating:

  • necessary repair of the floor of the nave;display
  • installation of underfloor heating;
  • rewiring and new lighting system;
  • removal of the pews in the nave, replacing with chairs;
  • fixed screen, projector and improved audio system;
  • library shelving and display area in the NW corner;
  • new heating & improved storage in St Luke’s Room.

The working party also considered different options on providing much needed additional storage which will become even more necessary with increased use.

Further consultation

There was a presentation of the ideas at the Parish AGM in March 2010, and a display and open meeting at the end of April. As well as being publicised through the local press and posters around the parish, local user groups and interested parties in particular were invited to view the display and submit their comments, including Parish Councillors, Tutshill & St John’s Schools, Fizzlights, Tidenham Historical Society and funeral directors.

The main contentious issue, unsurprisingly, seems to be whether or not to replace the pews with chairs. Lesser, though still significant issues were about the possibility of replacing the organ, the introduction of permanent audio-visual equipment and whether to include the chancel in the re-ordering scheme. The working party administered a written poll of church members on these four issues and results of which can be found here

Appointing an architect

In March 2011, the PCC agreed to approach four architects, who have experience of re-ordering church buildings, asking for quotes to produce some outline plans and drawings to aid them in their decision on how much to include in the scheme. After considering and comparing the four quotes, references and related documents, the PCC agreed at their meeting in July 2011, to appoint Liddell & Associates of Chepstow.

With the vacancy in 2012, there was, inevitably, a pause in taking this scheme forward as we awaited input from the new incumbent. Plans were revised and the architect tasked with presenting new plans to the PCC. There was a further pause in proceedings as attention switched to the more urgent need to address the 'endangered' status of St Mary's Church at Tidenham.

Full steam ahead

With the establishment of 'Tidenham Friends', the future of St Mary's is now secured and the PCC have agreed that we should proceed with the repair and development of St Luke's to serve the future ministry and mission of the parish. A fundraising campaign was launched in April 2016 with a trget of £200K. With generous donations we are alreany nearing the half way point. Alongside this the Working Party have been liaising with the architect and hope to present a faculty application in June 2016, with the aim of starting work in January 2017.

updated April 2016

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