What’s been happening in the building?
Surrounded by fencing and site buildings, the Church now looks every bit the building site. New notice boards at the front announce to passers by and visitors to the Church Centre that development is happening. This monthly newsletter will aim to keep you informed, and enable everyone to speak of the great things that are planned for our Church, and for the building.
In December and early January, the wonderful team of Church volunteers removed from the building everything that will be needed for when we move back in again. A great many things have been found new homes elsewhere, including most of the pews from the Church and the Victorian heating grates, and over £5,000 was raised from donations.
Starting exactly on the date that we had picked back in 2017, the builders moved onto site on the 14th January. Our organ specialists arrived to cover the organ pipes and the builders carefully boarded over the organ sections. They also covered the memorial plaques on the walls which could not be removed. Then they began the task of removing the timber structures and entire wooden floor, including from the Chancel.
The green “Marley” tiles which covered the flagstones were then removed by a company who specialise in handling materials containing asbestos, which was present in the glue that stuck the tiles to the flagstones.
Their next step is taking out the wall in the west end beneath the window which requires a carefully calculated temporary support structure to be made. When that is done, the Kentish Ragstone comes out and will be retained for using later. With access through both the west and south doorways, the builder will be able to bring in machinery to remove the brick, concrete and stone floor foundations.
Steve Elliott - Building Committee Chair
The DAC visits
We welcomed three senior members of the St. Albans Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) in January to see first-hand the samples of high quality carpet that we’ve proposed. We then showed our visitors the interior of the Church without pews, and spoke of our plans for both congregation and community to make full use of its tremendous potential for the future.
We’ve chosen Borras Construction Ltd to carry out our Development Project.
Borras Construction Limited is a family-owned company leading the way in the design, construction and maintenance of the built environment.
They were founded in 1980, and are based in St Albans. Over the past 40 years Borras have emerged as a leading provider of tailored solutions across a diverse range of sectors, both public and private.
Our Development Project will be carried out by their Special Works division who focus on heritage buildings. Projects they have completed include St Andrews in Hertford.
The team at Borras have shared their working philosophy with us, and have undertaken that their workforce will respect the building as they work on it, remembering it is a place of worship.
Borras have registered our project with the Considerate Constructors Scheme:
Care about Appearance
Respect the Community
Protect the Environment
Secure everyone’s Safety
Value their Workforce
Beyond Sunday Services
As well as our regular Sunday services we also have the opportunity to journey with people as they give thanks for the safe arrival of a baby, celebrate a couple uniting in love and mourn with those who have lost loved ones.
Whilst the church building is being refurbished we will still offer baptism on a monthly basis on the first Sunday of the month at either service. The baptism service will be held in either the church hall or school hall.
For weddings and church funerals, we are very grateful that Ysmena, the Vicar at St. Mary’s Ware, has willingly agreed, with the support of the Diocese, to allow us to use their Church. Contact Christ Church Office.
For all other festival and occasional services we are currently thinking and planning for these. It is likely that we will use the church centre for midweek services and hold two services on Easter Sunday morning.
Our midweek activities will continue as normal and shouldn’t be affected by the building works.
We are keen to ensure that the whole church family has a chance to meet together and are reflecting on how we can draw the church family together to have fun and get to know each other better. We will share our plans in the newsletter and pew sheets as these develop. Martin Dudley - Managing Committee
PCC gives go ahead
Throughout the Development Project, the members of the PCC will be reviewing the progress of the works and making decisions that are essential to its completion. On Monday 21st January, the PCC decided that the spiral staircase, which is essential for access to the mezzanine floor, should go ahead and be built within the programme. Please pray for them as more decisions are needed in the coming months.
Successful Grant Applications
We need to raise a further £440,000 to fully cover the Development costs, and Grants will play a big part in reaching this goal. In 2018 the Grant Applications team led by Sheila Dane raised nearly £60,000 from a wide variety of trusts, foundations, councils and businesses. They would welcome another person to help them, focussing on applications to corporate and local businesses. Please contact Sheila directly, and see if you can help with this extremely rewarding activity.
Next month - Tell us about your Pinata of Promises experience; and what you like about celebrating worship in the Centre and the School.
Dear Christ Church,
We are celebrating all that God has done in and through us over the last 160 years and next Sunday, the 13th January, begins our new journey of meeting at the Centre and School. A year that we can expect to discover and encounter God in a new and deeper way. As we look at God’s faithfulness over the years we can see His faithfulness into the future for us. For as it says in
1 Thessalonians 5 v 24, “the One who calls you is faithful and He will do it”.
This journey is only possible through your generosity and the blessing of God. It is as we are responding to His call that He enables us to move forward. As we grow during this year God is going to continue to speak to us, to challenge us, to change us, to show us His healing and His grace, and above all, still be a beacon of hope and joy for this community. While we pray, we will see miracles and transformations and we will need to show even more of God’s grace to each other.
During this year we will discover more of God’s promises and encounter His presence for us. It will be an opportunity to understand that our buildings are just an amazingly great resource for our vision. Our vision, which is to see the Kingdom of God come here in Ware, and His blessing in this town, and well beyond, that people may know freedom, hope, life, healing, grace, and joy.
It is a real privilege that it is our church family that is having this adventure together. It is amazing that together we continue to support God’s blessings, to continue to be a part of His blessings, and to enable here a legacy to be left for generations to come. “For generation to generation”, says the Lord, “I will be faithful to those who pray to me, to those who seek me.” For generation to generation to know the wonderful works of the Lord, so that they might be able to follow Him and speak His wonderful grace for years to come.
For generation to generation, to not just know rumours of God’s presence and what He has done, but to see them happen once again in our day. To see the wells of blessing at Christ Church be reopened to bless this community and beyond, and new ones to be discovered that the people of God may always know God’s presence, support, His love, His grace, His smile, His joy and delight over them.
It is therefore with so much gratitude that I thank you for your partnership in the Gospel, in this generation, in this time, in this moment. And it is with my prayers for all of us in this journey together in its challenges and its changes that we seek God’s face and seek that transformation. And that on our 161st birthday that we move back into the church enabling the ministry to continue and the community to come, connect and be blessed.
With my prayers for all of you.