Q: Why is the Parish Centre redevelopment needed?
It has been planned for a number of years to redevelop the Parish Centre; to address the lack of meeting room space for children’s activities, the congestion at busy times (such as at the Open Door Meal for homeless people and after Sunday services) and the woefully inadequate lavatory provision – one lavatory for up to 150 male guests at the Open Door Meal!
The plans will enable us to expand our provision to the local community and offer room space to other local groups; we currently have to turn down high numbers of bookings.
Subsequently, we were forced to temporarily close the Parish Centre in December 2010, due to an irrevocably broken boiler and problems with the electrical systems. This is a grade I-listed building which could be used for so many other good things within the deprived area in which it is situated.
Q. And the church?
The church is desperately in need of restoration and specialist cleaning throughout; from the damaged stonework to the important mosaic above the arch to the chancel and the darkened brickwork. The ornate, painted, timber ceilings are, on one side, so darkened that almost none of the detail is visible; on the other, completely boarded over due to damage. This church is a unique work by George Edmund Street and, with its polychromatic exterior and interior, is very unusual. We seek to make it a sanctuary for prayer and safeguard it for future generations.
Q. How much will it cost?
Parish Centre redevelopment costs will come to £705,000. Cleaning and conservation of the church interior is quoted at £400,000.
Q. Is it sustainable long term?
By improving the energy efficiency of our heating systems, we will reduce running costs for the future. Improved space available for external bookings will also provide enhanced income streams from community and commercial organisations looking for central London venues.
Q. How do I donate to the Renewal Appeal?
Online through our partners justgiving: https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/stjamesthelessrenewalfund. To see all giving options click here.
Q. I have further questions …
Let Lis Goddard or someone on the Building Project Team or PCC know and they will be very happy to answer them!