You may not be surprised to learn that all aspects of our building project have been affected by necessary measures to contain the coronavirus.
We have continued to make progress using technology, however, a delay to the project start date (originally planned to be the beginning of June) has proved inevitable whilst work to support each other in our local communities during the crisis has increased.
The latest news is as follows
- We are delighted to say the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) have now provided us with written confirmation of their support for the project.
- Tenders from 4 companies were received and reviewed by our quantity surveyor, architects and the building committee. Following clarification of some queries, architects recommended a preferred bidder. This recommendation is supported by the Building Committee and has been accepted by the PCC.
- Unfortunately, all tenders exceed our budget by a substantial margin, leaving a shortfall of between £400,000 and £500,000, including VAT (some of which is likely to be re-claimed, see ‘next steps’ below) and fees.
As we continue to pray for wisdom (and urge you to do the same, please), these are as follows:
- Via our architects, advise our preferred bidder of our intention to appoint them to the project.
- Discuss how we set priorities for the project (some parts will have to be deferred to a later phase to stay within budget) and deliver it most efficiently and cost effectively. We plan to have these discussions during the coming month with a possible start date on site in September assuming construction can proceed safely within rules for social distancing and hygiene.
- Submit grant applications to help with all possible aspects of the project, including large items such as the external stonework and the new extension which will provide us with toilets at the church.
- Begin planning a fundraising initiative to reduce the shortfall and complete as much of the project as possible.
- Reclaim VAT where possible.
You may not be surprised to learn that the progress of our building project has been affected by current restrictions due to necessary measures to contain the Corona virus.
We shall continue to try and make progress using technology (whilst also being mindful of pressing priorities to care for each other and our community in these difficult days), however, a delay to the project start date (originally planned to be the beginning of June) now seems inevitable.
Updates will be posted here as and when we have new information to share.
Current steps being taken are:
• The Diocesan Architect has been tasked with reviewing our architect’s responses to some queries raised by the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC). The DAC have told us they remain supportive of the overall project but formal approval is subject to a resolution of queries.
• Our architects are carrying out a detailed analysis of tender returns received from contractors, including ‘what if’ scenarios in view of current delays.
• We pray for God’s strength and wisdom to help us in the days and weeks ahead.
Just before Christmas we learnt of a delay to the submission of designs to the Chichester diocese due to necessary minor revisions. This should not affect our overall schedule which at the time of writing remains on track. Tenders for the project are due to go out at the end of January and work is starting on preparations for the closure of the church anticipated at the end of May/beginning of June.
The scope of the project includes:
- Demolition of the old vestry, boiler house and of a shed to the North of the building, to be followed by construction of an extension to house
o A new vestry (large enough to be used as a small meeting room or creche),
o Toilets (including accessible and baby change facilities)
o A plant room (for equipment, not for pot plants!).
- Repair of external stonework.
- Construction of a new bell ringing gallery at mezzanine level with installation of a small kitchen area at ground level of the bell tower.
- Relocation of the font to create additional space and to create a processional route from the West door along the aisle of the church.
- Repositioning of 2 rows of front pews and realignment of some others to create more flexible space at the front of the church.
- Renewal of heating, lighting, electrical circuits and audio visual equipment.
- Enclosing of the porch on the South side to minimise cold drafts.
Due to the intrusive nature of the work the church will need to close fully during the period of construction, estimated to start in May or June 2020 for a period of around 6-9 months.
Sunday Services (and possibly other, one off events) are to be held at the new Thakeham Village Hall during that time and church team leaders, along with our vicar, Sara-Jane, will shortly meet to discuss how this may be done in a way which glorifies God and blesses our church and village.
Drawings of our proposed scheme continue to be displayed at Church Rooms, adjacent to the car park.
Church Rooms are usually open for coffee after services starting at 0930 or 1030 (see our programme), so why not come along to one of these, then have a look at plans over a coffee and a chat? You will be most welcome.