Haslemere Methodist Church Development project
This whole project seeks to create and promote a safe space, within the ethos of the church, where a wide range of people of all backgrounds can find a welcoming, comfortable and cheerful place to meet, to pursue their particular interests, hobbies and needs, and to enjoy rest, recreation and a warm welcome.
The Methodist Church has stood on Lion Green for 45 years and during that time has fulfilled many of the aspirations of those who built it. Having moved from a rather cramped building near the station, they were determined to create a larger space which would be adequate both for the Church’s own programme and for a variety of community groups needing a congenial place to meet. Part of this vision was to develop a pastoral centre where people with a range of needs could find a friendly face, a listening ear and that very British panacea –a cup of tea. Some of those who came at that time still attend some of the self-help and other groups which keep the premises busily occupied for much of the week.
At the heart of the premises is a large and flexible worship area. The street-level entrance opens to a range of rooms and spaces which are home to a wide variety of community activities. People from the youngest to the elderly share in singing and in dancing, in expanding their knowledge and skills, in looking after themselves and looking after others and in simply relaxing on the café area.
After these years of continual busy-ness, the building has begun to look and to feel “tired” and the expectations of those who use it have moved on with the times. The Church members have therefore committed themselves to a development project to upgrade the various facilities on offer, to better equip the café area and the worship area and generally to create a brighter, more comfortable place for people to meet for the wide variety of activities for which the building is used.
The project can be summarised under five headings:
· To improve the view from the street, increasing visibility into and through the building to allow people passing to see what goes on inside
· To upgrade, refurbish and redecorate throughout to create a brighter, more welcoming and more comfortable environment for all those using the various parts of the building
To particularly upgrade the café area to meet modern catering standards and to enhance the space with more conducive lighting and décor, new furniture and fittings and updated kitchen facilities and equipment.
· To improve and extend the rather inadequate storage facilities to the benefit of all those using the premises.
· To update the worship area, introducing improved lighting, IT, sound and vision possibilities to enhance the experience of worship and to expand the possible uses of this significant space.
All this will require a considerable sum of money – around £330,000 - and fundraising has already begun. It is our hope that, together with generosity from within the church community, the burden of finding the necessary finance will be eased by some encouraging support from within the local community. Further details of costs will emerge early in 2018.