In 2012, the 10-year inspection brought up some huge problems within the church. The electrics and the lighting had to be replaced and this would be a big and expensive project. So the church team decided to look a little further and wider at the purpose and the future of St John’s. We wanted to be able to serve the community better than we were.
The plan was to regenerate the building by:
- Replacing the flooring
- Replacing the electrical system and have new lighting
- Replacing the heating (which ran off the electrics)
- Making the church and its facilities accessible
- Having better core facilities including toilets, a new kitchen and storage
It was hoped that by carrying out these works, we could make a long-term, sustainable contribution to the local community by providing a safe and warm space for worship, leisure, health, education, childcare and other services that benefit all people of all ages and abilities in our community.
With plans in place and approved by the Diocese and the Chancellor, it was time to raise the £1 million that was needed to make it happen.
The events team at St John’s put together a whole programme of fundraising events year after year. Events like Springfest and Bloomfields to name just two, were enjoyed by the whole of the Spring Grove community. Everyone got involved and the money started to come in for the regeneration project. Events and donations over the years have raised more than £250,000.
The fundraising initiative called the Blossom Scheme was launched in 2014, which invited people to make a regular contribution to the project, as a one off donation or over a three year period. We had huge support for this and raised nearly £60,000 in this way.
Our deepest thanks go to our fundraising team and to the many community groups who generously organised events, who have made donations or helped in any way.
With the money pot growing and the permissions in place it was time to begin the work – at last!
As the build would need to be done in stages, the congregation were consulted and it was decided that we would start with the heating and the lighting. The transformation in 2018 was incredible. Visually the church looked spacious and beautiful and the heating made it so much more useable and comfortable throughout the winter.
The font was then moved to make way for the new toilets. The font is now under the beautiful window that shows the baptism of Jesus. A perfect place.
Building work for a new kitchen, toilets which will both be accessible has now been completed, just in time for our Christmas Spectacular 2019 where we cooked Christmas dinner in our brand new kitchen.
The regeneration will continue in 2020 when we will be replacing the flooring. Unfortunately, the original flooring, which we were hoping to use, is extremely damaged and is not restorable. Ramps will also be put in for access to the high altar.
St John’s is already a welcoming place for the whole community but we want these changes to make the space a useable place for everyone and to welcome new groups of people.