Proposals for a New Community Hall at S.Thomas the Apostle, Elson Fr. Simon Rundell, SCP Parish Priest
Overview Statement of Significance the existing Church Hall Statement of Need Mission Perspective Community Perspective Proposed Solution Discarded Solutions Funding & Timescales
Statement of Significance Elson is a small parish on the edge of Gosport with 16,500 souls in my cure Features in bottom 25% of IMD scoring in Hampshire Full-core Surestart provision in community Church dates from 1845 & has been subject to a process of mission-focused reordering since 2005
Statement of Need Mission The parish believes that the buildings are tools of its mission Provide a focus of the local community Base for outreach, youth ministry and evangelism Source of funding to underwrite mission
Proposed Solution We submit a proposal based upon the following key principles: Cost-Effectiveness Realistic and based upon our situation Mission and Community Focus Providing quality in this community A desire to provide for the local community
Style and Position S. Thomas, Elson is a unique building in this community It would be inappropriate to mimic this Physical connection to this building would demean it Seeking a solution which is conducive to the Church & the built environment surrounding it
Why next to the Church? We can’t afford to develop the existing site! Distance from current church hall fractures missional opportunities Churchyard closed in 1908, last interment in 1927, corner of Elson Lane & Elson Road redeveloped 1967
Location Mature Trees do not have Tree Preservation Orders yet We are committed to their preservation Other locations on site cannot ensure such preservation Other locations would impose on church appearance
Style Seeking a building which is conducive Needs to mirror shape without parody Cloister-style unrealistic Attached to either end of Church building would detract from unique sacred space This solution meets our requirements within the given space
Construction Location placed over 45 graves Pile Foundations with ground beams to cause minimal disruption to graves and tree roots Any graves which still need to be disturbed to be reinterred in ossiary in the North part of the yard.
Construction The Hall comprises a single-story construction which is able to provide a large hall slightly larger than the existing one (135m2 as opposed to 100m2 at present) and the same quantity of storage space. Cost effective solution
Facilities Parish office Meeting room for small group meetings such as PCC, pastoral encounters and staff support and training. Soft Tarmac surface and enclosed in a small 1m fence to enable the Pre-School to meet their Foundation Stage Curriculum needs for safe outside play.
Parking Parking is not an issue Current hall only provides for six cars The Church site is a more centrally located site than the Hall, close to local schools A Bus Stop is immediately outside the Church, encouraging the use of public transport The adjacent roads (Elson Road, Elson Lane, Frater Lane) are all unrestricted parking and could easily absorb the increased traffic to that area
Parking Despite fears from local residents, this will have minimal additional impact on roads which apart from 8.30-9am and 3-3.30pm (School Pickup) are quiet Church Hall is not in use at these peak times
Parking The Hall Use Survey indicates that the majority of hall users access the current hall on foot. Usage is distributed throughout the day and the last evening hall use ends at around 9pm. Weekend hall use (when local residents have their cars at home) is minimal. The Church should be discouraging car use and healthier lifestyles by not making parking provision. Any parking provision would threaten the heritage trees in the churchyard and the parish is unwilling to remove any of these simply to create parking spaces.
Adjacent Car Park It is extensively used by Park and GADSAD users and so there is little space That extra 100 yards makes all the difference and if users have driven to the hall, they will avoid that walk where possible The Car Park has a lingering reputation for insecurity, and so users are reluctant to park there at a distance from their own activity fearing car crime or vandalism.
Traffic Conclusions If the parish locality on a Sunday morning (when many residents also have their cars parked) is able to absorb 10 or so cars, then one might conclude from the Hall Use Survey that the additional hall traffic would have little impact, as the times of Church Hall use and Church use rarely coincide When they do, it would be because a single event would combine the two of them, thus making the overall impact less severe.
Funding Elson has no resources other than the existing Church Hall Sale for development is the only funding option Developers are being approached Church Hall will decay and become unusable within next 5 years
Timescales Because of the Hall condition, we seek to move quickly on this project We envision a planning process through 2010 ...and we pray to have the new Community Hall available by Easter 2011
Conclusion We believe that this project is one whose kairos has come We pray that this cost-effective, missional solution will find approval We seek to deliver it within a short timescale and within a tight budget We pray that you are able to support our vision