Services were held in September to celebrate the successful completion of Phase 1 of the building project at St Andrew’s. The newly reordered church was packed as vicar, Canon Revd Jeremy Cresswell, welcomed the congregation back after 4 months’ worshipping in the church hall. A wonderful feeling of light and space designed by Thomas Ford & Partners has transformed the interior of the 1912 church into a fully flexible space. “When they built this church 100 years ago the Christians in Oxshott wanted to make a statement of what their faith meant” said Revd Cresswell. “With this marvellous reordered church we can move to a culture of invitation – it has been reshaped for the world we live in today”.
He unveiled a new nave altar, lectern and font designed in dark oak to echo the retained features of the church, but arranged on a raised chancel for improved sightlines. The opening services, a concert by the Merbecke Choir and two weddings gave opportunities for both the new Makin digital organ and the new B&H sound system for the worship band to be put through their paces within the improved acoustics. Although the underfloor heating within the Rainleaf oak floor has not yet been needed, the side ramp has been well used already. The replacement of the pews with attractive light oak stackable chairs and choir frontals designed by ICS offers a range of layouts for services and other church events.
Thanking the project team and those that helped raise over £500,000 from the congregation, Revd Cresswell said there were exciting plans for Phase 2 – the replacement of the hall, offices and ancillary buildings with modern facilities which would serve the community and keep the church at the heart of village life.