Background to Building Your Church (BYC)

The worship space here at St Andrew’s (essentially the original church building from 1912) was successfully updated in 2014, as Phase 1.

Since then, we have been navigating our way through developing Phase 2, the project to update the ancillary buildings dating from 1971 that wrap around the west and north sides of the church.

The initial assumption was that we would completely rebuild the ancillary buildings. However, for various reasons (including the high costs involved, and the environmental impact of demolishing and rebuilding everything except the church itself) our focus switched to a major refurbishment of the existing structures.

We continue to work with our building specialists and advisers and others to ascertain the best and most cost-effective way to deliver the project – structurally, financially and environmentally. The environmental impact of the project has been a particular focus of the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) as they seek to find ways of meeting the Church of England’s target of becoming carbon net zero by 2030.

There’s no doubt that recent years have thrown up many challenges, and the BYC Steering Group has undergone considerable and prayerful re-thinking of the project, as follows:

  • practically – learning from the pandemic and the need for new ways of doing things
  • financially – being sensitive to the current economic climate, with soaring costs of energy and building materials and our own tougher economic situations
  • environmentally – evaluating the environmental cost of demolishing a building and rebuilding something in its place
  • structurally – ascertaining if what we have is robust enough to refurbish rather than rebuild
  • permissions – responding to the DAC’s rejection of the original plans and Elmbridge’s rejection of some of the new plans at pre-planning stage
  • spiritually – striving for all that we do to be based on the teaching of the Lord Jesus, especially our service to others
  • prayerfully – understanding where God is leading us.  As in 1 Corinthians 3.9, we truly believe that we have been partners with God, and that he has led us to where we are today.

As a result of this prayer, reflection, due diligence and perseverance, we are embarking on a major programme of refurbishment rather than re-building, with upgrades to many aspects of our building – and we believe that the result will be transformational.