Re-Ordering Update - March 2015

What We Did Previously

In December 2011 a detailed opinion survey was carried out for the Parochial Church Council. There were three groups of consultees whose responses were analysed separately:-

1. Worshippers at all services at Holy Trinity Church on two consecutive Sundays (27th November and 4th December, 2011).
2. Members of the audience at concerts on 9th and 10th December 2011.
3. Readers of the Parish magazine for December 2011.

The survey questionnaire contained ten questions and the responses were reported to the PCC in February 2012. The seven bullet points below are an extract from the report:-

• The first two questions were about flexibility – for worship and for other events. In both cases there was a majority of more than two thirds of respondents from each of the three groups of consultees in favour of greater flexibility.

• The third question concerned the principle of using the church for community purposes as well as for worship – a question of fundamental importance. In all three groups, more than 90% of respondents were in favour of community uses and it may surprise many that the highest proportion was among the worshippers, with an overwhelming 98% supporting the use of the church for purposes other than worship.

• Question 4 was about whether the church has a welcoming atmosphere. It is reassuring that this received an overwhelming "Yes" from all three groups although the fact that almost half of the responses from worshippers were qualified may indicate that there is some underlying cause for concern.

• More than two thirds of each group found the pews uncomfortable and it is unsurprising that the concert audience, who sat there for more than two hours, expressed the greatest dissatisfaction with 83% responding "No".

• Question 6 did not seek a Yes/No answer and was only addressed to those who found the pews uncomfortable. Of those who expressed a view, chairs were the preferred solution, but with a significant minority suggesting cushions (presumably permanent) on the pews.

• Questions 7, 8 and 9 were also concerned with comfort and superficially the responses are encouraging, with clear majorities from each group indicating that they were warm enough, and that neither audibility nor visibility was a problem. Almost 50% of these responses were qualified however and there are probably issues to be addressed in this area.

• The last question was concerned with the adequacy of the toilet and washing facilities. Perhaps surprisingly, in the light of the responses to the Group Questionnaire, more than 70% of worshippers and magazine readers thought they were adequate, while unsurprisingly, more than 50% of the concert audience, who are more numerous, are on the premises for more than two hours and have the opportunity to take refreshments during the interval did not.

Click on links below for full report which is in two parts:

Full Report - Part 1

Full report - Part II

David Goldsmith

Where Are We Now

If you have read the Report from Consultation 1, you will see that we are currently measuring air flow, damp and temperature etc to get a better sense of our current building and what we need to do to get it right as part of our reordering. You will also have seen that various key aspects have emerged concerning our reordering. These were:

- possibility of removing pews and replacing with chairs
- heating and flooring
- maintaining Lady Chapel as place of prayer
- location of rood screen
- high altar and nave altar use
- porch and entrance area
- position of choir and organ.

These were taken into Consultation 2 on 14th March - but this magazine will be published before any write-up from that second meeting will be possible.

It is worth noting here that regarding our timescale, we hope to have 3 architects short-listed by end of March ready for interviewing in April. As part of that they will be given a brief about the areas which are problems for us, and the ideas emerging. We hope that first plans will enable further consultation which we can also take to the wider community. If all went smoothly, we could be looking at after Easter 2016 to begin any re-ordering, but we will need to keep everyone updated on that as we progress.

Helen Bailey