Building for the Future

Bromley Road Redevelopment Project -The Foundations

My last update in October 2018 appeared just a few days before our contractors Ammcass Group started work on site, and since then the demolition and foundation-laying stage of our project got underway in earnest. We have just about got used to being excluded from half our premises, which now looks like a bomb site - the floor is up, the ceiling down, and dust is everywhere!

The whole project is scheduled to last 12 months, taking us to ‘practical completion’ in Nov 2019, so that we would have time to rectify any residual snags, re-assemble the church organ, give a fresh lick of paint to non-project areas and hang the Christmas decorations! We should probably already give thought to what sort of event we shall hold to mark the church’s re-opening: inviting members, our user groups, other friends and grant donors to join us in celebration.

But all that lies some way ahead. In the next quarter the atrium foundation will be laid and the steel and block superstructure built up, on both ground and first floors. By Easter we should see the roof-lines emerging, and in due course the existing wall to the back hall and landing will be demolished to make way for the new staircase (and disabled lift) leading to the office and upstairs rooms.

The early summer quarter will be taken up with the installation of floors, doors, windows and of course the atrium’s glass roof, as well as the first fixings of mechanical, electrical and plumbing services and carpentry. Our contractors have the benefit of the existing under-gallery area as their site office and welfare space, and because part of the job is renovation of the sanctuary, on a day when it pours with rain they can flexibly switch to undercover working! We are very glad that our many user groups have with just one or two exceptions loyally chosen to stay with us during the works. There have been some chilly and draughty days, but soon the worst of the winter will be behind us. We look forward so much to the new, improved facilities, and so no doubt do they! Our Fairtrade café TCs is also operating again, in the upstairs hall between 10.30 and 14.30, although not on Fridays nor when the U3A are in occupation there on one Thursday monthly.

Church Council recently reviewed the project’s cost and funding budgets, and a cash flow forecast, confirming full support for the on-going work.

The Redevelopment Committee reviews the position at each monthly meeting. Members continue to make generous gifts and donations, while by the end of January we shall have received most of the funds conditionally promised by grant-making bodies. Despite all this excellent news, we are still facing a shortfall in funds, so are very fortunate that the church stands to benefit this year from a substantial bequest, which will help to replenish the reserves.

We shall also embark in the spring on a second round of external fund-raising, now that people will actually be able to see the new building emerging from the ground, and what has been drawn and imagined takes physical shape. Meanwhile, Mary Jackson is in charge of fund-raising events and looks forward to hearing from any member with the enthusiasm and drive to help turn good ideas into reality. Ever onward and upward!

Please see the church website www.beckenhammethodistchurch.co.uk beneath the ‘Building for the Future’ tab, for recent photos of the project building site.

Any queries please send to me on mark.cheesman1@ntlworld.com



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