A major new £1million redevelopment project has begun on the high street at Crookes. The development is at St Thomas Church, and involves a new two-storey link block which will join the existing church and church centre, providing improved access to both buildings along with upgraded facilities such as reception area, two-tier lobby, toilets and a first floor atrium. The contractors are the well-established Sheffield company T & C Williams (Builders) Ltd.
The new link building will open up onto a new modern paved ‘village square’ which will replace the existing (and worn out) old school playground.
The main entrance to the church will face Crookes high street, offering easy access and a warm welcome to all. The development, funded primarily by the generous giving of the church congregation, will also include refurbishment of the church centre, formerly the Crookes Endowed School. Kevin Quinton, Church Warden, said, “It’s a simple fact that our current facilities are ready for development. This dynamic project will finally link the church and church centre and will unify the campus in an exciting way.” He added, “The building work will be completed mid-November, weather permitting, ready for Christmas!”
St Thomas Crookes is a fast-growing church, more than 60% of whom are under 30. The Team Rector, Revd Mick Woodhead, commented, “We are delighted that, after many years of prayer, planning and perspiration (!) the new Campus Redevelopment has begun. This project will enable the church to be at the centre of our community, offering amazing new facilities, including training and conference opportunities, and a great welcome to the people of Crookes, the city of Sheffield and beyond. In a time of austerity and challenge, this exciting project brings hope for the future and is definitely good news!”
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is the Campus Redevelopment taking place?
The linking of the church and church centre will bring a much needed permanent connection between these two busy buildings in three major ways: firstly, “UP” – a spiritual connection; one integrated campus at the heart of which is prayer, worship, training and service, where all who enter will be able to ‘meet God‘. Secondly, “IN” – a community connection; where the church family, local and wider community in Sheffield and beyond can gather; a place to ‘meet friends‘. And thirdly, “OUT” – a mission connection, where church and centre become a sending place to serve our local community, city, nation and the nations with the good news of God, that with Jesus we can indeed ‘live life better‘.
2. What will happen?
There will be a new glass-fronted entrance to the church and church centre – an entrance that looks out onto the city and says ‘Welcome!’ The steps and frontage will act as an outdoor stage area facing the village square. Glass sliding doors at two levels will take you into the new entrance lobby where you will find the welcome desk, church office, stairs and lift to the first floor. From the ground floor lobby you will move either into the church via new doors at the back of the present lounge, or to the centre via a new corridor.
The well-worn playground will be transformed into an exciting village square with pedestrian access, plantings etc. which will become a dynamic outdoor gathering area. There will be restricted vehicle access from Crookes as appropriate – great for wedding cars! A flexible, creative design on the first floor will give an open seating space along with new access into the church centre via corridor links. There will be extensive views from this floor through the glass frontage onto the village square, Crookes and the city, and two exciting atrium views looking down to the new entrance. A new disabled WC will be included in the link block, with further toilet and kitchen facilities still available in the church and centre.
3. What about the Church Centre?
The Church Centre (formerly Crookes Endowed School) has served the community well in many ways over the years. However, it’s a simple fact that it needs an upgrade, particularly to lighting, toilets and kitchen facilities. This project will improve all of these facilities while still retaining the character of the original building.
4. When will it be finished?
The aim is that the project will be finished by mid-November 2012.