Looking to expand the use of St John’s

St John’s Church in Hale is a large, Victorian building with wooden pews which currently don’t allow the space to be used flexibly. The church is open daily but is chiefly used on a Sunday for a 9.30am service and for weddings and funerals at other times in the week.

We want the community to have a say in how the building might also be used so that more people can take advantage of the space it offers, while maintaining worship as its primary use.

To this end, a questionnaire is being sent out to people living close to St John’s asking them if they would be happy for the interior of the church to be altered to create more space and what they might like this space to be used for. Ideas include a cafe, soft play area, GP surgery, debt counselling service, rehearsal space, studios, small office space for home workers, and meeting rooms. The results will be analysed and an exhibition will be held at the church on Saturday May 27 from 10am-2pm.

Rev’d Hannah Moore from St John’s Church said: “We have a beautiful building that is open every day and has a worshipping congregation which meets every Sunday, as well as being used for weddings and funerals. However, the church has great potential as a community resource with more community events and participation and we would like local people to tell us what they would like from the church. We are sending out a questionnaire with an Easter card and will look carefully at the responses to see how we can best serve everyone and ensure that the church is a vibrant part of Hale life for many years to come.”

Please help us by filling in the following questionnaire:

1. Would you be happy for the interior of the church to be altered in order to create more space for complementary uses, while maintaining worship as its primary use?
2. How can you envision this church being used for:
a) Community use, (eg. café, soft play area, debt counselling, GP surgery)

b) Cultural (mosaic studio, orchestra rehearsal, book-swap library, local history display)
c) Commercial (office space, shop, meeting rooms):
We really need your ideas! What does our community need? At the back of St John’s is a box for you to pop your ideas into, alternatively email admin@badshotleaandhale.org (please note, we will not reply to emails to this address – it is just a way of collecting ideas)

4 thoughts on “Looking to expand the use of St John’s”

  1. I can’t believe what I am reading. Enough desicration was done to St Andrews in Farnham!! Surely a church’s use can be improved without wrecking the interier of an old Church. Religion is not a modern concept…it is ancient and should be venerated and respected and old traditions should be followed. I can’t understand why people would want to take out beautiful wooden pews and add a chair that doesn’t enhance the old interior in any way. I have always felt this church is neglected and unloved and maybe just a stone round the neck for the clergy involed with it.

  2. Dear Marion, St Andrews dates back to the 12th Century and pews were a largely Victorian invention. But I agree about retaining beauty in a building and trust me St John’s is much loved.

  3. I love St John’s Church, I was married and 3 of my 4 children were baptised there, but much as I love the pews, they do limit the way the space can be used and make worship very formal and perhaps for many, do not foster a feeling of participation and equality. At St Marks it is possible to remain formal but also by pulling the chairs around in a circle the atmosphere can be made to feel more friendly. They give the space more flexibility.

    The internal space of this church was made to serve the community that existed when it was built. It is a great shame that for much of the time this beautiful building is not being used and surely putting it to good use to serve the community we have now, whilst not interfering with times of worship, must be the best way to model Christianity and perhaps welcome more people into worship. At the same time the building will become more loved by all.

  4. Faith is both ancient and modern. It has deep, ancient roots but it is alive now. The buildings in which we might worship may be beautiful and loved but they are just containers for that faith and worship and I think should be flexible and adapt to the people who are practising their faith, or seeking some meaning, or just want a little sanctuary. St John’s will remain beautiful whatever happens and to me will feel more beautiful if the building is more full of life.

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