Building work continues at St John’s

The second phase of building work at Egham’s parish church has begun, after completion of the foundations of the new building in late 2015.

The building work is part of the church’s Building for the Future project and since early 2015 builders have been working on site to demolish the old church centre, readying the site for the building of a new centre to meet the needs of the church and community. Work was also required on the original Georgian church building to create the foundations of the new link between this and the complementary modern extension.

The second phase of work began on 4th January after members of the congregation gathered on the footprint of the building to share prayers and hopes for the new facility after the Sunday services the previous day.

The project has been in development for over 6 years, with plans being finalised and sent to the council in 2011. Although planning permission was granted in March 2012, work could not begin until 3 years later to allow time for the church to raise the necessary funds. The project has been affected by recent inflation with building costs rising by 15% in the last year, meaning that the initial £3 million project now requires £5.5 million to complete.

However, the community around the parish have much to be thankful for. Sufficient funds were raised to allow the first phase to begin shortly before the planning permission expired in March and the month of November 2015 alone saw a miraculous £1.1 million raised through donations and interest free loans from the congregation. They hope to raise the remaining funds in the same way, alongside grants over the next year, to allow a gradual development of the interior of the building once it is completed.

For the supporters of the project it is not about money but the new opportunities for the church to serve the community. Once built the new Easter Centre will house many existing initiatives in its convenient location between the High Street and Manor Farm Lane, as well as providing the opportunity for future community events and activities. It is hoped to replace Virginia Lodge as the venue for The Kitchen, the community café for all ages that meets on Wednesdays, and the Tuesday night Student Life Group. It will also provide space for children’s groups and better accessibility for visitors and existing church members.

The building is due to be open for use in early 2017.

Further information can be found on line at the St John’s website: http://www.stjohnsegham.com/category/latest-news/building/.