God has given us a fantastic site in central Reading, one that allows us to play an active part in the life of the town centre and to serve the community. Our buildings are all the result of people, at different times, acting on a vision of what God was calling the church to be.
With the prospect of a new sense of vision for Greyfriars under David Walker’s leadership, the PCC agreed in mid 2016 that work on building options should re-start.
Consultations across the congregations helped clarify what we thought was needed, and there followed a necessary but lengthy process of consultation with the Reading Borough Council planning department, Historic England (as the church itself is a Grade 1 listed building), and the Diocese. This has led to substantial changes in the proposals, which we believe and trust are part of God helping us to get the focus of the project right.
In the light of these discussions, in early March 2019 the PCC agreed that we should proceed with a full planning application for the top end of the site. This encompasses the refurbishment of 2/4 Sackville St, mainly as offices but including also a prayer room; a link from there to the church incorporating new main toilets; and a new, glazed entrance atrium replacing the existing West End and incorporating coffee shop and bookshop areas. The application, with all the required supporting documentation, was submitted on 17th April. Details of the proposals can be found by clicking on this link:- Redevelopment Proposals.
The PCC agreed that in parallel we should develop two options for the lower end of the site (i.e. the Greyfriars Centre): a simplified version of the new-build design that we have already been looking at, and a comprehensive refurbishment of the existing building with a mezzanine floor inserted into the main hall. These options will considered by the PCC in July.
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