What is the Concept of our Project?
Our project concept is to construct a new building in the heart of Shavington village that will offer modern facilities for both community and worship use.
Who are we?
St. Mark’s church is located in Shavington, just south of Crewe in Cheshire, and is one of two churches in the parish of Weston, part of the Diocese of Chester. The existing church was built as a “mission church” in 1894 and a separate church hall was added at a slightly later date. The present kitchen and toilet facilities were built as a “Link building” between the two in 1998. Mission churches can be found all around the country and were traditionally a low cost, lightweight option – St. Mark’s is no exception. The church building is a wooden framed structure clad in corrugated iron sheeting (this was covered in a thin layer of stone cladding in 1975) with a corrugated asbestos sheet roof and internal wooden panelled walls. Mission churches were always considered as a “temporary” solution pending construction of something more substantial when funds permitted. The church owns a field which was gifted in the 1930s specifically to provide land for the construction of a new church and funds have been collected since then which, together with an invested legacy, currently amount to around £300k ring-fenced for a new building. We were recently successful in applying for and being awarded a grant from the Co-Op Community Fund towards the project.
Why do we need a new build?
Our Quinquennial (5-yearly) architectural inspection in 2015 revealed major deterioration of the roof and the architect advised a remaining life of 5 years. Due to the lightweight nature of the building, major reconstruction would be necessary, as the existing walls will not support a new roof. It was decided to take the opportunity to use our land and funds and embark on a new build project, not only to provide a replacement building but to expand our current facilities to fulfil the needs of an expanding community. The existing church and hall buildings are poorly insulated, draughty and do not address modern day expectations in such areas as disabled access or facilities for parents and babies. Toilet facilities are limited.
Who do we serve at present?
As well as our worshipping community, St. Mark’s church and hall both provide venues for a wide range of community activities. These are listed for convenience in the Appendix.
How will our project help the community?
Shavington village is expanding rapidly due to several ongoing large scale housing developments; the developers have not made any significant provision for additional local facilities however. There is also a large elderly element in the local population. The village itself has few facilities, poor public transport (particularly at evenings and weekends) and very limited public parking. St. Mark’s is currently a well-used venue for community activities but we often have to decline bookings due to lack of space.
St. Mark’s New Build Project – Outline of Proposals
Our proposals will enhance our current community provision and offer more facilities to a wider cross section of the population. In summary we want to:
- Enlarge our main Community and Worshipping Spaces
- Enable the two main spaces to become a single space for large events
- Provide a Community Cafe
- Provide a Meeting Room
- Provide a safe enclosed outdoor play area for children
- Offer modern toilet and baby changing facilities
- Ensure easy disabled access
- Provide easily accessible car parking
What are the details of our proposals?
The proposed new building on the church field will comprise of the following main elements:
- Community Space and Worshipping Space linkable via an acoustic dividing door
- Kitchen serving the Community Space
- Entrance Foyer giving direct access to Spaces and Cafe with adjacent Office
- Community Cafe with Servery seating approx 24
- Meeting Room seating approx 12
The building will have a footprint of approximately 600m2 (the field size is approx. 2600m2). The remainder of the field will have car parking, an enclosed play area and other outdoor space (e.g. for an accessible garden area and picnic tables during the summer).
Has the Community been involved in the process?
Different parts of the local community have been involved at various stages of the project to date:
- Residents – public meetings have been held to explain concepts and progress; survey (in paper and electronic form) undertaken to ascertain residents’ views.
- Users – those who currently use our facilities have been consulted about the proposals.
- Shavington-cum-Gresty Parish Council – involved at project concept stage and broadly supportive of proposals. Informed of current progress July 2019.
- Cheshire East Council – responded positively to our pre-planning application enquiry; local Ward Councillors broadly supportive
What is the current status of the project?
The project is nearing completion of the design phase, after which we will proceed into the planning application phase together with further public consultation.
If you still have questions please download and view this document.
A big thank you to everyone who has helped with or supported us at any of our fundraising events.
- Thursday 24th October 2019 – Fashion Show by Edinburgh Woollen Mill in St. Mark’s church hall (evening).
- Friday 15th November 2019 – Race Night at Shavington Club.
- Saturday 7th December 2019 – Christmas Afternoon Tea in St. Mark’s church
Please continue to support the project as we move forwards.
Current Community Activities at St Mark’s
- Weekly Friendship Lunch
- Parents and Toddler Group
- Craft and Chatter
- Community Choir (SAS – Singers at St. Mark’s)
- Local St. Luke’s Hospice Support Group
- Women’s Institute
- Slimming World
- Prize Bingo
- Pilates Group
- Ladies Evenings
- Choral and Brass Band Concerts
- Pie and Film Nights
- Afternoon Teas
- Local Drama Group and Pantomine Group Rehearsals
- Craft Fayres
- Ad-hoc Community Group and Business Meetings
- Birthday and Anniversary Parties