Church of the Year Project Report 2014-15

Maidstone Road was chosen as one of two Churches of the Year in 2014-15.   The project was to revamp the front area of the church building. This was to make us more conspicuous from the street, make the building look more welcoming, use it for activities that engage with the community and improve overall access to the building by removing steps and widening the driveway.

Here's Mark's introduction to the project back in May 2014:

The main building work was carried out in August and September 2014 and we have just one or two small jobs left before it is fully complete.   Here are a few before and after pictures:

We've already started to make use of the new facility as the photos below show.   We also plan to use it as a free café and  for a community BBQ amongst other things.    Feedback from the local community has been positive about the changes we have made.

If you are looking for the original project proposal, it's in the In Touch blog.

We are pleased to say that,as a result of generous giving from a number sources, including a legacy and gifts from EBA Churches,  the full costs of the project have been met.   We praise God as we had very few funds when we started but believed the Lord was calling us to make a step of faith.    We would like to thank all those churches who encouraged us with their giving and prayers.  Here's a little thank you video:

Project Details
We always envisaged this primarily as a mission project – to make the building feel more accessible to the community and to create a useful outdoor space.  The idea was to make us “part of the street” by taking down most of the front wall, removing the shrubbery and laying down a much larger paved area.  We widened the entrance to the car park which was narrow, and made a drop-off space for the elderly and disabled.  A diagram is below. 
At present all of the windows and most of the doors at the front of the building are glazed in obscure glass making it almost impossible for anyone to see people inside the church. During the Summer of 2015 the windows and doors will be re-glazed with clear glass making it possible for people coming to the church or just passing to see inside .