The best way to preserve historic buildings is to keep them in use, however, the upkeep costs are not small, so a way to generate additional income to help with the bills is often vital. RRA first used this strategy in the hugely successful All Saints Church, in the centre of Hereford, with the inclusion of a café. For St Michael’s and All Angels Church our proposed intervention is to include a bakery and community space whilst retaining the liturgical aspect of the church for a number of functions throughout the church calendar.
The proposed new use of the community bakery programme will service the local businesses as well as helping to fund the upkeep of the church. The space has been carefully considered to allow continuing regular worship and quiet contemplation, flexible community space and demonstration areas, for the new bakery business. This re-ordering process will ensure that the church is able to sustain itself for years to come, whilst continuing to provide worship and community-led activities.
The Grade II* listed building is small so fitting the new bakery equipment appropriately into the available space will be a challenge. To ensure the space could accommodate its new function, RRA modelled the church and intervention to be sympathetic, whilst maximizing the space available.
Working alongside Brampton Abbotts Church Reordering Group (BAcRG), RRA has consulted with the local community, met with the SAC and the Archdeacon of Hereford, gaining their support and endorsements. The scheme is progressing together with the community interest company and Herefordshire Diocese.
The beginning of the project with much discussion on how to secure the future of the church once the repairs have been completed. RRA was appointed as the architects for the project, due to their extensive experience of reordering ecclesiastical buildings as a focus of community life.
The essential repairs and restoration of the church building are completed.
Negotiations with the Planning Office for approval of the bakery are underway.
Planning Approval is finally achieved following lengthy discussions and taking the scheme to committee.
Sadly, after several years of trying to negioiate with the PCC for use of the car park, no agreement could be made and the volunteer group reluctantly abandoned this project.
Click to read the statement by BAcRG Volunteer group explaining their decision.