Regarding the proposed building alterations to St Gregory’s Church, the bare bones of the proposal is that the tower floor has to be lowered to a level of the rest of the church floor to accommodate wheelchair access to the new toilet facility in the tower area.
This means lowering the tower floor by 20 inches.
The proposed church improvements have been given a rough estimate of £200,000. If, for instance, they find during the work any archaeological remains, then the building work is stopped, archaeologists are brought in – which the church has to pay for – and you could see your costs rising to £400,000.
I know the toilets are needed in the church but I think the present proposals are flawed. They will reduce the capacity of the church by over 50 seats. These are needed for the well-attended services.
There is an alternative proposal which I believe should be considered. It is to use the vestry to accommodate the toilets.
The vestry is down to be refurbished and putting the toilets there would kill two birds with one stone. Also, you can get a fixed price from your builders, which you can’t if you put them in the tower area.
If you put the toilets in the vestry, it would mean installing a mezzanine floor so you have two levels, vestry upstairs, toilets and other facilities downstairs.
If you decide to do it that way, it would mean opening up the north door (which would give you your second fire exit) and creating a wheelchair-friendly pathway to a new door into your toilets/vestry.
Please note, St Gregory’s PCC and the toilet working party.
Ex-fabric committee chairman