The Rev Kim Weeks, assistant curate, North End Team Ministry, talks about the plans to revamp St
Among other things, it will involve re-modelling the front of this 1970s-style building to allow access for all.
Love it or loathe it, the front entrance of St Mark’s is a high profile part of North End.
The church building is used by the community every day.
As well as a place of worship and contemplation, it is a hub for a whole range of community work, from the community café through to support services and on to social activities.
Now 40 years old, the building is a hangover from a period when, sadly, access was not considered an issue.
The ramps that lead up to the church entrance and down to the café entrance are impressive features, but they represent a real barrier to less mobile members of the community.
As a wheelchair user myself, I was glad when we started to look at how we could get a wheelchair into the building on all floors.
But we soon realised it was a much bigger issue than that – we really needed to address the issue of how welcoming the building was to all.
So we’ve drawn up some new plans that will remove all the ramps and create a single street-level access to the building with both stairs and high quality lift to all levels.
This new frontage is just one of five elements of our ‘Every Square Inch’ campaign, which will revolutionise the building for community use.
The idea is that we use every square inch of the building effectively.
The £280,000 project also includes a new kitchen and dining area, a new studio for physical programmes, and the refurbishment of three community rooms.
There is still a lot of work to do, planning and raising the remaining funds, but the project seems to have really caught the local imagination.
I am longing for the day when God’s warmth and love here in North End is easily accessible to all.
We have a beautiful church in this building rarely seen by many because it is difficult to access.
n ST MARK’S CHURCH, Derby Road, North End
Sunday services: 10am: Holy Communion; 6.30pm: Evening service (3rd Sunday of the month only)
Contact the parish office: email@example.com or 023 9266 5753