Wellingborough URC - Our Buildings

Wellingborough United Reformed Church is a significant building in the local community, known affectionately as the Pork Pie Church! With a growing town centre community we recognise that changes to our church building are necessary to enable us to carry out, more effectively, our mission to serve the whole community by providing enhanced, accessible and more up to date facilities. This need would be achieved primarily in two ways, firstly, expand and develop the area known as 'The Drew Chapel' into fit for purpose community spaces and secondly provide an ease of access ramp to the front of the building.

This would give us more space and flexibility to serve the needs of the community, particularly during the week. Our proposal is to remove some pews in the worship area, leaving the columns of architectural significance exposed, and dividing the enlarged Drew Chapel into three separate functioning areas. The new area, following the curved line of the balcony, would be sectioned off with a glass partition with central doors leading into the main worship space. The changes would give us more valuable space to enhance the Drew Chapel area in the ways stated below whilst enabling this area to be heated independently, creating a warm and comfortable environment for our work with the community during the week.

The three segregated spaces would be:

1. The area to the North West of the aisle is to be sectioned off and will seat up to 40. This room would be used for meetings/services/ - a Crèche and private consultations. It would be available for groups or individuals in the town needing a small meeting place with coffee facilities.

2. The area to the South East of the aisle would be partitioned off for a purpose built servery, with hot and cold water supply on hand. Here refreshments could be prepared and served to the public but closed off when not in use.

3. The central part of the Drew Chapel would be a general seating area for visitors, re-decorated and greatly enhanced with comfortable chairs and tables, making it totally user friendly.

There will be five chunks of work to bring about our completed vision

1. The sloping floor in the extended Drew Chapel area would be levelled horizontally to its lowest point and become continuous across, removing a trip hazard from the current different levels.

2. The next change would be to lower the porch floor area to the newly created level of the Drew Chapel and re-adjust the steps accordingly. The proposal is to then change the main entrance to the Church, creating central glass doors. To achieve this, the current side doors would be blocked off, the war memorial plaques moved further to either side of the newly created central doors and the figure of peace would be moved to a corner on the back wall - mounted on a plinth. The glass doors would enable one to see straight through into the Drew Chapel area and through to the worship area of the Church, making both the Drew Chapel and worship area lighter and more welcoming.

3. Once the porch and steps have been lowered, we propose to re-construct and re-direct part of the sloping pathway from the north west side gate, making it curve round alongside the building. This would give a gradual incline to the porch entrance, suitable for wheelchair users or others unable to climb the steps. We feel this is necessary so that the Church can be accessed from the front by the disabled and elderly, in the same way as other people, maintaining their dignity.

4. Complete the re-configuration of the inside of the building to create segregated spaces, partition of the main worship area, install segregated heating and create storage areas out of the two previous porches.

5. Finally the rest of the Church building, after 53 years of wear and tear, will be re-decorated to compliment the refurbishments.