The Pub Project
The Dean writes:
The Cathedral’s purchase of the old ‘Church House’ pub is now complete and we are in process of finding the right architect to help us develop it properly. I am looking for an architect who will have more than just the ability to repair and redesign. A good architect looks at what the users need from the building. He then shows them what that will look like. It sounds easy but it is a real art and is the work of the architect and the users together. This takes a while but the end result will make the slow progress worthwhile. Engaging with a good architect in this way will always change the people involved as they look at what matters and what they want to achieve. Purpose is at the heart of our use of buildings – whether old pubs or old churches.
A New Year is always a time to consider new opportunities and this one is no exception. 2015 will see work begin to adapt the old ‘Church House’ premises into a new ‘hub’ for the Cathedral’s life and ministry on Stow Hill and beyond. It is clear that the Cathedral needs some space for its very small administrative requirements (we have no office at all, at the moment.) We are not a great institution and don’t want to become one but we do have a few needs which the ancient church building alone is not able to meet. So we intend to have an office and a real street address and letterbox. It will make life a great deal easier and more efficient.
We also imagine that we shall have a hall with kitchen and toilet facilities. It will almost certainly be possible to rent the hall and we hope to be able to host receptions after funerals and baptisms - though wedding receptions may be beyond us. Some of the space will be rented out to bring in sufficient income to cover outgoing expenses and so forth, though at every stage we shall have an eye on making the space available to groups and individuals who want to contribute to the good of the local community and beyond. I am already in touch with some groups and it won’t be possible to do everything we might like – though we certainly will do more than we are doing now.