Our architect, Eleanor McEvedy, has been designing the proposed north and south porches, which are an important aspect of our HLF project. They are needed to improve the sustainability of St Botolph’s Church as follows:
The heating costs are exorbitant and the proposed porches will reduce this by limiting the temperature fluctuations. The ease of use of the new doors would take away the need to hold open the north doors whilst the arrival of a coffin is waited for a funeral for example; whilst a wheelchair user enters or whilst a stock delivery for the coffee shop is carried in, which allows the heat to be lost.
Currently the doors are dark in colour and solid in appearance. They give people the impression that the church is closed or locked. We often witness people trying the doors, finding the handles and the steps difficult and walking away instead of entering with confidence.
During our recent consultation period for the ‘Passion for People’ project, we asked 189 people about the porches and 91% were in favour of them.
The proposed porches will be transparent, they will allow the interior of the church to be seen from the outside, allowing potential visitors to see the activity inside and then decide to enter with confidence. They will provide a light, easy and unobtrusive level-entry to people of all abilities. The porches will retain the existing medieval joinery of doors and frames which will be held in the open position during the church opening hours and provide security during periods of closure.
This is an exciting step in the HLF project and everyone at St Botolph’s are looking forward to this new change. A site meeting with the Victorian Society, Heritage England and the Diocesan Advisory Committee will help move the designs forward very soon.