The Right Rev David Williams, Bishop of Basingstoke, opened our new Church Hall on 25 January 2015. Pictured here, cutting the red tape, with our Vicar, the Rev Yann Dubreuil and church members in the background.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when
he is old he will not depart from it. Prov. 22:6
In recent years St Mary’s Church, Bentley had recognised the urgent need for more space in which to teach the increasing number of children being attracted to St Mary’s Church. It was therefore decided to build a Church Hall adjacent to the existing Church to provide the additional teaching facilities needed. To provide more accommodation immediately the PCC purchased and erected a heated marquee adjacent to the Church tower which has proved invaluable in enabling the children’s work at St Mary’s to flourish and grow – surely a unique solution to creating additional space in a Church?
Meanwhile David Nobes of Davtee Chartered Building Consultancy in Alton offered his company’s services to design an attractive and cost efficient two storey Church Hall building incorporating a traditional oak frame, clay tiles, lime rendered panels and glass. Davtee collaborated with The Green Oak Carpentry Company of Liss to come up with a design that managed to satisfy all key interest groups, including English Heritage, to the extent that their design was granted planning approval by EHDC last September. This design provides flexible sound proofed areas for children’s teaching & small groups and opens up into one large ground floor space to accommodate celebrations involving the whole Church.
On Monday, September 23rd St Mary's Church marked the start of construction with a 'Cutting the First Sod' ceremony. The builders responsible for the groundworks and brickwork: Southdowns Builders of Petersfield waited whilst the introductions were made by the vicar Yann Dubreuil who passed on the prayers and best wishes of the Bishop of Basingstoke, the Rt Revd Peter Hancock; he was followed by Ken Carter the East Hants district councillor with responsibility for community investment and regeneration and architect David Nobes who together dug up the first sod to enable construction work to start. The Church Hall is scheduled for completion in late summer 2014. Steve Fice who heads up fundraising for the project, and is a member of St Mary’s Church, commented that Church members of all ages are working enthusiastically to raise the funds necessary to complete this ambitious building project on time.
The Building Specification
The ground floor is open plan but with high performance acoustic partitions to sub divide the space. The existing Church room has been remodelled to provide two toilets, new kitchen equipment and additional storage facilties.
The project has been completed in three phases:
We do not have all the funds as yet, but have faith in our God to meet all our needs. To find out more about how you can help with this please see the Church Hall Fundraising page.