Developing > Longitudinal projects
Early on in our five-year project, we selected four groups that were looking at ways to improve their historic buildings to work with and support over the duration of the project. Activities with these groups have included bespoke workshops and design training, as well as regular meetings.
These groups are:
These groups are:
St. Mary & Holy Trinity, known as Bow Church (London)
Situated on an unusual 'island' site, Bow Church in the east end of London has stood in the middle of a highway and served its community for 700 years. As well as dealing with essential repairs to the fabric of their historic building, the community at Bow Church are working with local partners to improve its capacity to host a wider range of community activities, not just inside the building but also in and around their churchyard.
Image of Churchwarden Frances Reynolds and Rector Rev. Debbie Frazer building a model of their church during Design Training in Sheffield in September 2016.
ISRAAC Somali Community & Cultural Association (Sheffield)
ISRAAC are a Somali cultural and community association based in a former vestry hall in Cemetery Road, Sheffield where they have been tenants for 30 years. After a successful fundraising campaign, the ownership of the building was transferred from the local authority to their association in 2017. ISRAAC are exploring how to unlock the potential of the variety of spaces within the building to support a wide range of community, educational, leisure and faith activities and ensure a sustainable and enterprising future.
Image from Challenges, Assets and Opportunities workshop with members and partners of ISRAAC in February 2016.
St. Peter's Church (Chester)
St Peter's is situated in the heart of the historic city of Chester and stands on a tight corner site, above part of the Roman Praetorium. The congregation moved into the church in 2013 and now run and facilitate a range of activities including a theatre group, art therapy workshops and a monthly night church, as well as a cafe which is open to the public daily from Monday to Saturday. St Peter's are exploring how to make their Grade I-listed building more accessible, flexible and welcoming for users and visitors.
Image of members of St. Peter's taking part in Design Training in London in September 2017.
St John's United Reformed Church (Stourbridge)
A 19th century church by Victorian architect G. E. Street, it was acquired by the United Reformed Church in 1990. In recent years, the church hosted tenants Black Country Radio and users including Rainbows and Guides, a food bank and many concerts and exhibitions. We began working with the congregation at St. John's in 2016 to support them in exploring how the building could better cater for these diverse uses. However, in 2017, with a growing list of repairs and limited resources with which to tackle them, St John's made the difficult decision to close their church and the congregation have now moved elsewhere.
Image from workshop with the congregation of St. John's in October 2016.