Church Grounds Update November 2015
Began at the Elders Emmaus Retreat in March 2014 with discussions on the need to improve our premises and the Church’s profile to the local community through better use of external and internal signage, upkeep of grounds and garden areas, notice boards and especially the frontage facing the Brighton Road. These discussions were reported to the Elders and Church Meetings in May / June 2014.
In August / September 2014 the following individuals formed the group to look into improving the external presentation of the church:
- Revd Russell Furley-Smith,
- John Denison – Church Secretary / Convenor Finance & Stewardship Committee.
- Judith Johnson – Convenor Outreach & Communications Committee,
- John Hain – Property & Fabric Coordinator,
- Francois Smith – Architect – Consultant / Adviser
The initial review was directed at the following areas:
- Rear grounds fronting Pampsiford Road. In view of the size of the overall project it was agreed to defer work in this area,
- Fencing / barriers facing the drive / public car park. In view of the size of the overall project it was agreed to defer work in this area,
- Trees / shrubbery facing the Brighton Road and bordering along the Purley Memorial Hospital boundary,
- Bollards – controlling vehicle entry and exit from the church grounds,
- Notice Boards – those fronting both Pampisford Road and the Brighton Road,
- Frontage on Brighton Road – how to improve the appearance and impact on people passing the Church.
All the areas were to be studied with a view to reducing maintenance and clutter while enhancing the visual impact of the building.
At the June 2015 AGM a slide presentation was made to Church Meeting providing details of the work the group felt needed to be carried out to enhance the view of what is a beautiful church building rather than hide it as is the present position. This would at the same time reduce the required maintenance. The proposals were agreed by that meeting and a resolution backing these proposals was agreed to obtain Southern Synod approval of the project. This approval was given on 20th July 2015.
The September Church Meeting was advised that due to delays in finalising the contractors and colouring of the tarmac we were now approaching the winter period when it would be difficult to lay the tarmac. While we have split the project into various segments they are all connected and for the most part cannot be treated in isolation when the work is carried out. For that reason we have delayed implementing the majority of the work until March 2016. Below are details of the present position with regards to each portion of the project.
- Trees / shrubbery – we have an agreed company to handle clearance of the trees and shrubbery. We can however begin some of the clearance now. The two trees, which do not have “Tree Preservation Orders” in the front as well as the bushes at the front of the church will be removed in mid November 2015. The remaining bushes / areas by the South porch and the Tower and along the hospital boundary will be cleared in the spring.
- Bollards – a supplier which we believe will be more reliable and provide enhanced equipment has been agreed by the group. They have been notified as such but informed that no final decision can be made until early next year.
- Notice Boards – as advised and shown at the AGM the three existing notice boards on the Brighton Road and the single notice board facing Pampisford Road will be removed. The Brighton Road boards will be replaced by a single notice board near the current board on the Pear Tree Pub side. This board will not be angled like the present board but face parallel to the Brighton Road with an added base panel stating “Purley Youth Centre at the Rear of the Church”. A duplicate board will replace the Pampisford Road board. The notice board used by Literary Society will remain with the ability for the Literary Society to remove it when not in use and for maintenance purposes.
- Frontage on Brighton Road – as shown during the AGM presentation, this involves a substantial amount of clearance and preparation of the area prior to the laying of the coloured tarmac. The group have preferred contractors to carry out the preparation and laying of the tarmac but are still working on the details of the exact colouring of the tarmac. The coloured tarmac is shown in areas 1, 3, 4 and 7 on the Site Plan. This is the basic reason for the delay in finalising the program of works.
Since the AGM the group (under advice) have increased the speed reduction humps along the hospital side from one to two. The first one as previously advised, near the three parallel parking spaces just before the tower, with the second just below the downward slope from the back of the church buildings. The advice received was that two humps are more likely to slow traffic than a single one.
The final areas of low maintenance shrubbery, posts, fencing and placement of the benches (in the middle framing the commemorative stone) will be carried out as the tarmacing is completed.
The Group appreciates the support that it has had from members of the congregation.
For and on behalf of the Group,
Author: David Wiggs
I am the webmaster for Purley United Reformed Church and have been involved with the church since my late teens. I work in Croydon and live in Caterham.