The present building is over 50 years old and has given sterling service to the church and the community but is now deteriorating to the point where maintenance is increasingly complex and expensive. Additionally, it is expensive to run as it is poorly insulated and has an outdated heating system. Above all, the premises generally are difficult to access for anybody with limited mobility. The number of available halls in Chingford has been reducing year-on-year and yet the need remains. The new hall will go a long way towards meeting that need.
Thought has been given to the use of solar panels and other sources of natural heat. "grey water" is being considered for flushing toilets and all glazing and insulation is to be above the minimum required by the latest exacting standards. Cycle racks will be provided to encourage people to leave their cars at home. Above all, the new building will sit comfortably alongside the Grade 2* listed church and the plans have the approval of English Heritage.
In addition to the usual staircases, a lift will service the three levels in the building, the hall level, the church and the music school. All areas will be easily reached by wheelchair users who will also have use of a specially adapted toilet on the first floor. Access to the building for those with limited mobility will be by means of pathways to the main foyer or to the door at the back of the hall, in the churchyard.
The main hall will be the same size as the present one but will have more natural light, under-floor heating and upgraded thermal insulation. The foyer will face towards the Green thus turning the orientation of the hall by 180 degrees. This will be predominantly a glass construction and will provide a bright entrance hall while allowing those outside to see throughout the building to the beautiful napped flint walls of the church.
The proposed professional standard kitchen will be a little larger than at present as will the office. Storage and toilets will be relocated and modernised.
There will be a new entrance into the church via a double door from the lobby at the foot of the lift. This will enter the church in the St Nicholas Chapel and provide a processional route for the choirs and a convenient route for all from the church into the hall.
This project allows the building of a second level to provide a music school for use by the various choirs and by individuals or small groups. It provides proper storage for the many thousands of music copies and for the robes and books used by the choirs. There will be a small drinks preparation room and a quiet room which has been designated a counselling room. Both floors can be used independently as users of each can access toilets and kitchens without imposing on the other occupants of the building.
Thanks for reading this brief summary and for thinking what you can do to help to ensure the future of the work of Ss Peter and Paul’s church in the community and in securing the future of its musical tradition.
As new the new Rector of Chingford it is a real encouragement to me that such a substantial piece of work such as this is being undertaken for the benefit of the wider parish. The traditions of hospitality and music of the Parish Church goes back very many years and should be an inspiration for the future. But it is the future that beckons, not the past, and this exciting development has the potential to reorient the Church to face out to its parish once more. That must be good news for all.
There is still much to be done of course, and I commend this website and the work of the committee to you. Perhaps, as you read, you will be inspired, as I have been, to add your help to theirs and help the vision of a new ‘Hall on the Green’ come to fruition.
The Rev'd Andy Trenier
Rector of Chingford