The building work starts
During June 2021, EBC completed the sale of a share of the land bequeathed to it in 2005 enabling it to move forward with its long-term plan for a church and community building on the remainder of the site at Offenham Road, near to the Orchards Estate.
Material costs had escalated rapidly during the second half of 2021, driven by energy prices and the Covid-19 impact, and we were forced to redesign the building on a smaller scale. It still meets the needs we see right now, but also has a larger area for expansion in the future, as the building has been re-orientated on the site.
The modifications to the original approved Planning Applications were approved late in 2022 and, after years of planning, praying, and perseverance, ground was broken on the new site on 21st November.
Seen here at the site are the Minister, Revd Dr Edward Pillar (centre), Trustees, other members of Evesham Baptist Church, Claire Goldthorp of Allan Joyce Architects and the Barnwood construction team.
Revd Edward Pillar said, “The Church and Community Centre is all about people and God’s care for them. The church will worship here, welcoming and working with the local community. There will be a café, meeting and activity spaces for all ages, a well-equipped kitchen, a dedicated prayer space, and an auditorium which can meet the needs of music, drama, and other groups.”
Barnwood Director Gus McKenna said, “The company are proud to announce that we have been awarded the contract to build a new Church Community Centre for Evesham Baptist Church which will shortly start to rise from a former orchard.”
Allan Joyce’s Senior Architect, Claire Goldthorp explained: “We have been working closely with Evesham Baptist Church to create a beautiful new building that acts as a gateway to this new area of Evesham. The design fulfils their wishes to provide a welcoming place of worship with community at the core.”
The site is adjacent to Heather Fields, Bromford Housing’s affordable housing development which was also a key part of the planned development by the church over the last sixteen years.
Alongside the generous giving by church members, various authorities and trust funds including Wychavon District Council, Evesham Town Council, John Martin’s Charity, All Churches Trust, and Beatrice Laing have contributed over £200,000. These together with the partnership with Bromford Housing are making possible today’s build, due for completion in September 2023.
The new Offenham Road facility
We believe that Evesham Baptist Church is NOT just a building! We are a community of Christians in Evesham and its surrounding area, seeking to follow Jesus Christ and obey His teaching to love our neighbours. He loved and served all with compassion, responding to needs and rejecting no-one, regardless of their response to Him. We want our new home to be a place of welcome in His name, a place to meet, a place to find good friends and good things, a place to find peace and safety.
We recognise that building schedules do not necessarily always go to plan, but our hope is that building will commence in 2022 and we be able to welcome you to our new building at some point in 2023.
The whole facility is approximately 480 square metres, designed and constructed to public building standards. Audiovisual and WiFi connections will be standard throughout and energy installations will be to at least the latest design requirements. The surrounding area to the front will be open and landscaped, with secure garden areas behind the church for use by children and other groups. You can see a plan view of the current design here and the elevation views here.
Who do we want to be there?
Our church family
The new building will be where the church community lives, worships, works, socialises and plays. Everyone is welcome to join in these activities. Our plans show a clear view into an airy gathering space which leads into the main worship space/auditorium. We hope that this aspect of our design underpins our open welcome to all.
We hope to have a café space within the building that people in our community could use on a casual basis.
In addition, our facilities will be available for regular or occasional hire and we invite local groups to talk to us, even if they are not yet formed, about how we may be able to host them from some point in 2023. We want our community to know this building is a place they can use.
Our hire rates will be reasonable, non-profit based, and likely to be lower the more who take them up.
We imagine our facilities might be suitable for many groups including, but not restricted to:
- Children’s groups, such as scouts, guides, cubs, brownies, beavers, rainbows, cadets, baby and toddler groups, some sports groups, homework and after-school clubs.
- Craft groups, such as knitting circles or artists’ groups.
- Music groups, such as choirs, bands or orchestras.
- Interest groups, such as local history, drama, U3A activities, Civic Society.
- Support groups, such as slimming clubs, mental health drop-ins, Citizens Advice, Age Concern Outreach, other support groups and as a safe place for Voluntary and Public Sector agencies to meet clients.
- Sports groups, especially informal social groups such as Pilates, yoga or table tennis.
- Companies, charities, churches and other non-profit groups, for meetings and conferences or prayer meetings/events in our dedicated prayer room.
- Families and friendship groups, for personal events, such as wedding receptions and parties
If you are dreaming about a group or event not covered by our list, don’t be afraid to talk to us about it. We have no wish to be exclusive. Get in touch! There’s a contact form at the bottom of this page.
How the facilities fit with these dreams
Please take a moment to look at our plans, both the layout and the elevation views.
If you do not have time to review our plans, here is a summary of the facilities our new building is likely to offer from some point in 2023:
- Café area with supporting, well-equipped kitchen.
- Large auditorium for worship which will be equally suitable for concerts or conferences (seating for about 150).
- Oval prayer room generally available for private prayer or for small gatherings.
- A flexible suite of rooms catering for meetings, activities, children’s and youth groups, games, conferences, meals and events, seating 20 to 80 (meals) or 75 (conference seating in the larger room).
- Exterior soft play area for under 5s, a quiet, secure garden and outdoor informal gathering area.
- Facilities for the disabled, families and children.
- Minister’s/Private consulting room and Administrative office.
We welcome feedback about our plans and/or any interest you have in using our facilities in the future via our contact form below.
Who do we have to thank?
In all things, we give thanks to God, whose hand we believe supports and guides us in all circumstances.
‘Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.’Psalm 107 v1
We give thanks for our original benefactor, whose legacy has contributed both our site and half the cost of our planned build.
Members and friends of Evesham Baptist Church
Nearly a third of the build cost has been contributed or promised by our members and friends. We are grateful for everyone’s generosity and part in our building process.
We are continuing to apply to our local authorities and grant making trusts to ensure that we can contend with any cost increases and equip the building well for a large range of uses. We have already received grants from
- AllChurches Trust
- Wychavon District Council
- Evesham Town Council
We are grateful for their partnership in our endeavours. We hope that they and others will support with further funding drawn from their current budgets to help meet the rapidly evolving needs of the Evesham and district community.
We would also welcome approaches from members of the public and businesses in the area who would like to partner with us in this long-term investment for the benefit of every aspect of life in Evesham. Do please get in touch using the contact form below.
Thank you for taking the time to read about where we are in our building process. Do not hesitate to contact us if you would be interested in discussing your plans or interacting with Evesham Baptist Church in any of the ways mentioned here. Watch this space for more pictures as we finalise the designs, and other news over the coming months.
For the very latest images and updates on the build, see our Blog & News posts here.