As you will know, owing to staff changes at RRA architects, the project board chose to appoint new architects for the delivery of the approved reordering. Following a robust interview process, we appointed Fergusson Mann architects who are based in Bristol. Since then our new architects have been reviewing the plans and tenders. As a result of that review there are a number of technical issues that require further work. The project board has decided that these issues require us to retender the contract for the work. This will give us much more certainty about the overall cost of the project. Inevitably, this has had an impact on the timeline and means that we now plan that work in the building itself should commence in January 2020. This means that the Church will remain open until and including this Christmas.
The Project Board has always been keen to ensure that when we let a contract for the work we do so on the basis of a robust and detailed process, so as to minimise delays and increased costs during the build phase. We are also mindful that we are engaged in delivering a project that needs to stand the test of time and is not to be rushed. In arriving at this decision the Board has worked in close consultation with Natalie Fenner of the Diocesan Advisory Committee. You will be pleased to hear that John Horan’s wing walk the other week has raised over £7,000 for our appeal. We have also received news of a donation of £25,000 from the Bernard Sunley Foundation. Last week we also hosted a well-attended open evening for organisations interested in using the new space and noted a lot of interest from a range of community groups. We will continue to provide you with regular updates throughout the autumn.