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Footprint FAQs - 2018

Good news, the next stage of the Footprint project has started. The building works at the East will impact in some way on everyone who uses the Abbey; the congregation, staff, volunteers and visitors. 

However we are affected, we are determined as much as possible to make a virtue of the building works, with the ability to show people behind the scenes and see aspects of the Abbey that have not been visible since mid-Victorian times. 

Footprint will help realise our vision for the Abbey to be a people and place fully alive through Jesus Christ - through strong and vibrant worship, hospitality and justice.  New buildings, new interpretation facilities and a new programme of activities put in place over the next few years will equip us for the next generation of our life together. 

Thank you for your support and for continuing to be part of this journey. 

The Footprint Executive Group

How will the building work in 2018-March 2019 impact on access, worship, visiting and events?

What building work is being done in 2018-March 2019?

  • The floor of the East end of the Abbey will be repaired and work will start on the new choir rehearsal facilities, offices and meeting rooms in Kingston buildings.  Work will also start on the archives, toilets and kitchen facilities in the basement of Abbey Chambers.

When do the exterior hoardings start going up behind which the builders will be working?

  • On Monday 21st May.  The hoardings will go from the Rebecca fountain along the North and East sides of the Abbey towards the Orange Grove taxi rank and on the South side from the Abbey to Abbey Chambers.

Will Abbey Chambers and 11a York Street be accessible?

  • York Street will be accessible as usual and Abbey Chambers will be accessible from the front door on the South Side of the Abbey, via a door in the hoardings and from the door which opens up onto the car park.

How will the Adventist Chapel and houses in Terrace Walk be accessed?

  • Through a door in the hoardings at the corner near Arcania.

How will I get into the Abbey?

  • As usual, through the current main entrance in the North West corner.  The South East door near Kingston Buildings and the choir gate access into the rest room will not be available.

How will members of the choirs and volunteers get into the rest room and choir vestry?

  • During opening hours from the usual door in the South Transept.  After opening hours through the outside door of the shop.

When will exterior hoardings be completed and when will artwork from schools be added?

  • Towards the end of June.

What about the interior hoardings for the work on the East end of the Abbey floor?

  • Preparatory work for the East end works will start on 21st May after which the corporation stalls and choir stalls will be removed.  The hoardings across the centre of the crossing will go up from 13th June and will extend into the corners of the South and North Transepts.  Specially commissioned artwork will be put onto these hoardings towards the end of June.

How will midweek services and events be affected?

  • The seating capacity of the Abbey will reduce from 1100 to 700 during the work on the East end.  Building work in the Abbey will stop for funeral services.  Evening Prayer and evening services and events will continue as usual.  Morning Prayer will take place at St Michael’s church and Friday Holy Communion will take place in the South Transept.  No building work is planned for Saturdays or Sundays.

How will Sunday services be affected?

  • The choir will be sitting on chairs in the West end of the crossing and the distribution of Holy Communion will take place at the dais.  Three pews will be removed from the East end of the South aisle, and four from the front of the nave, to create more circulation space.

When will the pews in the nave and South aisle be taken out?

  • In January when we move into the newly repaired East end.  There we will be seated on chairs for the time being.

How will visitors be affected?

  • Tower Tours will continue, starting and finishing from the small door at the West end.  A new welcome leaflet, new prayer diary and newly trained ‘zonal guides’ will introduce visitors to the most interesting aspects of the Abbey up to the line of the hoardings.  There will be viewing windows in the hoardings and special behind the scenes tours will be available.  The shop will not be affected until late 2019.

How will weddings and other events be affected?

For two years we have been warning people who book the Abbey that building work will be underway. We are making every effort to minimise disruption.

How will local traders and residents near the Abbey be affected?

  • Members of the Footprint team are regularly in contact with local traders and residents and we are doing all that we can to minimise disruption and to introduce wayfinding signs.

How will Advent and Christmas services be affected?

  • The reduction in available seating will have an impact. Where possible we are increasing the number of services and we will signpost people to other churches when we have reached capacity at the Midnight Holy Communion service on Christmas Eve.

We will be having weekly meetings with the builders to keep things running as smoothly as possible and the Footprint executive group will continue to meet weekly on a Thursday to keep on top of forward planning and communications.

If you have any questions which have not been answered here, please do not hesitate to get in touch via phone 01225 422462, email or call into the Abbey Office in 11a York Street.

Thank you for your support and your patience.