In the 21st Century it is imperative that all businesses, shops and public buildings provide up to date inclusive facilities for all walks of life. Consideration needs to be given to how people access buildings regardless of ability and how they use those facilities when they are there.

The days where people needed to make allowances for poor design are long gone. Buildings today need to be designed to include able bodied, disabled, blind and a variety of other complex needs have to be taken into consideration.

Public buildings also have to be more flexible in all sorts of ways these days and also retain the ability to change as our society changes.

Churches are no exception and they probably have a greater hill to climb in order to comply with today’s ever-changing needs. In the first instance Churches are often heritage buildings with a floorplan suited to worship and not much else.

As congregations continue to dwindle, Churches find it increasingly difficult to find the funds to modernise their buildings to suit changing demographics and changes of use. Often Churches are in hard to get to places surrounded by large Graveyards and difficult access, solidified over time and suitable for only the fit and well.

Some Churches however have taken this un-enviable set of circumstances and decided to change their outlook and use the mantra inclusive facilities for all as a means of surviving and even improving the buildings footfall.

With the introduction of Disabled ramp’s, bathrooms, kitchens, offices and meeting rooms Churches can attract local groups who wouldn’t normally think of using such a space. The upside is that Churches return to being the local Town hub attracting a wide and diverse set of interest groups.

At Lloyd and Smith we have been lucky over the years to be involved in many schemes to improve access and amenities to forward thinking Churches. Some might only require a fold away tea station where the congregation can talk after a service, others require disabled ramp access, automatic doors, full kitchens, bathrooms, meeting rooms or baby changing facilities.

Some Churches can be put off because the building services such as gas, electric, water and waste disposal seem like a problem to large to overcome. Over the years however we have connected new water and electricity supplies through large Graveyards, joined up to sewers and even buried septic tanks so that you wouldn’t know they existed. There are many solutions to these problems these days.

Could your Church benefit from such a scheme? Why not give us a call and discuss the options large or small. In the meantime, we have a few photographs of some of the recent projects we have been involved in.

Various projects throughout the Northwest

Kitchens, Bathrooms and Meeting rooms

“The completed contract is a good example of careful conservation work and I know the church members are very pleased indeed with the result. Well done.”

REBECCA J GRIMSHAW, B.A. (Hons), B.Arch (Manc), RIBA, AABC – Conservation Architect

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