From the bottom to the top

20.04.18-3

We continue to give thanks and praise for the great progress being made with the structural repairs being undertaken within the St. Stephen’s buildings.

From the outside of the building it is hard to imagine much is being done. However, once inside it is evident that hard work has been undertaken from the very depths of the building to the highest of heights.

Please pray for our repairs and for all those involved.

If anyone would like to know more about the structural repairs and maybe see first hand the work that is being done do please get in touch.

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Holy Spirit, fix our broken church

05.04.18-10

On Easter Sunday, we took the cross of Christ into the heart of our building site, asking the Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead to bring life, light and love to our congregation and to our building:

Creator God
we thank you for our church.
We thank you for this place
where people have gathered for over 160 years
to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.
Today, may we join with them,
the great crowd of witnesses in heaven,
to worship the risen Jesus.

Father God
we thank you for our church.
We thank you for each other, our fellowship,
our love for each other.
Today, may the same Spirit
who raised Jesus from the dead,
rise in us – our hearts and our lives.

Lord Jesus,
today we celebrate that you are alive.
May your love and your light
flow from the cross and the empty tomb
into our church,
into our lives,
and out into the world.

Holy Spirit
fix our broken church.
Help our builders, engineers and architect.
Give them the skill and wisdom they need.
make this building whole again.

Holy Spirit
fix our broken church.
May the wonder of the cross
and the power of the resurrection
fix us where we are broken.
In the name of Jesus
we ask for forgiveness,
for healing,
for restoration,
in our hearts,
our minds,
our bodies.
and our lives.

And so it begins…..

26.01.2018 EC-13

Back in the early 90s St. Stephen’s was a closed, redundant and near derelict church. Under the leadership of Revd Tom Guillam, a team came from Holy Trinity, Brompton to refurbish and re-open the church. This took enormous faith, generosity, dedication and hard work, but with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Diocese of London, the City of Westminster and local residents the seemingly impossible was achieved and St. Stephen’s was re-opened.

However – worryingly – in 2004 one the columns in the church appeared to subside and significant cracks appeared in the structure. Over time, despite careful monitoring and many remedial repairs executed at great cost, the problem only seemed to be getting worse. More and more significant cracks were appearing in the building.  Historic England inspected the building and placed this Grade II heritage church in ‘Category A ‘ on their ‘at-risk’ register for listed buildings. Monitoring and short term repairs were no longer enough. A long term solution was required.

After years of careful examination and thorough investigation, it became more apparent where and why the building was moving.  Under the expert guidance of our architect, Colin Kerr, and our structural engineer, Sinclair Johnston, a proposal for extensive structural repairs was developed. The plan has been carefully considered, approved and supported by the Diocese of London and Historic England.

The overall project seeks to address the structural issues, preserve this historic building for generations to come, promote the important heritage of this church, enable it to continue as a place of vibrant Christian worship and discipleship, and remain a centre for significant levels of community activity.

All this has been made possible through the energy and commitment of the Parochial Church Council given over many years and the fantastic support of the wider congregation.

St. Stephen’s are enormously grateful for the financial support of the Heritage Lottery Fund who have awarded the project a grant of £181,700 which constitutes 57% of the overall cost. In raising further funds, the congregation themselves have been the major donors, with further support from grants from the Diocese of London and kind donations from neighbours and friends of the church.

And so now the work has begun with our contractor, Universal Stone, getting things underway with a flurry of activity since early January. It is anticipated the structural repairs will be completed  later this summer.

In the meantime worship continues in a restricted space in the church each Sunday, and all the usual community activities are able to continue throughout the rest of the week.

If you would like to see first hand the work in the church and learn more about the repairs being carried out, the PCC invites you to an Open Evening on Monday, 19th March anytime between 6-9pm. All are welcome.

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