The project has seen the demolition of the previous church, which had been on the site since 1910. In its place, a new centre for worship has been built by main contractors Barfoot + Powell. A large percentage of the funding needed for the £750,000 project has been raised by generous donations from church members.
The two-storey building is essentially a steel frame structure with block work and render. On the ground floor, there is a 4m x 4m reception office, toilets and a kitchen equipped with industrial grade kitchen appliances. Through another set of double doors, there is a main meeting room to seat around 100 people. On the first floor, which runs at a right angle to the ground floor, there are 2 offices and a meeting room to seat around 30 people. There is also a platform lift that operates between the two floors.
The new Life Church Centre has some interesting design features. David Grant said: “The entrance hall is particularly interesting: there is a curved wall that curves into the space on the left hand side – this mirrors a similar design on the right hand side, which comprises an oak bench that faces the curve. This has created a very attractive architectural feature. In addition, there is a sky light on the flat roof that lights up the whole of the entrance area.
“As you enter the main hall, the main focus is the bay window on the opposite side of the room. This window allows you to see right through the entire building from front to back, making it a very open space and lending an airy feel to the building.”
As the residential site is relatively compact, restrictions were imposed by the planning office regarding the footprint of the building. It was required that the building must be consistent with the rest of the street scene and therefore the ridge of the first floor is between the heights of the two adjacent properties.
A small amount of landscaping will take place, comprising plant beds and shrubbery to the front and back of the Centre.
David Grant said: “Works have progressed well and our contractor has performed superbly. We are very excited about the opportunity that this building gives us to really establish our presence in the village as a church that is outward-looking and wants to serve the community. Through this building, we can continue our working relationship with the local Anglican Church and spread the gospel of Jesus.”
The village of Hook has around 8,000 residents in 3,000 homes. Three churches serve the village: The Life Church, an Anglican church and a Catholic church. The Life Church is part of Newfrontiers, a worldwide family of like-minded churches who are working together on a mission to establish the Kingdom of God.