St John’s church was newly built and consecrated in 1963. The church elevations, dominated by four triangular, timber windows will be familiar to many people.
Over the years, with seasonal variations of temperature and humidity and natural movement of the timber, most of the framing joints have cracked and the surrounding wood, being permanently damp, is progressively rotting. As a result, maintenance of the windows has become increasingly difficult and costly. The porch and organ loft have both been subject to long-term damp intrusion and, despite recent costly repairs, it is recognised that the maintenance burden has become unsustainable.
The church committee has decided to replace the windows with curtain wall-type double glazing which will be low maintenance and be both energy and cost efficient.
With this initiative to improve the church building, the committee has also decided to use the opportunity to extend and improve the on-site facilities. Community and congregational growth from near neighbours on the new estates has meant that provisions for functions and activities, not solely church-related, need to be expanded and made more flexible. To that end, it has been decided to build a link between the church and the hall which will provide a new entrance foyer, with potential for a coffee bar, and an additional activity room. The concept for the link is a warm, open and inviting space to everyone in the BBH community.
The church committee is also mindful of the ecological responsibilities of maintaining a public building. There is a movement in the Anglican church, the EcoChurch, which seeks to minimise the carbon footprint of its facilities and St John’s commits, as part of this renewal project, to make fuller use of renewable energy and improved energy conservation; solar power is high on the agenda.
The architect for St John’s will now be working on detailed plans of these proposals for HDC planning approval.