How did Histon Baptist Church improve the use of its buildings?

How did Histon’s vision for the project come about?

Histon Baptist Church had a vision to improve the use of its church buildings. What was fantastic is that from the start they were knew they had issues and were incredibly motivated to make those positive changes. Initially the team at Histon were looking to improve the use of the space within the church as the pews made the worship space rigid.

As part of the initial proposal we carried out a needs analysis to look for other potential avenues for improvement. As part of this assessment we asked questions to better understand the present and future needs of the church. The analysis highlighted an interesting option that the church might consider. Works to the entrance would dramatically improve the use of the buildings as a whole, and make the church more approachable.

Very sensibly the church chose to carry out the works to the entrance first, since the fear was that if the worship space was done first then the entrance works would never be done. The list of improvement works included changing the:

  • Unwelcoming entrance (the entrance created in the 1980s was hidden around the corner, and
    not visible as you approached)
  • Divided Building
  • Inflexible space

Helping the church membership see the vision brought to life

As a Baptist Church, decisions needed the formal approval of everyone in the church membership. Our experience has shown that its vital to get the overall vision of the project presented to all stakeholders in the project as clearly and simply as possible. Our team presented 3D visualisations of the proposed to works to over 70 member of  the church on a projector so that everybody could see what was proposed. As part of this process several changes to the scheme were made in response to feedback from the meeting.

We were able to present a walk-through of the proposals to a meeting of church members. The quality of the visual material was helpful in building consensus and achieving approval for the scheme.

Phase 1 – Making the church more visible, approachable and easy to navigate – 2006