Emmanuel Church and it’s relationship with the new space.

Since the new development of Dolphin Square became an actuality Emmanuel PCC have been excited about how the church building could be drawn into it.

In 1847 when the church was first built, it was for those who lived in that part of the town. As Dolphin Square and Carlton Street Car Park were created so the heart of the Church family disappeared being rehoused and relocated to other areas. The PCC were keen that with this new development the church be seen as a living, breathing part of the community, ready to welcome people in and offer space for community activities.

Marcus Chantry, Emm. architect, was asked to come up with ideas that might open up and connect the church and its grounds to the space that was being created by the new development. We are now planning to limit car parking to the south of the church, take down the walls between the church grounds and the public space, and replace with planters allowing free movement between the public space and the church grounds. A dias with steps and access ramp are to be built outside the car park door. In time we plan to replace the present oak doors with glass ones, to give a more welcoming approach to that end of the church.

Our view of the space is that it should be one where people can come and sit, visitors possibly plan their day having walked through from the car park, read the paper, shop workers eat sandwiches, and people feel they can generally relax. We hope that when the church renovations are completed, new community uses will become obvious for the down stairs hall thus drawing people from the space into the building.

We have a very thriving counselling service for people on low incomes that operates in the upstairs space of the building. The new developments will make the church building appear more welcoming and friendly.

We would be delighted to discuss flood lighting of the tower with the Council. We would also be delighted to be invited to join in a meeting to discuss the uses and aspirations of the two spaces.

The suggestion that the space be called Church Square rather than Union Square, seems a really positive one to us. People already know where the church is but Union Street can leave them baffled.

Marcus requested a report as he negotiates with Developers and the Council. This is a slightly shortened version.

Meg Hill