Our parish vision sees us Becoming a Christ-like community. Our mission plan calls us first to concentrate on hospitality. To help St Peter in both those aims and to overcome some immediate needs, we have set out on some reordering of the inside of the church.
The people of St Peter have discussed what’s needed and we have identified the following as the main drivers of our need to reorder:
Accessibility, Flexibility, Hospitality, Community
Reordering St Peter involves the whole community. This leaflet invites you to take a new look at St Peter, at the concept of this reordering and why it is necessary. It asks for the thoughts and views of you, the community, its individuals and its groups. St Peter has served Caversham, its people and community for 900 years, changing as the centuries changed. To continue such service in the 21st Century, the inside of this beautiful building needs to be renewed and refreshed.
Hospitality is far more than the quality of our refreshments or the welcome on a Sunday morning. It is about how we engage with people wherever they find themselves, and how we open our lives and spaces to share them with the community around us. Sharing our lives involves responding to invitations from the community. Sharing our space involves inviting the community to join us in some way.
Inviting others to share our space at St Peter is not sincere if our space is unsuitable. Our space needs to be as accessible and flexible as possible, facilities like toilets need to be available to all, we need our building to be warm and well lit, and suitable for use by all ages.
So far, our openness to people beyond our congregation has seen a significant growth in children and young people. In 2014 there were perhaps 6-10 regularly in church. That number has grown significantly and, despite Covid having affected our church attendance, we regularly do not have enough space for our children and young people’s work.
We are a church that also has significant numbers of young children for baptism (usually 20+ a year), and the residential community around St Peter is one to which people move to start a family. We usually also have 10-15 weddings each year in church, with all the potential for on-going connections with those couples and their families. Our hospitality now demands we look for proper spaces for all of this work.
God is alive outside our church, as well as inside. Responding to what God is putting in our hearts, we need to look outwards, while ensuring what is inside suits our mission to the community.
February 2022 update: Our plans
To see where we have got to, please download our plans and help us to think how it meets our needs.
In October 2019 JBKS Architects completed an initial feasibility study (Scheme A) and prepared plans for us to consider. Our congregation commented on this and whilst generally welcoming the plans, suggested the provision for children and young people’s work was insufficient. Some people also asked us to consider removing more or all of the pews in church.
We subsequently asked our architects to create a Scheme B that removed all the pews and screened in the lady chapel to create more flexible space.
Our Diocese have also asked us to consider a third Scheme C that does not raise the current floor level. This has some knock-on consequences for how we manage access to the various parts of the building.
We been asking for your views on Schemes B & C in comparison with Scheme A, and are now collating your responses.
Ways to support the appeal
We are investigating various sources of income, including finance grants and special events. If you can help with these, we would be delighted to hear from you.
If you would like to make a donation towards the appeal, you could use this donation form or make a direct bank transfer to the appeal account. The account is named “St Peters Church Caversham Appeal a/c” and has sort code 20-71-03 and number 10998745.
Watch this space
As the reordering project continues, this page will keep you up-to-date with progress.