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Project information

Church Building to Community Building

To create a warm, welcoming, easily accessible and fully used community building out of a cold, damp and under used church building.
To maximise, in a cost effective way, the use of on-site renewable energies.
This project is the Final Phase of the total project, which started in 2009.

April 2013 - March 2015

Charity information: Church of St George the Martyr, Newbury

Church of St George the Martyr, Newbury logo
  • Need


    The problem is a shortage of community facilities for the local community, consisting of 5,000 people in 2,000 homes.
    St George's Church built a Community Centre, which was opened in 2001 bu itt can no longer cope with the demand for community faciklities for meetings and events'
    The problem will worsen because planning approval has recently been given for 2,000 more homes in the next twenty years, with building expected to satrt in 2014.


    The problem will be solved by adapting the church building so that it can be extensively used for community activities.
    It requires the building to be made warmer, less damp more accessible and more welcoming.
    Itl involves the use of on-site renewable energies, as their use provides the most cost effective solution in the medium term.
    Phases 1 and 2 are complete and fundraising for the Final Phase started in April 20123. It is a completely new heating system, based on ground source heat..

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide community facilities for all of the 5,000 people living locally but especially the poor.


    » Remove the old gas boiler and wall radiators.
    » Dig-up the old floor and excavate to a lower level. Install underflor heating pipework and controls. Lay thermal stone floor.
    » Drill 5 x 150 metre deep boreholes
    » Construct a Control Room and install a Ground Source Heat Pump. Connect it to boreholes and underfloor pipework.

    What success will look like

    Success will be judged by usage of the new community facility. A booking and usage log will be kept in the Church Officeby a volunteer Lettings Manager.

  • Impact


    The long term change will be extensive community usage of a new community building.
    Success will be demonstrated by measurement of the new and extensive usage.
    Measurement of the change will be the responsibility of a Lettings Manager.


    The project was a large one so we decided it would be easiest to manage in phases. The project was divided into three phases - Phase 1, Phase 2 and Final Phase. Phases 1 and 2 have been completed..
    The Final Phase is the largest one and can be done at one go or in three sub-phases, if the funding is secured slower than planned.


    Donors will receive quarterly reports on the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £428,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £49,000 Preparation Remove old gas boilers and wall radiators and excavate old floor to a lower level.
      £56,000 Foundations Lay floor insulation and screed foundation.
      £43,000 Pipework Install pipework and controls
      £93,000 Floor Lay thermal stone floor on screed bedding
      £85,000 Boreholes Drill 5 x 150 metre boreholes
      £27,000 GSHP Install Ground Source Heat Pump
      £50,000 Meeting Room Glaze-off separate meeting room
      £25,000 Re-decoration Making good and re-decoration

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Greenham Common Trust £100,000 Conditional
    Church Members £80,000 Guaranteed
    Diocesan Fund £2,000 Guaranteed
    Englefield Ch Trust £2,800 Guaranteed
    Payne-Galley Ch Trust £1,000 Guaranteed
    Miss Lawrence 73 Charity £500 Guaranteed
    Local Community £500 Guaranteed
    Newbury Town Council £500 Guaranteed
    Rivar Limited £200 Guaranteed
    On-line Giving FMAG £20,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The project is located at Wash Common, to the south of Newbury, beside the A343 road to Andover. Grid reference SU 458647.


    The population of Wash Common is 5,000 living in 2,000 homes. Planning approval has recently been given for the building of a development of another 2,000 homes in the next twenty years.
    The present ones are mainly in estates with pockets of social housing.
    All of the local community will benefit from the project and especially the disadvantaged..
    The charges for the use of the new community building will be related to ability to pay and some community groups will pay nothing.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    St George's Church has been providing community facilities for Wash Common for over 50 years. For example in the 1990s it built a new Community Centre.
    In 2008, before the project was planned there was extensive local discussions to decide what was needed and where, to meet the new need. It was agreed that the church was the right location provided it was made warmer, less damp and more accessible.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Revd Paul Cowan

    He is the Parish Priest and also the Chair of the Project Management Group. This is the main group and contains the Chairs of all the support groups.

    John Gardener

    He is chair of the Technical Support Group and a retired director of a civil engineering company.

    Angela Brennan

    She is a working mother and chair of the PR and Communications Support Group.

    Tom Linley

    He is chair of the Funding Support Group and a retire chartered surveyor.