Church Extension

Extending to Grow St Mary with St Alban

Our ambition is to equip our much loved church building with the facilities to be an inclusive sacred space and community resource, meeting both the needs of our congregation and of our community.

“We intend to build an extension on what could be called the ‘hidden side’ of our church. It will make the whole church building fit for purpose: fit to be a sacred space that is accessible to all, regardless of disability or need; fit to offer a hospitable welcome to all who enter the door; fit to be a community resource where groups can meet for learning and fellowship; fit to be a centre for the arts, for concerts and for social interaction; fit to be the building we need to fulfil our vision to ‘grow faith and friendship for all’. So this is about more than just toilets. This is about making our contribution to the 800-year history of our church which has been added to every century. Every generation has done their bit to ensure the building is fit for purpose for their own particular time. We feel strongly that our task is to build an extension that will enable the whole church (both the building and the people) to bring faith and friendship to all.”

Rev. Joe Moffatt

What will be built?

We will add a new extension behind the church, replacing the current choir vestry and creating more space. It will be modest and modern, designed to sit with but not compete with the church. It will provide much needed toilets, a kitchen and a meeting room, as is the norm for every public building and church in the 21st century.

How will we use it?

We’d love more ideas, here’s the plan so far:

  • Worship: Children’s Church, choir, prayer groups, after and between service hospitality.
  • Learning: School visits, group discussion, lectures, exhibitions, choral workshops.
  • Fellowship: Carer, addiction or grief support, memory café, art and music groups.

What will it look like?

You can 'fly around' the sketches here.

The storyboard is available at the following links:
The Journey
Specialist Studies
Proposed Design
3D Visualisation

Click the links below for further drawings:
Proposed Floor Plan
Proposed North Elevation
Proposed Site Plan

To find out more:

Frequently asked questions

Design of building

How big will the extension be?


18m long x 6m wide with an internal ceiling level of around 2.8m.
How long will it take to build? Once the foundations are in place, building and fitting out the structure will take 3-4 months.

The length of time it takes to dig the foundations however will depend on what archaeology is found.

When will the work commence? We hope to begin work in 2019


When will the building be ready for use? 2019


Will it be visible from Twickenham Road? Yes, although the floor height inside the church is much lower than the current ground level outside, which means that the exterior ground level will be lowered and the extension will sit much lower than it might appear looking at the current churchyard.
How will you keep the historical integrity of the church?


How will you ensure the extension is in keeping with the existing fabric of the building?



Although the materials will be modern, the exterior colour and finish will be in keeping with the current church tonally.

In terms of historic integrity we have been careful to commission something that is modest so as not to detract from the main building.


The only change to the existing church will be the replacement of the lower part of a plain (not stained glass) window, with an oak door into the new space. The old tracery above will remain and the door will match others in the church, which were improved a few years ago.


The beautiful stained glass window in the north wall of the church (the Martha & Mary window) will also stay.

What external materials will be used? This is still being determined at the present time. We are consulting with the Royal Borough of Richmond upon Thames Conservation Officer, Heritage England, other heritage bodies and we have a heritage architect who is on the Diocesan Advisory Council Planning Board.
Can disabled parking spaces be provided on Twickenham Road as part of the building plans? Unfortunately this will not be possible.


Could it be double storey? No, we’re building only what is felt necessary to provide us with the facilities we are missing.

These facilities are about opening up use of the church and a modest design fits that need.


An above ground double storey extension would also drown the existing church in scale.

In addition, the foundations that would be required for a heavier structure, would require much more significant disturbance to the churchyard and graves.


Who will be carrying out the work?


How many contractors/builders will be invited to quote for the work?

The building contractor will be decided via tender.


We will obtain a list of reliable contractors from the architect, Diocesan Advisory Council and other churches who have completed similar projects locally.

Has the project gone out to tender?


If not, when will it?

No, not yet.


This is dependent on when we receive planning consent.

How will the site be accessed? We expect the site to be accessed directly from Twickenham Road (over the wall).



What will happen to the existing graves?




Will you be digging up or removing bones/skeletons?

The gravestones have been carefully recorded and a small number will be moved to another part of the churchyard.


We will be undertaking painstaking excavation in this area under the guidance of an archaeologist but if that is not possible we will re-bury the remains with dignity, based on Church of England protocol and procedures.

How old are the graves? Mostly over 100 years-old.


The churchyard has been closed to burials for many years.

Is there a reference of everyone buried in the graveyard? There is a reference of every burial plot, but there may be more than one person per plot, so not every person may be marked.


We will advise a list of graves potentially effected in local and national press, just in case a family member still exists and wishes to be consulted.

Do any trees need to be removed? We have taken advice from the LBRUT Tree Officer, plus an arboriculture expert on trees and roots and have been advised that 3-4 trees will need removing.  A trees specialist will be on-site to supervise.


Those that need to be removed are two multi-stemmed Irish yew trees and a mature holly.  The yew trees are reported to be small specimens of little value and the holly is damaging gravestones already.  We have been advised that the removal of these trees will have little impact on the visual amenity of the surrounding area.


There is one particular yew tree of more importance.  Following a survey, we have changed the building design to accommodate its root ball and ensure it can remain.

What types of trees are in the graveyard? A variety of native British trees, including yew, holly, lime, cedar, maple and sycamore.
Will there be any landscaping around the extension? Yes, there will be some limited landscaping to soften the appearance of the building, enhance security and support bees.  It will not, however, change the character of the wild churchyard.
Is there any evidence of hedgehogs? No, nor badgers or bats.

We have completed a full bat, badger and ecological survey.


What disruption will there be to the church & congregation whilst the work is in progress?



We hope disruption for the congregation will be limited, as the opening from the old church into the new is relatively small and will happen towards the end of construction.
Will services still be held in church during the work?


Regular services will continue in church for the most part, but there may be a short period of time (e.g. 6-8 weeks) when they need to be held in the Parish Hall.  We’ve done this before, for example during previous church renovation, and each year for our nativity and Palm Sunday services.


We’re lucky to have an attractive and ecclesiastically-styled hall to use temporarily.


There will be greater disruption to the Clergy and the Choir and the project necessitates demolishing the existing Choir Vestry and building a new one.


Will there still be a public footpath alongside the church during the work? Yes.
Will the church remain open during the day whilst the work is taking place? The church will remain open as much as possible and while it is safe to do so.


There will be a period where it will be necessary to allow contractors unlimited access during the fitting out period and we may need to limit access during this time.

Will visitors be able to access the extension during the work if the church is open during the day? No, the doorway into the new space will not be created until late in the build and at that point the church will be closed for a short while until able to be secured.


We are considering setting up viewing opportunities so everyone can share in the excitement!

Finance/Fund raising

What will the build and project cost? £650,000 for design, construction and fit-out.  This does not include activities, but many of those will be run on a voluntary basis
How much money has been allocated to the project from current funds? £250,000 from existing funds and donations.
How much money has been raised so far?

£251,000, but fundraising has not yet begun.

We are aiming to start fundraising in autumn 2018.  £1,000 was recently donated by the Teddington Society.

What will be the running costs of the new building? These costs are currently being estimated.


Will staff costs increase due to increased administration, caretaking, cleaning?


Will volunteers be asked to carry out these duties?

There will be a very small increase to caretaking and cleaning costs, but not in administration.


Will there be a Just Giving page to aid donations? Yes and also text giving.


Who will be in charge of raising the money? The Extension Steering Group and the Fundraising Committee, a group of about 20 people, mostly giving their time on a voluntary basis.
What fund-raising activities have been planned? A funding plan is being finalised, it includes Gift / Pledge Day in October 2018, lots of social fundraising events and several grant applications.


Use of building/fixture & fittings/internal layout

Who will be using the new building?



Is the building only to be used for 'church' activities?

It will be available for a range of activities for the community which will be led by the church and partners.

We’ll use the new and existing space together – because it’s not about creating another Parish hall, it’s about enabling a wider benefit from the church itself.

We’ll make good use of the facilities for worship – Sunday Children’s groups, choir, musicians and study groups will have somewhere fitting to meet.

We’ll be able to offer hospitality at services – busy regular ones and packed festival times, not to mention providing dignity to those needing the loo during weddings, funerals and baptisms.

Importantly, we’ll be able to run outreach projects particularly suited to a spiritual or contemplative setting – e.g. carer, addiction or grief support, a memory café, art and music groups.


Excitingly, we’ll offer learning activities – school visits engaging with Christianity, local heritage, biodiversity, art and design of church iconography, important local personalities through time, as well as a larger range of public talks, exhibitions and singing workshops.


Finally we’ll be able to make more use of our pretty churchyard too, not just for fabulous tea and cake, but for conservation visits, meditation sessions and art therapy.

Will the new facilities be available for hire? No… and yes.

This space will not be for hire in the same way as the Parish hall is. The new facilities are to enable a wider benefit of the church itself, via community support projects.  It will be available for not-for-profit organisations to hire for various activities.

What facilities will it offer? The extension will provide lavatory facilities, two multi-purposes areas / rooms, kitchen facilities and improved storage.
Will we use a professional interior designer to ensure the best of use of space? We are not using an interior designer, but we have been consulting our user groups and have already altered elements of the design based on this feedback.

There will be dedicated storage space for the choir, the Holy Dusters, flower arrangers, servers, Sunday School etc.

Is there a plan to buy/commission art for the new space? This is something which is being considered.
Will the building be wheelchair friendly/suitable for disabled individuals? Yes – absolutely!
Can the proposed internal layout be changed? Yes potentially, but it has already been through a few iterations and we will the current design works well for the intended activities.
What kitchen facilities will be available? We are not quite at the stage of specifying detailed internal fittings, but there will be a fully-fitted small kitchen with the usual appliances.


How will the church be kept secure during the build? For the majority of the build the church will be secured as it is now.


The new doorway will not be created until the extension is fully securable.

Will the extension (when complete) be accessible when the church is open? This is still to be agreed. The most likely situation is that the new facilities will be open while services or activities are taking place (which will hopefully be much of the time), but locked at other times. Important parts of the church, such as the clergy vestry will remain locked as currently.
Will there be another exit door, similar to the current back door of the vestry for convenient access? Yes, there will be double folding doors into the churchyard – please see the drawings.
Will all cupboards containing equipment and materials mentioned in fixtures & fittings above be lockable or accessible in any way when church not in use? The details of which fittings and items need to be secure at all times and which can be accessible are being worked out in consultation with the various groups who most use the church currently.

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