The timeline so far for our new Parish Centre
July 2023 – We held a Donors’ Evening to thank our generous supporters of the project, to celebrate our milestones and share the next steps for the project.
May 2023 – Planning permission was renewed for a further three years with St Albans District Council
Autumn 2022 – Fundraising events began again in earnest with a Quiz Night and Fish & Chip supper in September, a photographic exhibition in November and a concert by Sophie Crowley. The much-awaited St John’s Cookbook went on sale, with 500 copies flying off the shelves! Together with the sale of Christmas cards, all these autumn activities raised nearly £7,000.
June 2022 – We relaunched our Parish Centre project, marking the re-start with an Exhibition 'The Story of St John's'.
Lockdown 2020-2021 – Socially-distanced fund-raising activities took place, such as quizzes on Zoom, making and selling home-made jams and face masks. Pledges to the project continued.
April 2020 – We achieved our first fundraising milestone - £500,000.
February 2020 – The Launch Party for our fund raising programme was held in the company of the Bishop of St Albans and the Harpenden Town Mayor.
October 2019 – A number of Project Ambassadors were invited to commit to the project, help share the vision and encourage other members of the congregation to donate.
October 2018 – We engaged the services of Joel Burden of Craigmyle Fundraising Consultancy to provide us with advice on raising the funds for the project. We commissioned a Feasibility Study, which assessed the congregation's support for the project and our capacity to raise the funds. The results were presented to the PCC in December, and they agreed we should apply for planning permission,
July 2019 – We developed our Case for Support brochure with local designer Sara Chapman. This is a key document conveying the reasons behind the project and why it is worthy of your support.
January 2019 – Our planning application was submitted to St Albans District Council.
November 2018 – We held a public consultation session.
September 2019 – St Albans District Council granted planning permission for the building of our new Parish Centre.
October 2017 – The PCC endorsed the technical team’s recommendation to progress option A - the two-storey option - based on cost, practicality and reduced impact on the external space.
September 2017 – With a new project name symbolising regeneration and renewal, the Parish Centre, aka Project Phoenix, completed its first major milestone, as MEB delivered the feasibility study. This was then submitted to the PCC by the technical team with their recommendations.
June 2017 – Mark Eddison, our architect, presented an overview of the process to date, together with the details of eight options, and two short-listed options, A & B; one single storey, one two storey building, both connecting into the church near the pulpit. The presentation was followed by a three-week consultation period.
February 2017 – We commissioned MEB Design Ltd to work with us on the first stage in the process, developing a feasibility study. A small technical team worked with MEB over the spring and summer months to develop a number of options to meet the brief. November 2016 – The steering group presented their findings to the Standing Committee and then the PCC.During 2015/2016 – The steering group consulted with existing hall users, representatives from the local council and the church advisory body, and undertook extensive research into the experiences of other local churches. Possible sources of funding were also investigated.
Summer 2015 – A small steering group was formed to assess the feasibility of the various options for our existing church hall as it becomes more and more costly to maintain.