THE NEW OFFICE EXTENSION
Seven years ago the Finance Team, having successfully implemented a Management Accounting Budgetary Control System into the parish accounts, moving several years of an annual loss situation into an annual profit, decided that their next problem was to rectify a parish office situation which
not only restricted the use of No. 5 Bleakwood Road as a home for the parish priest, but also was probably in criminal breach both of Health and Safety Regulations and Employment Law Working Standards Rules.
A large number of possible alternative venues were suggested, considered and outline costed. The only feasible option was to build an infill construction attached to the South Western side of St Simon Stock church. For planning purposes the construction would have to be compatible with the existing church buildings. Diocesan approval and planning consent were obtained as were quotations. At this stage of the proceedings Fr Steve left the parish and the project had to be suspended. On Fr Bart’s arrival the project was revived. However, the Diocesan attitude had altered. Meetings were held with the Diocese and alternative constructions suggested. These were investigated and costed but proved to be unworkable. The Diocese expressed concern regarding the ability of the parish to fund the project to final conclusion leaving a liability to fall upon the Diocese.
It was therefore decided that the construction would be implemented in four stages with management in house, each stage being commenced when funds had been accumulated. By using an infill construction utilising the three existing church walls for the office extension the total build cost could be reduced to a manageable figure. Each stage was commenced and completed when funds had been raised.
The build was signed off by Medway Building Control on 11th March 2020. The building is of standard construction with a Structural Engineer’s Report, fully compliant and certified under Planning, Building, Fire and Health & Safety regulations.
Planning Consent was granted on 2nd June 2013 ( several objections were received).
Building Consent was granted on 31st January 2018 . The building consists of an Office, Lobby/Utility Room and Staff WC. It is 53.875 square metres in area and the total cost was £57,000 (£1058 per square metre)
Recognition should be given to Fr Bart since without his negotiations with the Diocese the construction would not have been allowed to proceed, to the Fund Raising Team for producing £57K and to all the parishioners without whose generosity this project would not have been completed.
Finance Team Member