New West End Project
St Etheldreda's and St Luke's are excited to present the proposals to redevelop the west end of the building. The scheme will create a new, enclosed multi-purpose parish room with mezzanine floor and associated amenities. The addition will not only allow St Etheldreda’s to better fulfil its existing role, but will also bring opportunities to host new activities and bring new audiences into the church.
You can view further details HERE.
St Etheldreda’s has been at the heart of the religious and community life of Hatfield for 900 years. It is classed as a building of national importance for its wonderful architecture and rich history, but the huge costs of maintaining this marvellous place are met just out of the pockets of the congregation and visitors.
Now though we have some special, very urgent needs and we are appealing for funds from national bodies and from people like you to make sure the church can continue to benefit all the people of Hatfield. For fifty years we have enjoyed the use of the old school building at the top of Church Street as a church hall but unfortunately this cannot continue so we need to create a new hall within the church building and the design is shown on the drawing above.
At the rear of the church – the West End – the drawing shows a spacious new meeting room which can be closed off and used even if there is a service under way, or opened as overflow space for big services or concerts. The glass screen re-uses the classical oak columns which currently support the old church organ. Immediately behind this, under the tower, we will, at last, have some toilets and a new kitchen.
These will be an enormous benefit not only for the congregation but for concert audiences, practicing musicians, visitors and nervous bridegrooms. With improved access through the tower these new facilities can be made available from outside use as well. Above that, with access via a broad new flight of stairs (and possibly a lift as well) is a new gallery which will provide more seating, space for a permanent display about the history of the church and a temporary exhibition area.
Under the tower, where the bell ringers stand now, will be a new vestry for our growing choir and above that again we will be re-creating a bell ringing platform which was built high up in the tower hundreds of years ago.
Very recently we received the excellent news that the Diocesan Advisory Committee, the key decision makers on work of this sort, will, in principle, give their support, subject to the provision of more detail, and this enables us to move on confidently with our fund raising. This vital work is also very expensive, as you can imagine and there are many other costs looming for damp proofing of walls, re-tiling of the roof, lighting, a new organ, redecoration of the east end, completion of the heating system and a seemingly endless list of others.
If you are in the position to offer any financial support, then it would be more than appreciated. The church will be open to the public all day when Hatfield House is open for the summer season. Perhaps you might like to visit and imagine for yourself how this work will help to keep St Eth’s at the centre of life in Hatfield for a few more centuries and see further details of this project on display.