updates on transformation project: September 2018




transformation plan.jpg


Keeping warm and sitting comfortably have been the main challenges tackled by the transformation team at St John’s Church, Donisthorpe over the past three months.

Talks with heating engineers have been long and detailed, as all forms of heating have been considered. The team have looked at bio fuel, rods down into the earth and heat exchange systems. Gas is not an option in this part of Donisthorpe.    “We had to explore all of these as we wanted to be more environmentally friendly if possible. However, we have come back to oil.” said Revd. Canon Vivien Elphick, Rector of the Woodfield team. “Even that was not straightforward as we are not a domestic installation and regulations demand that we use ultra low sulphur oil.” The final way forward settled on an oil boiler in the current basement, which will need ‘tanking’ to keep the boiler dry because the basement floods in wet weather.

“We hope to have under floor heating boosted with convector heaters,” she added.  A scheme is near finalisation which is going to be put out to tender. The cost of heating is proving far higher than hoped so the team  are checking what is affordable, both in terms of installation and ongoing running costs.

Once the heating design is more certain, the architect can get on with finalising the rest of the plans.

Sitting comfortably has been an additional challenge. The team are keen to have seating that is comfortable and looks good and appropriate in the setting. “This has exercised us more than many other things!” said Vivien. Manufacturers have let the church have samples of many different chairs, but the church is governed by what is allowable under ecclesiastical planning rules. The current preference of the planners is for wooden seats, on the basis that fabric pads get dirty and deteriorate quickly. However, the most recent chair which has been tested, having been seen in use at Durham Cathedral, has fabric seats and backs. These chairs have been voted the most popular, so the team are in the process of putting forward to the planners an argument to be allowed to have them. As the transformation team says, “Watch this space!”