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Building for the Future

Phase 2

 In 2020, just before lockdown, we completed phase 1 of a building project, transforming the church building into a warm, welcoming and adaptable space for now and into the future. We are grateful to God for enabling us to do so much in such a short time and the impact this has had on our use of the space through the week and for special events.

Now we want to continue with the next phase of this project, to re-order and refurbish our church halls and cottage which are in need of significant work. We want to do this to serve the needs of our church and our community into the future. It is a space which does this already in so many ways, Foodbank, Baby Basics, Warm Welcome, Youth Drop In, Games Community to name a few, alongside a number of local hall users who hire the space. But many of these are limited by problems of layout and inadequate facilities as well as ongoing maintenance issues including leaks, damp, and deterioration of the fabric of the building. The facilities are in desperate need of updating and the building needs repairs just to ensure these activities and the many more opportunities that exist can be secure into the future.


Here we lay out some of our work so far, which is summarised in the Feasibility Study (you can download this above). This gives information about the process, consultation already carried out and an indication of the plans for Phase 2 that will be developed through further work and consultation. This will happen as we continue to work on final plans with our Architect, Alexa Stephens from Pearce Bottomley LLP.

We also need to start the process of fundraising with an estimate of the project costing in the region of £1.2 million. This will involve a lot of different people giving and working on this in a number of different ways. There will be grants funding applied for, fundraising initiatives and we are inviting people to give or pledge towards the project. You can take a look at the Pledge form above.

We have also tried to tell some of the story of St Paul's Church so far, so you can see that this is a part of the history of the church. We are another generation investing in this community, God has provided before and will provide again.


What we want to achieve?

The aim is to redevelop the church halls and the Cottage into: 

  • a warm, accessible and comfortable place where people form strong friendships and relationships that enrich life and enhance the church and community.

  • be a welcoming place for everyone where an inter-generational community of all ages is developed

  • an attractive space to meet, connect with others, to help and be helped, to serve and be served, growing community.

  • welcome and nurture children and young people and provide them with a quality environment for all their activities including worship.

  • buildings that come as near as possible to being carbon net zero and are easy and cheap to maintain in decades to come.


Facilities which will fulfil the aims:

  • Create adaptable spaces to be used for a wide range of activities throughout the week.

  • Provide facilities that are safe, secure, and accessible for all including sufficient modern toilets.

  • Develop the garden and outside space so that people can enjoy being outdoors as well as indoors.

  • Provide a well-equipped kitchen that can accommodate high numbers, from serving refreshments to meals.

  • New insulation, roofing, electrics and heating to make the building comfortable in an energy efficient and sustainable way.

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House Plan Review

What next?

Essentially, we need to go through a process to try and bring together planning, permissions, contracts and funding so that the project can happen.

Step 1: Preparing the brief/Consultation/Feasibility Study COMPLETE

Step 2: Detailed proposals/Planning/Fundraising STARTING

Step 3: Final Plans/Permissions/Tender

Step 4: Contracts/Construction

Step 5: Completion/Move in

Looking Back: Building in the Past

The First Phase 1:

The Parish of Ireland Wood emerged as areas of Woodland and Farmland were developed in the post-war period. The parish itself was not formally established until 1976, some years after the church of St Paul's Ireland Wood had been planted by the Rector of Adel and responsibility given for the development of the church to the Assistant Curate, Rev'd Harry Elliot. Initially meeting in the room of a farmhouse, local residents gathered for worship until land was purchased by the Leeds Church Extension Society and plans were put together to build a church. It was opened and dedicated on Saturday 10th February, 1951 - with the church being the present church hall and adjoining cottage accommodated the Priest.

The First Phase 2:

With a purpose built building, the congregation continued to grow adding activities for children and young people including Guides and Cubs. Another congregation started in the curate's home in Tinshill with a Sunday school of 80-100 children meeting in the Welcome Inn. In 1959, they opened a meeting room in Bedford View. With this growth Christians in Adel and Ireland Wood began to raise money for the more expensive undertaking of a new church. As plans developed there was much interest with some 450 people taking a bus trip to see the plans in the University of Leeds Refectory.

In June 1964 building began. The architect, Geoffrey Davy, created an octagonal design inspired by le Corbusier. Davy consulted the clergy and church building committee extensively and gave careful thought to how the building would draw people into God’s presence. The finished building featured beautiful Flemish glass in arrow slit windows and brutalist chandeliers and cross above the altar. On Saturday 4 September 1965, St Paul’s Church was consecrated.

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