The Problems

The problems were discovered around 1988 following a report from a structural engineer.

The problems were:

  • The walls and pillars supporting the balcony were leaning outward
  • Gaps beneath the pillars in the balcony
  • As a result of the above, the roof was unstable

Objections

English Heritage (now Historic England) objected to the internal changes as the Church is a Grade II* listed building. 

Planning permission was finally agreed with conditions attached.

What happened to the congregation?

The building was evacuated and the congregation met in alternative buildings. The Church decided to look to buy premises elsewhere in the City but a prophetic word was given and this changed their decision. Work was undertaken to renovate the building.

There was a  celebratory service when the congregation was allowed to move back in in 1994. 

  • The Problems

    The problems were discovered around 1988 following a report from a structural engineer.

    The problems were:

    • The walls and pillars supporting the balcony were leaning outward
    • Gaps beneath the pillars in the balcony
    • As a result of the above, the roof was unstable
  • Objections

    English Heritage (now Historic England) objected to the internal changes as the Church is a Grade II* listed building. 

    Planning permission was finally agreed with conditions attached.

  • What happened to the congregation?

    The building was evacuated and the congregation met in alternative buildings. The Church decided to look to buy premises elsewhere in the City but a prophetic word was given and this changed their decision. Work was undertaken to renovate the building.

    There was a  celebratory service when the congregation was allowed to move back in in 1994. 

The cost

The initial estimate was around £400,000, but by the congregation doing some of the work, this estimate was reduced. The work was paid for by the church members and congregation through gifts and a loan.

The work

Pelham Construction company was given the contract. The underpinning was completed and the interior of the church reconfigured. Much of the internal work was completed by the congregation which kept the costs down.

  • The cost

    The initial estimate was around £400,000, but by the congregation doing some of the work, this estimate was reduced. The work was paid for by the church members and congregation through gifts and a loan.

  • The work

    Pelham Construction company was given the contract. The underpinning was completed and the interior of the church reconfigured. Much of the internal work was completed by the congregation which kept the costs down.

Renovations 1988-1994


The Problems

About 1988 the problems with the building were discovered (1). Plans had been made to decorate the church interior and it was decided to obtain a structural engineer’s report on the state of the building (2). This revealed that:

  • the walls were leaning outward The west wall of the church at the ceiling level was found to be buckled by 80 mm at the central point and the internal column of this wall that supported the roof was out by 48 mm at the level of the ceiling. 
  • there was a gap beneath the pillars of the balcony
  • the central pillars supporting the section of the balcony facing the platform were being driven into the foundation which was sandy
  • the pillars were being pushed outward which meant the balcony was unsafe, also affecting the roof of the building.

The problems arose because:

  • the earth foundation was sandy and had been a swamp in Roman times
  • the young people of the church favoured the balcony and it was their dancing in the worship that exposed the structural fault (3).
Objections

English heritage (now Historic England) raised objections as the building was Grade II* listed (4). However advice was sought and because the building was a place of worship, changes could be made to accommodate different styles of worship. 

To meet the new criteria, the congregation returned to the church building for a period of 6 weeks before the downstairs pews were removed.

What happened to the congregation?

The building was evacuated and for about three years the congregation met in alternative buildings. These were the cathedral on Sunday afternoons, the Lawn and finally the Drill Hall (5). All these venues had to be paid for during this time, adding to the cost of the renovations.

Initially there was talk of selling the building and buying elsewhere in the City, but  New Life Christian Fellowship (6) was guided to retain the Newlands site by Dale Gentry, an American with a prophetic ministry. He said they should keep the city central site as it would be close to the university. At that time there was no university but shortly afterwards its development was announced and the choice of the site followed.

Moving back in

A service was held celebrating the newly renovated church in 1994. The preacher was Gerald Coates and members of the congregation were involved in the recreation of a tableau (7) to tell the history of the building.

The Cost

The initial estimate for the work was £400k. A second lower estimate  was later accepted and the work went ahead in 1990 to 1991. The contractor was  Pelham Construction, owned by Mr Dawson, who was a Plymouth Brethren. They owned the property at the rear of the church from which access was gained to carry out the work (8, 9).

Who paid for the work?

The work was paid for by the church members and congregation. In addition to the work on the building there was the cost of the hire of the venues used in the years without the use of the building. The cost of the renovations was addressed in two phases. The first comprised gifts (10) and the second by a loan (11). There were four appeals for funds between 1992-93 and by 1994 the congregation had raised £200,000 (12).

References

(1) Ref to Interview with Brian Keel
(2) Archived material - Alive Church
(3) Memories from the congregation
(4) Historic England listings
(5) Memories from the congregation
(6) Memories from the congregation; Prophecies - Alive Church
(7) Memories from the congregation
(8) Memories from the congregation
(9) Lincolnshire Echo Dec 16th 1992
(10) Memories from the congregation
(11) Memories from the congregation
(12) Report in Lincolnshire Echo - March 23rd 1994

The Problems

The area was landlocked and there was no easy access from either Newland or from off Beaumont Fee. Both buildings were Listed buildings. Nothing could be attached to the brickwork.

The roof needed to be lightweight, supported by pylons driven into the ground, durable, able to let light in, and not need cleaning.

 

The Objective

To roof over the space between the Church building and the Brayford building, allowing  covered access from the church building to the Brayford building. 

Why?

This area was uncovered and under-used. By putting a roof over, the space could then be utilised properly for a variety of purposes. The church had also had a prophecy by Dale Gentry from the USA who spoke of the church being open seven days a week. By putting a roof over the space, this would allow that to happen.

  • The Problems

    The area was landlocked and there was no easy access from either Newland or from off Beaumont Fee. Both buildings were Listed buildings. Nothing could be attached to the brickwork.

    The roof needed to be lightweight, supported by pylons driven into the ground, durable, able to let light in, and not need cleaning.

     

  • The Objective

    To roof over the space between the Church building and the Brayford building, allowing  covered access from the church building to the Brayford building. 

    Why?

    This area was uncovered and under-used. By putting a roof over, the space could then be utilised properly for a variety of purposes. The church had also had a prophecy by Dale Gentry from the USA who spoke of the church being open seven days a week. By putting a roof over the space, this would allow that to happen.

THE SOLUTION

A roof similar in construction to the Eden Project in Cornwall.

The Architects, the Council and the Contractor

The work was overseen by David Glew, Architects from their practice on West Parade.

Arthur Ward - Head of Heritage at CofLC worked with the architects and an Officer from Development Control.  He writes: “We also sought advice from English Heritage (now Historic England) given that the main church building is listed grade II*”

The Contractors were Lindum BMS, Station Road, North Hykeham.

Cost and how it was paid

The cost was £425,092.52. A loan was taken out and this was then paid off by the members of the congregation through the Rise and Build Fund established by the Church for funding such projects.

The Build

The roof was completed by installing beams that supported hollow plastic envelopes filled with pumped air. This was to achieve a light structure.

The fixtures were placed in the walls’ mortar rather than the brickwork in order to comply with the restrictions from Historic England. Access was through the premises behind the church off Beaumont Fee and they allowed the cranes to come there to bring the materials for the roof over the top of the courtyard as there was no other access. 

The build was completed in 2005.

HOW THE SPACE IS USED TODAY

Today, the Rising Cafe uses the space. The cafe is open 6 days a week to the general public. 

It is also used to:

  • Access the church buildings
  • For meetings and small gatherings throughout the year by the church
  • THE SOLUTION

    A roof similar in construction to the Eden Project in Cornwall.

    The Architects, the Council and the Contractor

    The work was overseen by David Glew, Architects from their practice on West Parade.

    Arthur Ward - Head of Heritage at CofLC worked with the architects and an Officer from Development Control.  He writes: “We also sought advice from English Heritage (now Historic England) given that the main church building is listed grade II*”

    The Contractors were Lindum BMS, Station Road, North Hykeham.

  • Cost and how it was paid

    The cost was £425,092.52. A loan was taken out and this was then paid off by the members of the congregation through the Rise and Build Fund established by the Church for funding such projects.

  • The Build

    The roof was completed by installing beams that supported hollow plastic envelopes filled with pumped air. This was to achieve a light structure.

    The fixtures were placed in the walls’ mortar rather than the brickwork in order to comply with the restrictions from Historic England. Access was through the premises behind the church off Beaumont Fee and they allowed the cranes to come there to bring the materials for the roof over the top of the courtyard as there was no other access. 

    The build was completed in 2005.

  • HOW THE SPACE IS USED TODAY

    Today, the Rising Cafe uses the space. The cafe is open 6 days a week to the general public. 

    It is also used to:

    • Access the church buildings
    • For meetings and small gatherings throughout the year by the church

The Courtyard Roof


The Problems

GMS architects stated that the problems were "Engineering and cost challenges, risk of items (e.g. snow, slates) falling from surrounding roofs, obtaining consent from planning and other statutory bodies, maintaining ventilation to existing boiler house” (1).

The area was landlocked, therefore access to the site was difficult (2).

Both buildings were listed buildings - the church is grade II* (3) and Newland Chambers is Grade II listed.

The Solution

The Design of the Roof

Caroline Cameron was the project manager for the Courtyard Roof. She recalls: “Stuart (Bell) thought he had seen a see-through roof and so I took this to the architect and they investigated and discovered the roof of the Eden Project was similar. The structural engineer costed it out, went out to tender and the construction company approved. The roof was durable, light, not heavy, didn't need cleaning and would not overheat. They had thought of glass but should anything fall on it it would smash. This roof wouldn't do that.”

The Architects

Lincolnshire Life Article June 2011

This article states that the architects changed their name to GMS architects, and that the core work of the practice is “advising and designing for the rebuilding and conservation of historic buildings and monuments.”

The article also quotes David Glew commenting that:

“One of the buildings of which I am most proud is the café atrium for the New Life Church, Lincoln which we completed in 2005.” David explained further. “The challenge was to unite two listed buildings and make what was a dark, neglected passage into a vibrant meeting space.”

“It was a very difficult build because access was only available through two doorways but the result has been a lovely blend of the old and the modern.”

The Contractors

The Contractors were Lindum BMS, based on Station Road, North Hykeham (4). The Quantity Surveyor was Rodney Fagg, and the suppliers and subcontractors are all listed in the Lindum Group Names of Parties Section 1a documents (5)

The Supplier

The roof was supplied by Vector Foiltec Ltd (6) (previously Vector Special Projects Ltd), and was shipped from Germany.

Cost and how it was paid for

The cost was £425,092.52 (7).

This fund was used for projects within the church. Annual donations are given from members of the congregation. On a designated Sunday each year, the church produces a leaflet which:

- outlines the vision of the Church
- celebrates the achievements from the previous 12 months 
- presents the financial targets for the year
- outlines the project plans for the forthcoming year 

The congregation is invited to contribute through one off or monthly donations.

How the space is used today

This is run by Betel UK The aim of the charity is to:

“restores individuals and families broken by drug and alcohol addiction through a peer-led, caring Christian community.”

References

(1) GMS architects response - questionnaire provided by the Heritage Project
(2) Plans for the Roof - Alive Church Lincoln Archive
(3) Ref Historic England List Entry UID 1388720
(4) Architects instructions, Alive Church Lincoln Archive
(5) Lindum Group Names of Parties Section 1a documents - Alive Church Lincoln Archive
(6) Vector Foiltec
(7) Architects instructions, Alive Church Lincoln Archive

FUNDING

This was paid for by the congregation through the Rise and Build Fund of Alive Church by 2019.

LOGGIA RAILINGS

These were built across the front of the Newland Chambers building.

  • FUNDING

    This was paid for by the congregation through the Rise and Build Fund of Alive Church by 2019.

  • LOGGIA RAILINGS

    These were built across the front of the Newland Chambers building.

COMPLETION

The work was completed in time for the Christmas Trees to be put up in the space behind the railings December 2017.

  • COMPLETION

    The work was completed in time for the Christmas Trees to be put up in the space behind the railings December 2017.

The Loggia Railings


Why were the Loggia railings installed?

The area outside the front of the building had become a difficult area. The aim of the plan was to keep the space clean and tidy.

The Original Plan

The original plan was to build a glass screen and enclose the whole area, providing access between the Brayford Suite in the Newland Chambers Building and the Church. However, this proved to be too costly.

How was the work funded?

Rise and Build Fund

This fund was used for projects within the church. Donations are given annually from members of the congregation. On a designated Sunday each year, the church produces a leaflet which:
- outlines the vision of the Church
- celebrates the achievements from the previous 12 months 
- presents the financial targets for the year
- outlines the project plans for the forthcoming year 

The congregation is invited to contribute through one off or monthly donations. 

Who installed the railings? 

These were designed and supplied by L R HUTCHINSON LTD building contractors of Gainsborough. 

Cost: 

The cost was £3,990.00 + VAT (1).



References

(1) Invoice from LR Hutchinsons: Alive Church Archives

STAY IN TOUCH

Registered Office: Alive Church, Newland, Lincoln, LN1 1XG  |  t: 01522 542 166  | e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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