"A vision for transforming
St Laurence Parish Church"
In May 2014 the pews were removed from St Laurence Parish Church, Stroud, in what was the first stage of a project to redevelop the church. Since then, a project team has been working on the next phase which included the public launch of the ‘St Laurence: The Future’ project over the weekend of 7-9 October 2016. The aim of the launch weekend was to engage with the wider Stroud community to discuss plans and gain the views of local people and organisations as to how they would like to see the church building used and developed, and how this could be funded.
What people have said to us since the launch of the
St Laurence: The Future Project
The St Laurence: The Future project was launched over the weekend of 7-9 October 2016. The weekend was a great success, with over 500 people coming into the church to enjoy the activities and give us their ideas and thoughts about how the building could be used and developed. More than a fifth of our visitors completed a survey about the church. Thank you to everyone who came to enjoy the space and tell us what you thought!
Since then, we have continued to engage with the wider community of Stroud, and have had lots of excellent ideas and feedback.
Some of the key themes that have emerged are -
- The Church is a beautiful and historic building, occupying an important and sacred space at the heart of the town
- The building now provides a big, flexible, open space that can be used for a whole range of activities
- Key improvements would be a new floor, better central heating, the provision of toilets and kitchen facilities, and a more welcoming entrance
- A strong Christian community should remain at the core of the building’s use, whilst, at the same time, reaching out in an inclusive and welcoming way to people of other faiths or no faith
- There is an ongoing need to support disadvantaged groups within our community, and actively address issues of poverty, inequality, discrimination, and intolerance
- There is a large and thriving community of musicians and other artists of all disciplines centred on the Stroud area, linked to a strong sense of spirituality, which the building is ideally placed to support and encourage
- There is a strong awareness of environmental and ecological issues within the community, of which any redevelopment should take account
Our Development Model
We have translated this feedback into a development model which sees a thriving Christian community at the core of an active church, reaching out to engage with issues of interfaith dialogue, supporting spiritual art, and taking account of environmental and ecological concerns ('Eco-Church'). The project team is actively engaged in turning these ideas into reality, and making St Laurence Parish Church a vibrant and thriving centre for the whole of Stroud.
You can read more about these areas of our work here -