Photo Credit: Dean Smith, Camera Crew
All Saints Ilkley Reopens
The long-awaited major capital development at All Saints Ilkley is now complete. On 23rd June there will be a Celebration Service joined by Bishop Toby Howarth and many civic and community representatives. The Church will be open daily from Monday 1st July.
The building works give All Saints a more flexible and friendly space with greatly improved access not only for all the usual activities of a parish church (worship services, discipleship courses, prayer meetings, youth events, weddings, funerals etc.) but also for a wide range community activities, school visits, concerts, exhibitions, performances, conferences and meetings, plus an historic point of interest for visitors to Ilkley.
The works include new level floors, underfloor heating, flexible seating to replace fixed pews, improved lighting and eight toilets (two accessible with baby-changing facilities). A new hearing loop has been installed in the Church, and a new kitchen gives much-improved catering options.
There is a new Link building between the main Church building and the meeting rooms in Church House providing a bright, airy and welcoming meeting space with increased safety for children and vulnerable adults. This also has a dramatic pictorial timeline from the departure of the Romans through to the present-day and beyond.
The associated revitalised heritage interpretation inside the Church imaginatively tells the story of the Church and the people of Ilkley from the times of the Romans and the Anglo-Saxons, through the life of the medieval and Victorian eras, right up to the current 21st-Century renovations.
New resources have been installed, including digital experiences as well as written and audio material. Plans are in preparation for a wide range of activities for the community including a “memories project”, and opportunities for all ages to engage with the living heritage of our community and our Church.
Dobsons Construction Ltd, from Ilkley, has been the principal contractors for the capital works, working with Halliday Clark Architects (also from Ilkley) and the Bradford-based Michael Eyres Partnership as Project Managers. The artist for the timeline and for visual images on the Link windows is Peter Falloon, who also comes from Ilkley. The project has been supported by much fundraising and generosity from the Church’s own membership, by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and by several small grants.
For the past six months, the Church has been holding most of its services in the Clarke Foley Centre, with other of its community activities spread across St Margaret’s, St John’s, Christchurch and Sacred Heart.
Revd Mike Coe says: “We are thrilled with the outcome of the work at All Saints and are looking forward to seeing the redeveloped buildings used for many different church and community activities. We are really thankful to everyone who has generously supported this project over the past six years, but we are ultimately grateful to God for his ongoing provision to us as a church family.”
David Renwick, Area Director North, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said “Thanks to National Lottery players this project has helped bring to life the history of All Saints Church, Ilkley. Through physical works to conserve and improve access, historical interpretation, and an exciting programme of activities the community can get involved and discover the fascinating stories All Saints has to tell.”
The complete vision for All Saints is not limited only to the work to the Church, the Link, and the kitchen, but also at a later point to include the adjacent hall of Church House too. Already there are many community groups using the venue for pre-school children provision, for youth work, for elderly-persons, social gatherings and for various special-interest groups. The new facilities will be available for an even wider range of community organisations, businesses and charities.