The Victorian reordering of St Laurence’s, a grade I listed church, seriously constrained the way in which the building could be used. With no side aisles, the congregation were segregated into three; those seated in the transepts could not see those in the nave. The narrow gangway between pews was near impossible to negotiate with pushchairs or wheelchairs.
The restrictive layout, poor sightlines, dismal lighting and inefficient heating meant that the building was no longer appropriately serving the Church in their worship and mission in the 21st century. Increasingly activities and services were taking place across the road in the more modern Parish Rooms.
The reordering released the building from its historical straightjacket. New glass entrance doors now give a view into the church to provide a warmer welcome; the pews were removed and replaced with comfortable, movable chairs; the bare sandstone walls were rendered with white plaster to reflect light from the new lighting installation; underfloor heating provides comfort during colder months and a new audio-visual system means that the building can be used by the Church far more effectively.