Rev Simon Pitcher - `it’s given the church a new lease of life’

Reverend Simon Pitcher at the St Edmunds's Church. Southwold opening service.
Nicholas Jacob Archit

Reverend Simon Pitcher at the St Edmunds's Church. Southwold opening service. Nicholas Jacob Architects were shortlisted for awards for their work on the revamp. - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich-based firm of architects which gave a Southwold church a “new lease of life” has been shortlisted for two awards recognising their work on the project.

New south porch at Southwold Church

New south porch at Southwold Church - Credit: NJA

Nicholas Jacob Architects transformed a Southwold church creating new facilities and an open, flexible space to be used by the wider community for meetings, social events and children’s activities.

The success of the scheme means the company has now been shortlisted for the 2018 Presidents’ Award for the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association and the National Churches Trust.

On top of this Pippa Jacob – who was involved with the detailed design stage and carried out the contract management of the project - has been shortlisted for the Young Church Architect Award.

The 32-year-old said: “The works involved a complete reordering of the west end of the North and South aisles and the base of the tower to future-proof the building for generations to come.

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“We had to update facilities and renovate to allow the building to be used for multiple purposes, but we did this in the most sensitive manner to incorporate original materials and ensure the character remained intact.

“Salvaged York stone, clay pamments and Purbeck marble tiles were protected, and preliminary archaeological investigations revealed the remains of 15th Century glazed clay floor tiles which have been retained and repaired in situ.”

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Detailed consultations were carried out with Historic England, the Diocesan Advisory Committee, the Victorian Society and Church Buildings Council throughout the project.

Reverend Simon Pitcher from St Edmund’s Church said the impact on the church had been entirely positive.

“The new space and the improved facilities have helped us to offer better children’s services with more flexibility and more fun.

“We have received more bookings for concerts and other events and the gallery, toilets and refreshment facilities have all attracted these extra uses of the church.

“It’s given the church a new lease of life.”

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