This is a summary of what we aim to achieve through the Restoration programme. You can find the more detailed designed brief here.
The restoration must incorporate an improved audio system that will be much more user friendly and effective.
Visuals: Sight Lines
The restoration must reduce sight line problems, minimise pillar obstructions and increase connectivity between those leading the service and the congregation.
A re–positioning of the choir will help them in their role of leading the singing and free up space to the front right hand side of the church for seating. It will also help the organist lead the choir.
The restoration must incorporate an improved audio/visual system that would be much more user–friendly and effective, while ensuring that screens don’t jar with the atmosphere of the building.
The restoration should consider a sensitive re–positioning of the Font to ease current space, access and visibility issues.
Holy Communion Services
The restoration should incorporate curved seating, and moving the choir will provide more space at the front of church. A longer communion rail should then be provided with no steps. This will make communion a smoother and more efficient service for the whole congregation and people will feel free to stand or to kneel to receive Communion as they preferred.
Small Group Worship
A restoration of the Church with a connecting building should improve access to the Church from the Parish Centre and car park. Together with zoned lighting this should increase usage of the Church building for different services throughout the week.
In a restoration of the Church singing quality should be improved by repositioning the organist, the choir, and our musicians/singers in relation to the gathered congregation. Tidying equipment and music scripts in a more appropriate manner will be possible. This will make the church more flexible for other church–appropriate but non–worship occasions (eg choirs, concerts etc).
Sitting / Kneeling
A restoration plan should seek to include more flexible, comfortable, storable seating. Any new chair will need to be carefully chosen to aid flexibility and comfort and facilitate kneeling for those who wish to do so.
St Columbanus Educational Display
Drawing on our rich Columbanus history there will be opportunities for education, creativity and merchandising, (especially with the 2015 St Columbanus anniversary) which to date remain untapped. Website, postcards, North Down Museum, possible production of a tapestry are possibilities which might be housed in the new design.
Welcome Area / Meeting Space / Hospitality
The joining of the Church building and Parish Centre will create a new entrance lobby (as well as making the Church building readily accessible from the upper car park, Parish Centre and Groomsport Road) and afford flexible meeting space, a welcome area, information centre, hospitality provision and a collection point.
Toilets / Cloakroom / Wheelchairs / Pushchairs / Walking Rollators
A restoration plan which connects the Church and the Parish Centre will offer ready access to toilets, cloakrooms and disabled toilets in the Parish Centre and create space for temporary storage. The new seating will seek to accommodate wheelchairs and make movement around the Church building much freer for everyone .
Entry / Exit / Security
A restoration plan which connects the Church and the Parish Centre will address all the entry/access and health and safety issues.
A permanent crèche with a glass screen visibly and audibly connected to the main worship space will enable parents and children to remain part of the service without any feelings of self consciousness if a child is not happy.
A restoration scheme will ideally include appropriate provision for both clergy and church wardens.
Storage / Cleaning Equipment
Additional storage facilities must be included in any restoration design, to tidy our kit and equipment, to de–clutter our worship space and to reduce the need to use the bell tower for storage.