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The Chamber at St John's

Following a successful bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund by The Churches Conservation Trust, work will now increase at pace to deliver an exciting project based at St John the Evangelist Church in central Lancaster. The ‘Chamber at St John’s' project will see this Grade I listed Georgian chapel-of-ease transformed from a redundant building at risk to a vibrant landmark in Lancaster city centre, enhancing the prosperity and well-being of the whole community. The church will be leased to the Lancaster and District Chamber of Commerce and will provide a physical ‘Chamber’ for the organisation to build and grow a networked community of entrepreneurs to help Lancaster prosper.

To support the successful delivery of this project, Mosedale Gillatt Architects have been appointed to lead a Consultant team that will see the £2.7m project through from feasibility to completion on site. This project will build upon our award winning work and strong working relationship with The Churches Conservation Trust at 17Nineteen in Sunderland.

Tim Mosedale, Director of Mosedale Gillatt Architects said:

’We are excited to be working again with the Churches Conservation Trust, and look forward to collaborating with the Lancaster & District Chamber of Commerce. This project will blend the very best of innovative contemporary architecture with specialist heritage knowledge to complement a beautifully conserved historic setting.’

Elanor Johnson, Regeneration Officer at Churches Conservation Trust said:

‘Working in partnership with Lancaster and District Chamber of Commerce, CCT are excited for the future of St John’s, a beautiful building with so much potential to be a part of city life once more. Thanks to National Lottery players and other supporters, we’ve been able to bring together a specialist team to support all aspects of the project, from conservation and design to business planning support.’

The Trust will bring their expertise in community-led regeneration, building conservation and public engagement and the Chamber of Commerce bring a beneficial new purpose to St John’s, as a co-working and enterprise space, both of which are essential to a successful collaborative scheme. The Church will be multi-purpose: used predominantly by the business community of Lancaster during office hours, and open to the public for concerts, talks, community events and heritage open days in the evenings and at weekends. Together, we will to deliver an inspiring adaptive reuse project which is locally rooted, financially viable, and sustainable for the long-term.

The project promises a sensitive adaptation of the former church’s historic interiors to create co-working areas, offices and meeting spaces. A new extension in the churchyard will be carefully designed to maintain the focus on the existing building and setting whilst providing much needed facilities. The churchyard will be opened to members of the public with a scheme of interpretation helping to better understand the history of the church and those remembered there.

You can follow the project more closely on the Churches Conservation Trust website or Lancaster and District Chamber of Commerce website

About the Churches Conservation Trust

The Churches Conservation Trust is the national charity saving historic churches at risk, charged with protecting over 350 beautiful church buildings which attract almost 2 million visitors a year. CCT’s collection includes irreplaceable examples of architecture, archaeology and art from 1,000 years of English history.

CCT is the operator of the third largest heritage estate in charitable ownership in the UK and has an international award-winning reputation in heritage conservation and regeneration. All churches in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust are listed, mostly Grade I and II*, and some are Scheduled Ancient Monuments.

Without the care of the Churches Conservation Trust, the buildings they look after might have disappeared entirely. Instead they are enjoyed as social, tourism, educational or cultural resources, kept open, in use, and living once again in the heart of communities. All CCT’s churches remain consecrated and are used for occasional worship.

Photos copyright - The Churches Conservation Trust / Andy Marshall photographer

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