Diocese of Portsmouth

    New church hall will serve the community

    13 April 2023

    WORSHIPPERS will unveil plans for a new community hall to give North End residents a modern venue to hire.

    They’ll showcase plans for a brand new hall and garden space next to St Nicholas Church in Battenburg Avenue, as they welcome locals to an Open Day on April 29.

    Architects will detail plans for the St Nicholas Church Hall, which will include a large hall, small meeting toom, kitchen area and toilets. It will be linked to the church itself via a covered walkway and powered by an array of solar panels.

    The plans also feature a new garden to be created behind the church, which should include trees, a decent-sized lawn and a pizza oven. The inside and outside of this new venue could be hired for parties or community groups for regular meetings.

    The expected £300,000 cost of this transformation will be paid for by money already raised from the sale of land, and some grants. A former derelict hall between the church and Compton Road was sold and demolished to make way for six new modern homes that have already been built.

    The full plans will be shown to local residents at an open day in St Nicholas Church, from 12pm to 3pm on Saturday 29th April. Locals will be able to meet the vicar and architect and have their say on what is planned.

    An artist's impression of how the new church hall will look from Battenburg Avenue. The hall is to the left, the church building to the right.
    An aerial view of how the new church hall will look, with the garden space tucked behind the church itself
    Another perspective on the proposed church hall at St Nicholas Church, North End
    The new walkway that has already been created between Battenburg Avenue and Compton Road, with the newly-built houses visible behind

    Team vicar the Rev Sam Duddles said: “For years we’ve had a church hall that wasn’t fit for purpose, and land that wasn’t being used to its full potential. This will give us a church hall that people will definitely want to hire – for Slimming World, pilates, yoga, meetings, parties and so on.

    “It will be built in keeping with the houses nearby and the church. So it will feature brick and some wooden black cladding. We also hope to make it as environmentally sustainable as possible, so we hope to install solar panels on the roof and a heat pump.

    “The demolition of the buildings that were previously here and the building of six new, modern houses has already made a difference. There’s now a new walkway between Battenburg Avenue and Compton Road, which is a public right of way and makes things so much more convenient for people living here.

    “We love the new plans, but we’re keen to see what other people think too. If people have suggestions for how to make it even better, we’d love to hear them – on April 29, if possible. We’ll have people from the Hive and the Wildlife Trust there to talk about our outdoor space, plus councillors and members of the local community.

    “A church and a church hall are supposed to be community spaces that local people use, so we want them to be hired. This should make a massive difference to our part of North End.”

    The church will ask for planning permission later in the year, and then hope to start building work after that. For more details, see: St Nicholas Church Facebook page or the website here.

    St Nicholas', North End Team Ministry

    Battenburg Avenue, North End, North Copnor/Gatcombe Park, PO2 0SR

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