Major revamp plan for Princes Street United Reformed Church in Norwich

The United Reformed Church on Princes Street where work is set to start to enhance multi-use of the building. Photo: Steve Adams The United Reformed Church on Princes Street where work is set to start to enhance multi-use of the building. Photo: Steve Adams

Emma Knights
emma.knights@archant.co.uk
Monday, May 12, 2014
7:00 AM

A city-centre church is undergoing an extensive refurbishment to develop the building for the 21st century.

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The United Reformed Church on Princes Street where work is set to start to enhance multi-use of the building. Rev Dr Michael Dunford, left and John Napier in the church.Photo: Steve AdamsThe United Reformed Church on Princes Street where work is set to start to enhance multi-use of the building. Rev Dr Michael Dunford, left and John Napier in the church.Photo: Steve Adams

The Princes Street United Reformed Church recently sold neighbouring building Boardman House to Norwich University of the Arts, and now work is under way to make the church building a more flexible church and community space.

The church pews have already been removed from the sanctuary, and today building company W.S.Lusher and Son will begin work to create new meeting rooms, a new kitchen block, and other facilities.

The project has a base cost of about £400,000 and is being led by the Rev Dr Michael Dunford who said the refurbishment would help the Princes Street United Reformed Church meet the requirements of a modern church in a changing society.

“It will give us a much more workable suite of buildings. We are looking to the future and are very excited,” he said.

“The aim is to refurbish and develop the church building for multiple use in its purpose to continue to provide URC Nonconformist worship and witness in the city centre along with significant community facilities and meeting rooms for a range of local groups, both large and small.”

Part of the plans include developing the welcome area at the front of the grade II-listed church.

“We want the church to be open and welcoming to the community around us,” said Dr Dunford.

Purcell is the architect for the project and the main part of the work is expected to be completed by August.

It is hoped the congregation will be able to worship in the church once more from September.

In the meantime the congregation is worshipping at Trinity URC in Unthank Road in Norwich.

Boardman House, which used to be a Sunday School and Lecture Hall, is to house NUA’s School of Architecture and is planned to open in 2015.

Until last year the main part of Boardman House was let to Age UK, and the Princes Street United Reformed Church used the rooms on the lower ground floor alongside the main church building next door which is now undergoing the revamp.

Do you have a story about a community development project in Norwich? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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