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Office hours are 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Church Centre Update

Summer 2013

Church Centre Building progressing!
Click on the thumbnails below for a larger view

New Front Entrance has been cut through  The foundations for the extension and lift shaft are progressing at the rear of the building.  Foundations dug out ready for pouring concrete !                      

28 May 2013

Work has started!


Car Parking

During the weekdays it is vital that we do not park in either the Adam Practice or Longfleet House Practice car parks during the day as that agreement is for evenings and weekends only.

Sunday Arrangements

  • Throughout the weekend parking, within marked bays, in Heckford Park is derestricted.  Please park considerately within these spaces, we want to be good neighbours!  There are also parking spaces in Birds Hill Road, Churchfield Road and Alverton Avenue for those who are more mobile.
  • We can use the Adam Practice car park and the front car park only at the Longfleet House Practice.
  • Bike racks are available at the Church Centre

Weekday Events

  • In the evenings we do have permission to park in the Adam Practice car park.
  • From 8am to 6pm parking, within marked bays, in Heckford Park is limited to 2 hours which is suitable for most midweek services, visitors to the Cafe, Focus, or if you just want to pop in.  Parking is also available nearby in Birds Hill Road, Churchfield Road and Alverton Avenue.
  • Those with a disabled badge are able to park on double yellow lines for 3 hours or within Heckford Park marked bays indefinitely.
  • The bus stops outside SML are well served with buses.

Roads nearby where parking might be available


15 May 2013

Contract is signed for the building of the Church Centre to commence

Click on picture to view a larger version


19 April 2013

Green light for Church Centre Project building phase!

Thank-you so much for praying for our PCC Meeting Wednesday evening. It was soaked in prayer and had also been preceded by a huge amount of careful, detailed work particularly on the ‘financial forecast and plan’. In summary, the PCC reached a unanimous decision to move our church centre project on to the building phase! It is thrilling to have reached this landmark moment on the journey, Praise the Lord! And we can be hugely thankful for the wise and faith-filled role the PCC plays as a part of the leadership of SML. – Andy

March 2013

Week of 24:7 Prayer for Church Centre ‘Gift Day’ 17 March

Click here to download a response form for the ‘Gift Day’

Click image for more info


November 2012

Work started on Puffin Crossing Monday 5 November 2012 – (Click on thumbnail for larger picture)


September 2012


Click on thumbnail for larger picture

It has been a busy few months behind the scenes with our Church Centre redevelopment. The main issues we have been dealing with are:

Building Design

Our architects, Ellis Belk Associates, have been busy working on the specification, and also revising the drawings to meet the planner’s requirements. Specifically, these latest plans include:

  • An enclosed fire escape stair at the rear of the building. A simple external steel fire escape stair was not acceptable to the planners because the building is in a Conservation Area
  • Amendments to the car park required to meet planning conditions attached to the existing planning consent granted last year.
  • A revised porch which is acceptable to the planners.
  • The internal layout amendments necessary to accommodate the fire escape stair.
  • Solar panels on the roof.

Ellis Belk are also busy finalising the building specification

A full planning application was submitted in July requesting approval for the revisions listed above. Discussions have taken place with the planners, and we are pleased to report that Planning Permission has now been granted.

The latest drawings can be seen on display in the Beament Lounge.

Building Cost

Throughout this project, we have been very conscious of the need to control cost. Although we have been very careful to avoid any kind of extravagance in the design, costs have risen as the design has developed over the last few months. These cost increases fall into two main groups:

Changes introduced by SML

 Representatives from all key areas of activity associated with the new building were formed into User Groups, and these groups met and discussed the design earlier this year. As a result of these consultations, a number of changes were proposed to improve the efficiency and user-friendliness of the building. These changes include:

  • Addition of a top floor toilet
  • Addition of a café kitchen on the top floor
  • Removal of structural wall in the lobby
  • Complete rearrangement of ground floor toilets
  • Addition of a door in Room G3 to facilitate serving of hot meals
  • Addition of a large external porch – including a buggy parking area

 Changes introduced to meet Local Authority Requirements

The Church Centre is in the Heckford Park Conservation Area, and as a result, many things which might be approved elsewhere, are not acceptable to the planners for our building. A prime example of this is the need to construct an additional fully enclosed escape stair instead of a simple steel fire escape.

As reported previously, owing to the complex mixture of refurbishment and new build involved in this development, it is necessary to complete the majority of the detail design in order to produce an accurate assessment of the construction cost. To this end we have recently appointed a Quantity Surveyor to produce a cost estimate based on the architect’s specification. We are soon to receive the first draft of the cost appraisal, and will then start the process of checking through the details and assessing where savings, if any, can be made.

Understandably, it is already clear from work done so far, that the building cost for the current design, including the design changes listed above, will be higher than we had estimated for the simpler outline design approved in 2011.
We expect to finalise the cost review before the end of October.

Road Crossing

The proposed Puffin crossing has now received Technical Approval from the local authority.

The council advised that the cost of the crossing had increased significantly, but following discussions with the local authority, a reduced cost was agreed, which was more in line with our expectations. Although the agreed figure of £47,000 is a little higher than we had budgeted, it includes provision of a data duct under Longfleet Road to accommodate a computer link between the Church and Church Centre.

The local authority Transportation Advisory Group approved the proposal at their meeting on 20 September. We are advised that the Section 278 legal agreement between SML and Poole Borough Council will take 6-8 weeks to complete. The lead time for the Siemens traffic light equipment is then 6-8 weeks, so work on site is likely to start in January.

We are making good progress, but as Andy encouraged us all to do in September, we need your continuing support in daily prayer for this project.

Ian Hicks

Project Manager


June 2012

It has been an exciting few months behind the scenes with our Church Centre redevelopment:

Building Design progress:

  • Our architects (Ellis Belk Associates) have produced detailed floor plans for the building, adding in a few excellent touches:

– a wider, brighter internal lobby area

– reconfiguration of the toilets on the ground floor, adding in a shower room

– creation of a kitchenette and toilet on the top floor

  • A  fire escape has been added which was necessary to enable us to have over 60 people in the top floor room
  • Trial pits have been dug by the structural engineers, and these tests have confirmed that the current foundations can support the weight of the extra storey.
  • We will shortly be appointing a Quantity Surveyor to produce a Budget Cost Estimate based on the architect’s specification. This will give us a more accurate assessment of the likely construction cost, and we anticipate this information will be available in the late summer.

Road Crossing progress:

  • Siemens, in discussion with Poole Borough Council and Ian, have drawn up preliminary plans for the road crossing, and the Council are currently carrying out a safety audit of the proposed design.
  • The design proposal includes zig-zag lines and guard rails outside our main entrance. Discussions are continuing with Siemens and the Council, about limiting the length of these zig-zag lines and guard rails, so that cars can continue to stop briefly for dropping-off close to the church. This is especially important for wedding and funeral cars and those needing disabled access.

Fundraising progress:

  • Each month our cash funds increase as those who have generously pledged money give to the CCP
  • The total money raised from gifts or pledged currently stands at £712,600.
  • In addition 17 carefully selected Trusts have been approached for a gift towards our project. The result has been exciting so far:

– One £100,000 interest free loan from the Talbot Village Trust

– One £10,000 gift from the Garfield Weston Society

– One visit from a representative of the Maurice and Hilda Laing Charitable Trust and one pending visit from Allchurches Trust Ltd. Please pray as these Trusts make decisions in the next few months.

– Two trusts said no & we await a response from the others.

Points for praise and thanks:

* The excellent working relationship with our architects Ellis Belk Associates

* An encouraging response to our initial applications to Trusts

* Lollipops Pre-School, who had used our centre for many years,  finding a new venue locally

* Members of SML continuing to give sacrificially to the project

Looking ahead and pointers for prayer:

* Discussions between our architects and Poole Borough Council Planners over the next month or so, as we finalise the outstanding planning issues, and negotiate amendments to the plans, such as the position of the fire escape

* Creativity and wisdom as we continue to look at ways to close the funding gap

* Ian as he helps keep the building project on track.

Final thoughts!

If you haven’t joined us yet in giving to the project – please do look at the website for a giving form or pick one up from the foyer. It’s not too late!


Click on picture below to download the latest Church Centre Brochure Update