On 21st October 2013 our Church Council decided to appoint a Project Team to take things forward, and Straw Works to be our designers.

The Project Team currently nine people, but not closed, was commissioned in church on October 27th 2013. As the church prayed, a number of people stood with us on the platform, including a 4-year old boy, a lady in her 80s, someone who has only been coming a few weeks, someone who has been a church member for over 40 years, a teenager, and our church wardens.

Stage One will be for Straw Works to work up the design with us in order to secure Planning Permission and a Church Faculty. With a straw bale building more work than usual goes in to this stage so that a strong and comprehensive application can be made. Early on in Stage One we will need to complete land, soil, drain and tree surveys. Because the old hall was subject to subsidence and demolished, the building may require a different and more expensive type of foundation to our preferred car-tyre gabions.

Stage Two – having achieved the needed permissions – will be for Straw Works to work up the detail so that every aspect can be passed by Building Control and is known to be safe, sound, and conforming to Building Regulations. It will only be at this stage that we will be able to fully and accurately cost the project.

Stage Three – start building! Straw Works will continue to provide oversight, on-site training and leadership.  Straw Bale construction is more seasonal than most other types, firstly because it is important that the straw doesn’t get wet; and secondly because the external lime render hardens best over a longer period than, for example, cement. In broad terms, the order of building is: foundations, roof (supported on jacks), walls, (roof is then lowered), external lime render, internal clay plaster. We are planning for this to be a load-bearing straw-bale building, rather than having a timber frame with straw infill.

Find out what our next steps are by clicking here.