At the July 9th Coffee Hour Eric Mason led a roundtable discussion on Renovision. Thanks to all who partcipated. The feedback has been very helpful to both the Renovision Design and Project Teams.
One suggestion made by several tables was to keep a few pews as a connection to our past. While chairs form an integral element of the Renovision design, we are actively considering retaining a few pews – possibly one in each narthex and some along the back wall of the sanctuary.
This may require alterations to some of the pews to fit. We will keep you informed.
A summary of the responses to the 3 discussion questions is listed below:
WHAT IS YOUR HOPE FOR ST. LAURENCE?
- Hope it is like Metrotown food court – a diverse and all-inclusive community where if you want to come you are welcome.
- Theologically open – young, vibrant, push the envelope.
- Contemporary liturgy and music
- Continue evolving as a community -- the energy, diversity, excitement and capacity.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT RENOVISION?
- Like the design, the openness, the natural elements
- Flexibility of space, including use of chairs for worship
- Improved acoustics in the “deadspots”
- New light fixtures and having a window at the back narthex.
WHAT CONCERNS YOU ABOUT RENOVISION?
- Removing pews (some suggested we keep a few as a connection to our history)
- Limit new sanctuary use to purposes that are spiritual/sacred in nature.
- Too open, too white
- What will it cost - construction and chairs?
Determining Construction Costs
To make an informed decision at the Sept 10th special vestry it is essential we provide you with a realistic picture of construction costs for Renovision.
To do so our interior designer, Kathlene McGuiness invited contractors to submit bids for the project. Five bids were received. We are currently reviewing each bid and will narrow the field to the best 2 or 3. These 2 or 3 contractors will be interviewed, and reference checks conducted to determine the one best for Renovision.
Information sessions will be held on Sunday Sept 3rd after the service and Thursday evening Sept 7th at 7:30pm to share the costs and our financial strategy for Renovision. This will help you to prepare for the special vestry on Sept 10th after the service.
No commitment or contract will be made until after the vote at vestry – and only then if Vestry votes in favour of Renovision.
-Co-chairs, Renovision Project Team
COULDN’T WE JUST MAKE THE REPAIRS RECOMMENDED IN THE DEPRECIATION REPORT (INSTEAD OF RENOVISION) AND SAVE THE PARISH MONEY?
- The Depreciaton Report identifies the need to replace the flooring, lightng and paint the Sanctuary.
- The current sanctuary is worn and does not provide a flexible setting for our more contemporary style of Anglican worship. The current dais is not accessible for disabled persons. The small narthex is our main entry but offers no gathering space or sense of welcome. Now is the opportunity to address these issues, not simply make a few repairs.
- This will result in a sanctuary stting that is reflective of the Holy – open, welcoming, beautiful, and generous - a vision that is consistent with our contemporary and unique style of liturgy.
- If we don’t do Renovision now we will likely want to do many parts of it in the years to come. This not only will be more disruptive (especially to the new flooring). This would likely be more costly than doing the full proposal now.
IS RENOVISION ALREADY A “DONE DEAL”?
- No, it is not. Renovision will not go forward without the approval of Vestry on Sept 10, 2023.
- Contracts will not be awarded unless Vestry gives its approval.
- The proposal being made to Vestry is a recommendation based on careful study and advice, including input provided by members of the parish. It is presented as a package based on the vision of an enhanced sacred setting with a sense of beauty and balance.
- It would be impractical for Vestry to vote separately on each component of Renovision because if some elements were rejected it would require a redesign.
IF IT IS NOT A DONE DEAL, WHY ARE YOU ASKING FOR BIDS FROM CONTRACTORS WHEN VESTRY HAS NOT GIVEN APPROVAL AND FUNDING FROM DIOCESE AND ANGLICAN FOUNDATION OF CANADA HAS NOT BEEN CONFIRMED?
- It is only through obtaining bids now that we will be able to inform vestry of the actual costs of construction.
- Contracts will not be awarded unless Vestry gives its approval.
WHAT IF RENOVISION IS REJECTED BY VESTRY?
- We will need to reconsider our plans, knowing we still need to make the Depreciation Report repairs/replacements.
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON’T GET THE GRANTS AND LOANS?
- If we do not receive the grants and loans we will need to rethink what we will be capable of doing under Renovision
- Any motion to approve Renovision will need to be conditional on receiving loans and grants.
WHY CHAIRS INSTEAD OF PEWS?
- Seating needs to allow the community to gather around where the gospel is proclaimed and the eucharist is celebrated. This fosters connection and relationship between the worshippers and allow room for varied forms of worship.
- Pews by their straight lines, rigidity, and fixed character (if you tried to lift one?) work against the values of the worshipping community: flexibility, relationship and connection, and movement.
- Earlier feedback from St. Laurence members placed high value on making the Sanctuary and its furniture more flexible for a variety of uses
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE PEWS?
- An interested group will be asked to make sure the pews are recycled in a thoughhul and respectful way. – a way that benefits others.
- Suggestions will be welcome
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO OTHER ITEMS WE CURRENTLY USE FOR WORSHIP?
- An interested group will be tasked to make sure these items are retained for use or recycled in a thoughhul and respechul way. – a way that benefits others. Suggestions will be welcome.
WHAT TYPE OF CHAIRS WILL BE IN THE SANCTUARY?
- To be determined
HOW WILL ST. LAURENCE BENEFIT FROM RENOVISION?
- In our worship:
- The use of chairs, a lowered one step dais and a moveable altar and ambo provide an open, flexible and sacred setting for new and creative ways to worship.
- The light and spaciousness of the original design will be enhanced and add to our contemporary liturgical setting.
- The single level dais and other space will be much more accessible.
- In other spiritual activities:
- The renovated sanctuary will provide an open sacred setting for other forms of spiritual practice such as meditation sessions, retreats, labyrinth events and liturgical dance.
- Furthering our connection with the surrounding community
- Inviting the surrounding community to use this space as a resource, whether for meetings, yoga and other spiritual practices as well as concerts or other appropriate uses
- The narthexes will offer a sense of welcome and gathering.
We are laying the groundwork for further conversation and decision making by the congregation. This includes:
So far the St Laurence Reno Vision Team has invested three years in developing a vision that will refresh and renew our current worship space, plus the two Narthexes. Receiving your feedback and keeping you informed have been important aspects of this process.
On February 12, 2023 our Interior Designer, Kathlene McGuinness, shared the vision in 3D format with the community.
I want to update you on our progress since that presentation.
Since the presentation the Reno Vision Team has made a very intentional effort to listen to the feedback from the community.
We want to thank you most sincerely for the encouraging affirmations you offered. We also want to thank you for the concerns and questions you raised. We have tabulated this information and used it as a basis for further thoughtful discussion. We are presently in communication with Kathlene about some of the issues raised and will work cooperatively with her on any further refinements to this vision.
Much work is going on behind the scenes. A number of people, including a construction expert, are now working together with Kathlene to finalize the budget for this project.
In addition, a new team called the Reno Vision Project Team has been established.
This team includes Mike Burpee as Facilitator along with Susanne Stockdill, Rev Eric Mason, Rev Carla McGhie, Vivian Donnan, Rick Barr, David Dennis and Curt Bruneski.
This Project team will focus on the practical steps that need to be taken in order to make the present Vision a reality. In carrying out their tasks the Reno Vision Project team will work closely with parish leadership.
They will establish a realistic plan and timeframe for the implementation of Reno Vision. This will include developing a financial strategy to cover the cost of the project, transitional plans for worship during construction and ways to involve the wider congregation in tasks that will enable the project to move forward.
On two separate Sundays (before the Special Vestry), there will be two meetings to share information about the financial costs for this project, as well as a proposed financial strategy to fund Reno Vision.
There will be a Special Vestry meeting in May to seek the approval of Vestry to proceed with Reno Vision including a recommended funding strategy.
We are moving ahead in a spirit of faithfulness, gratitude and courage. We are excited to be participants in a new vision for this community and pray we will continue to be open to the movement of the Holy Spirit and her call to us.
- Carla McGhie
Designer presentation with 3D model.
The St Laurence Reno Vision Team is in its third year of working together in its task of developing, sharing and implementing a vision that will refresh and renew our current worship space, plus the two Narthexes.
Early in 2022 we dedicated two Sundays to receiving feedback from the community. We wanted to know what the community appreciated about our worship space and about how it could be strengthened. On the second Sunday we asked what the community valued and wanted to do in our worship space.
The collated responses were shared at the Feb 2022 Vestry meeting and then placed on the website.
The key themes included:
· Flexibility, a building that allows for a range of worship experiences as well as communal uses
· An interest in a range of worship styles,
· Strong appreciation of our music, and a centralized location
· Love of sacred space and beauty, a spiritual home for all
· Maintaining the light-filled, spaciousness of the building
· Welcome, Inclusivity, especially for children, youth and families
Informed by the community’s feedback plus the requirements of the Depreciation Report the Reno Vision Team worked on developing a Vision document. In the process other user groups were consulted and an acoustical study was done. The Rev Peter Elliott and Thomas Roach, specialists in liturgical space design, were engaged for two consulting sessions. In addition, the community experienced sitting in two different in-the-round formations for worship, one with pews and the other with chairs. After both experiences feedback was obtained. Forming a basic vision document involved many meetings, constant cross-referencing, measuring, discussion and debate as various options were considered.
In the summer, Ron Cooper and Rev. Pat Ratcliffe completed the formal measurements for our sanctuary. We are grateful for their work. We also began the process of interviewing for a suitable interior designer to give shape and reality to the developed vision. Seven designers were interviewed. In late October Kathlene McGuinness from Ibitibi Interior Design was awarded the contract and introduced to the community.
In November Kathlene presented the Reno Vision Team with three options for possible floor plans, each containing various formation possibilities. This was followed by further consideration and refinement.
In December we were offered a Concept Presentation. This offered elements of what might be contained in the development of a digital 3D model.
In January 2023 two information sessions were planned to help prepare the community for viewing of the 3D digital model. Elements of the vision were shared and feedback was received. This digital model will shortly be shared with the community.
At a Trustees meeting In January 2023 plans were initiated for the formation of an Implementation Committee that would help facilitate the financial and practical realities of the project.
This past year has been a time of intense work, learning and challenge. Testing out various options has required that we listen deeply and be prepared to adapt and re-frame our thinking.
We continue to give thanks to those who 30 years ago imagined, designed and created our present worship space. They had the courage to implement a very creative and inspiring vision. They moved away from the traditional understanding of church design and provided us with a beautiful modern space that is light, airy and outward looking. They were visionary, bold and courageous in offering us something exceptional. They left us a remarkable legacy.
It is now our turn to do likewise. Leaving a worthy legacy is the scope of our endeavors.
We hope our legacy will provide a flexible, sacred setting for a range of inspirational forms of worship and additionally provide a place that is flexible and useful for a number of community activities.
I offer my special thanks to our team members for their energy, insights and commitment to working together.
Members: Rev Eric Mason, Rev Carla McGhie, Ron Cooper, Vivian Donnan, Connie Keen, Rick Barr, Rev Wally Shea, Rev Pat Ratcliffe, Anastasia McKechnie (student)
Carla C. McGhie (Rev.)
In our last update in June2022 we advised you that The Reno Vision Team had developed a Vision based on the Guiding Principles we developed, the feedback we received from you and the needs outlined in the Depreciation Report.
The summer months were very busy for the Reno Vision team as we interviewed a number of professional interior designers who would help us bring the Vision to life. Due to a variety of reasons the interview process took longer than we had anticipated.
I am pleased to inform you that in October, with the approval of the Trustees, we appointed Kathlene McGuinness from the Vancouver firm iBiTiBi as the Interior Designer for our renovation project.
We have every confidence that Kathlene will listen closely to our ideas and requirements and help us achieve our Vision.
As part of our contract with Kathlene she will be developing a 3 dimensional model of the proposed renovations for the sanctuary. She will then be sharing this with us early next year and you will have an opportunity to provide feedback. The final design will then be presented to Vestry for Approval.
We are hopeful that renovations could start mid 2023.
The present building has served us very well for 30 years and we want to ensure that it will continue to be a place of beauty and worship and enhance our capacity for ministry for the next 30 years.
Kathlene was present at the 10.30am and introduced to the congregation
Submitted by Carla McGhie
Since our sessions with Peter Elliott and Thomas Roach, the Reno Vision Team has been working hard developing a Vision. This Vision or Plan takes into account the Guiding Principles we developed, the feedback we received from you, the needs outlined in the Depreciation Report and suggestions from out time with Consultants Peter and Thomas.
During the summer we will be looking for a professional Interior Designers who will help us bring the Vision or Plan to life. We are especially interested in a firm that specializes in 3D Drawings for presentations and meetings.
In the fall we will we want to conduct some Information Sessions where we can share the 3 D Drawings and outline recommendations for your comment.
These sessions will be followed by a Special Vestry Meeting where we will seek approval to proceed with the renovations.
Our Reno Vision Team continues to work hard and is committed to doing the work required to bring additional beauty to our worship space.
We appreciate your ongoing support and prayers.
We would like to give you an update on the work of the Reno Vision team since Vestry where we shared with you the results from the 2 congregational feedback sessions in early February.
After Vestry we sought feedback from outside groups that also use our sanctuary, such as choirs and music teachers. This was very helpful. We have also had some acoustical testing done in the Sanctuary, as we want to make sure any changes do not adversely affect our acoustics
Based on all the feedback we received, recommendations in the Depreciation Report and our Reno Vision Guidelines we have identified a number of repairs and changes. These have been grouped by priority.
We are moving with care because we want to make sure any repairs and renovations will work well in the unique architecture of our sanctuary and at the same time match our worship style and hopes for the future.
To assist us in this task we have sought additional professional help. This week Rev. Peter Elliott, former Dean of the Cathedral, and Thomas Roach (previously from Christ Church Cathedral) began a four-hour consultation with us. They both have highly regarded expertise in the design and management of liturgical space.
The special Vestry Meeting we had planned for the end of May 2022 will be delayed until the Fall. At that meeting we will present the congregation with a set of recommendations for discussion and approval .
We have greatly appreciated your willingness to try different seating formations for worship. Many of us have found this a real learning experience.
We greatly appreciate your patience and ask for your continued prayers as we seek to maintain the beauty of this building.
Our Team Members are: Eric, Carla, Connie, Pat Ratcliffe, Ron Cooper, Rick Barr, Vivian Donnan and Wally. They will welcome your questions and conversation.
Your feedback was collated and presented to vestry. Please visit this page to review the responses.
Last fall, the RenoVision Team visited three churches to learn and widen their understanding about the possibilities in church renovations. The video below discusses the visits to St. Dunstan's Aldergrove, Christ Church Cathedral and St. Mary's Kerrisdale.
On two sundays in January, we held parish sessions in the sanctuary and on zoom where we asked 4 questions:
Your responses were recorded and presented at Vestry.