North Street Methodist Church opened in 1869 and was host to a worshipping community until 2012, when it was discovered that the building was structurally unsound. This gave way to an exciting and rare opportunity for the Church – it could start afresh!
Back in 2012 when the Church was declared structurally unsound the congregation at North Street decided to merge with the congregation at Bradfield Road Methodist Church just half a mile down the road. The Bradfield Road site was completely renovated and refurbished, making it a more suitable building for the 21st Century and became the Coppenhall Methodist Church that now hosts a range of activities from Methodist Worship to Knitting and Weight Watchers!
At North Street, the land was sold to Wulvern Housing, who built 18 social housing apartments to the rear of the land. At the front of the plot, a new Church/Community Centre was built in place of the old Church, designed to engage the local community with faith and spirituality in the 21st Century. Churches have strong connotations with most people, whether they be positive or negative, and when the old Methodist Church had to be removed, North Street embraced the rare opportunity of creating a new form of Church by imagining what a church could look like and what a community of individuals that follow a faith or seek spirituality may want in the 21st Century. The Methodist Church is now actively exploring how they can use their new space, both to engage the worshipping community and as a centre to be used for a wider variety of activities, engaging all members of the local community.
This exciting new venture has also engaged the team here at Design Office as we have had the fantastic opportunity to work alongside the centre to develop a stunning suite of exterior signs to help promote the newly opened facility!
Geoff Etherton, the vibrant character that runs the new centre, approached Design Office back in September to enquire about a temporary sign for the front of the building to let everybody know that the fantastic new facility was finally open. Here at Design Office we were of course eager to help, and went down to the new building ourselves to find out more. When we arrived we received such a warm welcome and a homely feel from the building and we weren’t happy just supplying a simple ‘now open’ sign; we wanted to help the centre develop a brand and help establish itself within the community!
To help Geoff envision how the centre could look, our fabulous team at Design Office began by generating some complimentary visuals of the building, superimposing different components of a signage suite onto each image, producing a varied selection from which Geoff could mix and match to create the perfect combination for the centre.
Geoff was more than happy with the designs he received and was eager to proceed with the production of the signage suite, so of course our team at Design Office began working on this process in house, using our finest Gloss Vinyl, our impressive Seiko Large Format Press and bespoke Di-Bond Panels produced specifically for this project, topped with lamination to ensure durability and protection against all types of weather.
Within just a few days our signage team here at Design Office had sourced all of the necessary materials, printed the finished designs and produced the final signs, ready to go and fit them. Unfortunately for us we had some bad weather which delayed the process slightly, but as soon as the rain held off for long enough our Sign Fitter paid a visit to North Street to personally fit all of the signs on behalf of Design Office.
The centre currently has no name and is simply referred to on the signs, the website and all social media platforms as ‘What’s Happening on North Street?’. This is deliberate – Geoff is keen to involve the community and make it abundantly clear to them that this centre is their space, not his. Therefore in 2016 Design Office will be partnering up with Geoff once again to run a focus group with members of the community to collectively develop the name and identity of the centre, another venture that the team here in the office are particularly excited about!
Design Office are now working on smaller projects within the centre, including menus and a new specials board, looking for any way we can help to visualise the character of the centre and its community within the design of the actual building.
Here at Design Office we particularly love to engage in projects for our local community, especially those similar to What’s Happening on North Street that all about helping the community to grow and develop and engage with one another. If you are part of a community organisation and you think that we can help you, no matter how big or small the project is, why not arrange for a member of our team to come and visit you? Call 01270 252106 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org now – we would love to get involved!