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History: The Church from 1990 to date

THE CHURCH FROM 1990 TO DATE

1994 saw the start of major renovation and re-building of the premises.  For at least ten years previously the walls supporting the rooms at the back of the sanctuary were known to be unsafe and had to be shored up.   After months of discussion it was decided to completely demolish all these rooms, to renovate the sanctuary by disposing of the pews and making the floor all one level, to incorporate into the premises the garden area at the side, to install new heating and lighting and to replace the roof.

The last service to be held in the Church before the building work commenced was the Harvest Festival on 24 September 1994. All the Church's activities were transferred to May Place House (now May Place Hostel) and was our 'home' for the duration of the re-building.

Sunday 3 March 1996 was the date of the first service in the new premises. Changes included: a central aisle, chairs on the ground floor rather than pews and the entrance foyer enlarged. The Memorial Window, originally inside the main doors, was removed to make way for the new foyer and reinstalled on the first floor into what is now the Memorial Room. Stained glass windows also removed were reinstalled at the side of the new building. The pews in the gallery have been retained and with the removal of the old organ pipes the gallery has been opened up again. A new Copeman Hart organ has been custom designed and built using digital technology. New lighting was installed and under floor heating.

The new concourse area, situated where there was once the church garden, now houses the community cafes – Oasis and Youth cafes.

All the rooms behind the sanctuary, together with kitchens and toilets, complete the new premises. The room names carry on associations from the previous building going back over many years and the involvement of people from London Street:

Hook Room – so named to commemorate the work and witness of Hook United Reformed Church from 1816 to 1978. The name also recalls the association with Revd John Hook.

Immanuel Room – so named to commemorate the work and witness of Immanuel Church, church of the Countess of Huntingdon's connection from 1777 to 1969. This was located in Wote Street and when the church was demolished during the redevelopment of Basingstoke, many members of Immanuel Church became members at London Street.

May Room - so named to commemorate the work and witness of the Church's former May Street Mission, originally the Railwaymen's Mission. Its site was absorbed in the construction of Churchill Way West during the redevelopment of Basingstoke.

Winslade Room - so named to commemorate the work and witness of Winslade Chapel.

Worting Room - so named to commemorate the work and witness of the Old Worting Chapel where services were held from 1872 to 1966. The building was subsequently used by the British Red Cross Society.

Wessex Hall – a new name in our present premises. The Wessex Hall marks our association with the Wessex Synod of the URC and acknowledges the financial assistance from the Wessex Trust for the 1994-96 redevelopment.