Plan to demolish and rebuild Aylesbury church
The Victory Pentecostal Church of God in Fleet Street, Aylesbury, was built in the 1950s however, according to the man in charge, it is no longer fit for purpose.
Pastor Peter Bruce took over the church from his late father Renatus and he says the time has come to redevelop the building.
The project is estimated to cost about £300,000.
Pastor Bruce said: “The building is not safe or fit for purpose.
“I have never seen a building as poor as ours during my time in the church.”
Under the plans the current building would be demolished.
The site would be redeveloped to provide a two-storey church building and existing garages would be converted to form a one-bed studio flat.
Pastor Bruce added: “We hope to complete the new building by next year.
“It has taken a long time for us to get this far because we have had a few pre-applications turned down.”
The church traditionally holds an Easter conference over the weekend, featuring a host of religious speakers, however Pastor Bruce said it was not possible to host this any more.
He said: “Now we have to hire other buildings.
“We would have them here but we could not fit everyone in. The new building would hold up to 140 people. Currently we can only get 65 people in seated. We had to reduce the capacity when we built a toilet and kitchen.”
Pastor Bruce added that the church’s neighbours were in favour of it being rebuilt.
He said: “The neighbours are very enthusiastic about the plans because they believe it will enhance their house prices.
“We believe a new building will help improve the area and help us to serve the community better.
“We want the extra space for when we are holding weddings and funerals as well.”
A design and access report submitted by the church’s agents to the district council website says: “The church has always had aspirations to involve and serve the community on a much broader scale and it is this impetus that is behind the proposed changes.
“There are numerous and varied community groups and activities that will benefit from a more spacious and user-friendly building as their numbers are currently restricted by the existing building.
“Looking towards the future the church has a vision to serve a wider range of young people in Aylesbury.”
The report also says the current state of the church is one of ‘impending dilapidation’.
The report concludes that ‘the church has arrived at a point in its development where the only way forward, to increase the usability of the building and to accommodate the congregation in more comfort and safety, is to rebuild the church in its entirety.’