NEW LOOK FOR ALL SAINTS CHURCH AFTER FIRE
LOVE IT OR HATE IT?
POPULAR LOCAL CHURCH DESTROYED BY FIRE
Back in 2015 All Saints Church was destroyed by a fire that ripped through it, destroying the roof and interior of the 19th Century Grade II listed building that was designed by renowned Victorian architect William Burgess. The damage, estimated to be around £4.5m was later put down to an arson attack by 17 year old Daniel Finnerty, who suffered from attention hyperactivity syndrome, enhanced by drink and drugs.
Finnerty initially set fire to a bible in the church but with little damage being done, he returned on June 22nd with a can of deodorant, spraying the shape of a cross near the altar before igniting it and running away.
Finnerty was later sentenced to four years in a youth offenders institution with an extra three years extended licence. The judge, Keith Cutler, allowed the 17 year old to be publicly named, stating that his actions were ‘a cruel blow’ to Fleet.
Below: The remains of the church after the 2015 fire showing the destroyed roof and gutted interior. Photo credits: Rushmoor Fire Station and Hampshire Fire and Rescue.
Since that day, there has been talk of restoring the building to its former glory with the insurance money and some even spoke of extending the footprint of the popular church.
A Facebook fundraiser page has now been set up to raise funds for the church stating “£950,00, plus the insurance money, is required to add a new annex and complete the restoration of the church”. With the cost of the insurance presumably covering the fire damage, it is assumed therefore that this page exists purely to cover the costs of the new modern extension, something which some have complained isn’t very clear.
Below: All Saints Facebook fundraising page description.
So what of the new design? While the original building is set to have its traditional look restored, The new extension is strikingly modern and has divided local opinion with some calling it yet another ugly modern build, a monstrosity and a waste of money, while others welcome an extended church with extra space for events.
The new extension will feature a kitchen, meeting rooms and other additions such as a new lighting system and full audio visual systems.
Below: Plans for the new modern church extension.
So what do you think of the plans? It seems they are a bit like marmite and while some love them, others hate them. Either way it seems that this will be the new look of our local church. How times change.
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