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New church a finalist in regional architectural award

Tuesday, 16th April 2013.

An iconic new building in Haverhill has reached the final of a regional architectural design award.

St Felix Roman Catholic Church has been selected as one of four finalists in the East Anglia Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Awards 2013, in the community buildings category.

The winner will be presented with a trophy during an awards ceremony to be held during on Friday, April 26, at St Andrews Hall in Norwich.

LABC promotes the design and construction of safe, accessible, environmentally efficient buildings that comply with building regulations.

The church was completed in February last year at a cost of £980,000, following more than ten years of tireless fund raising by parishioners from the multicultural congregation of nearly 300, drawn from Europe, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and America.

It incorporates the practical requirements of a modern parish – flexible space with the capacity to seat a congregation of more than 260, has a reconciliation room, a meeting room, landscaping and designated car parking.

Father Michael Teader, the parish priest, appointed local GP Dr Paul Stephenson chairman of the New Church Project Group which developed a brief, calling also for a building with a ‘wow’ factor to act as a focal point for the community.

NPS Group were appointed architects, their Norwich office preparing the original designs and applying for planning consent and the Needham office preparing construction drawings and supervising work on site.

The architects worked with the church project group, parishioners, St Felix school children and the residents surrounding the building on the Parkway estate and appointed R G Carter of Thetford as main contractor, who liaised closely with the residents throughout the construction period.

At a civic ceremony to mark the opening of the church a year ago, the Mayors of Haverhill and St Edmundsbury, the town's MP and the chief executive of Havebury Housing acknowledged that the new building had added a new iconic landmark to Haverhill’s built environment.

Father Michael said: "It is a fitting tribute to the hard work of everyone concerned with delivering our new church that it has been nominated in the best community building category.

"We strive to be a good neighbour and consulted the local residents during design and construction and the Parkway Residents’ Association is one of the local groups that use our new meeting room facilities.

"The nomination also acknowledges the professionalism of the architects and contractors.

"We thank our parishioners, donors, the Sisters of Mercy, trusts, local authorities, Havebury Housing and countless others for their generosity in helping us to raise nearly £1m to help our dream become a reality.

"The diocese loaned the parish £150,000 of the total estimate, to enable construction to begin, and therefore St Felix parishioners continue fund raising to repay the overdraft.

"If anyone would like to make a donation, please contact me by calling 01440 702156 or emailing me at teadermicky@aol.com.

"Alternatively, please contact the chairman of the Fund Raising Group, Sharon Paradine on 01440 704502 or email her at sparadine@yahoo.co.uk"

Haverhill Online News

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