In March 2007 the Annual Church Meeting talked about replacing the pews with chairs which gave our members the opportunity to discuss the implications and probable cost of such a change.
2008 was spent visiting many other churches, as far apart as Nottingham and Ludlow, to see the alterations they had carried out and learn of their experiences and most of them featured a Community Café.
A Working Party, named ‘Growing for the Green’ was formed and held its first, of very, very many meetings, on 1st December 2008 and before the end of the year an architect had been appointed to prepare outline plans based on the discussions that had taken place. The ideas included the desire to be able to see through the glass of doors right from the front entrance of the building right to the cross within the chancel window at the far extreme of the church. Pews were to be replaced with chairs, a café was to be created, and our long suffering ladies were to have new toilets together with an additional Disabled Toilet, the possibility of renewing the heating boiler was also considered. These ideas were presented to the Annual Church Meeting in March 2009. There was concern about raising the money for the project, in excess of £350,000, especially during such a period of national economic recession, but it was pointed out that the main part of the church was built and paid for during the 1930’s and so we went ahead in faith.
Through the months of 2009 work that our members could carry out was identified and included cutting up the pews and making them into benches and chairs - the demand exceeded supply. Donations were received for the purchase of chairs that would carry a plaque of recognition, the oak panelling of the chancel and pulpit was thoroughly rubbed down to a much lighter colour and polished. The café kitchen was planned, heating engineers were appointed among many other items of detail to be dealt with whilst services were held in our large hall.
A grand re-opening of the worship area, with its new chairs and the floor polished back to its original light colour, was held in June 2010 but there was still much to be completed in other areas.
The progress with fund raising enabled us to come to a decision to remove the whole of the existing heating system and install a completely new one that would meet all modern requirements and leave
the members free from this worry for very many years ahead, the only problem was that we had to make the decision at the end of the autumn and we managed to get the installation completed in November 2010, one week prior to the commencement of the dreadful winter of 2010 and 2011.
In February 2011 the Contractor was appointed to create the new café in what was the original church building, refurbish the crush hall, provide new doors for the main entrance, secondary doors, and for the worship area entrance, all with large glass panels. In addition the front garden area was to be redesigned to give extra car parking and have areas that could be maintained and viewed from wheelchairs. A recess in the wall to the road included two benches where members of the community could rest. The opening and dedication of the café took place on 21st August 2011.
On Saturday 15th October 2011, prior to a day of Birmingham District Workshops, the President of Conference, Rev. Leo Osborn, dedicated a specially commissioned mural in the Crush Hall.
There was still work to be carried out in the extensive grounds at the rear of the church where a sensory garden was to be created after the clearing of the whole area and the perimeter in particular.
Despite the incessant rain the contractors, aided by many members of the church, completed their work and the opening took place on Saturday 18th August 2012.