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High Street Church, Harpenden

Welcome! The new floor takes a lot of punishment but keeps it beauty. “I love it” says Minister Mark Hammond.

HS Wood Flooring chosen to bring
new life to the floors of Harpenden’s Methodist Church

It is not by accident that we have great experience in fitting and restoring the floors in churches in and around London. In almost every case the cost has been covered by the parishioners. So, there is an imperative to render the best possible value, create a floor that endures over time and one that fits with our collective ecological conscience.

Accurate surveys leading to reliable quotations

Another consideration is time. Not only do churches have large floor areas but they are in constant use so Time is of the essence, as it is said. This demands an accurate survey and a carefully itemised bill of quantities. Under-estimation causes delays; over estimation causes waste. This is one way we contribute to good value. The other, of course, is the workmanship and design skills that go into creating a beautiful floor fit for the listed buildings that most churches are.

All the wood we use is sustainably sourced from the world’s forests. And, if we can save an existing floor by restoring it, we will.

Re-creation! This versatile space is used for playgroups, events, meetings and amateur theatricals.

Meeting the needs of the parish

Which brings us to the High Street Methodist church in Harpenden.  It began as three cottages in 1792. The industrial revolution was causing alarm amongst the population. For many, these were times of great uncertainty and a threat to their traditional livelihoods. They sought the solace of the Church including the so-called ‘nonconformist’ variations of which the Methodists were one. 

Such was the growth of the need for Christian sustenance that within 50 years the Harpenden Methodists had out-grown the cottages and moved to Leyton Green just south of the town. Fifty years later, the church had to be replaced by an even bigger one and, in 1930, it moved to a prime High Street spot in the centre of the town previously owned by the local brewery. But the expansion did not stop there; a vestibule, or entrance hall, was added that led to the church office and the Wesley cafe; upstairs a comfortable conference room was created; and behind the church was added a capacious, versatile hall used for meetings, play school, indoor games and amateur theatricals.

Ten-year maintenance policy

Whilst the High Street church has a lively and growing congregation that welcomes people of all faiths, its location, amenities and purpose has made it a very valuable piece of real estate! None of which is lost to the Minister, Mark Hammond, who gave up a career as a Chartered Surveyor to take up Holy Orders! Such a valuable asset is cared for by a committee with a ten-year rolling maintenance policy to look after the fabric of the building.

Hard wearing!

Which brings us back to HS Wood Flooring who were brought in to renovate the vestibule floor and fit a brand new floor for the recreation hall. The oak parquet of the vestibule was sanded and lacquered to withstand the all-weather hard wear expected of any entrance hall. The recreation hall needed to withstand frequent changes of use, from children’s play groups to theatre seating, from indoor sports to charitable events, so the floor had to robust and as resistant to scuffing as possible. “After several months of wear and tear, both floors still look fresh and new. We are delighted” said Peter Black who has responsibility for the fabric of the Church. Next on the agenda is the floor of the church itself.

“That will have to wait until we get the funds for its resurrection!”, says Mark Hammond with a wry smile. 

Prime Location: The Methodist Church lies in the centre of the High Street, Harpenden.

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