Published Date: 2 October 2009

Think again over Mirfield church

THE church of Mirfield's Community of the Resurrection is a unique piece of architecture and is listed, Grade II for its national significance. The news that the church is to be repaired, heated and mad eccessible is to be welcomed. Unfortunately the current plans are much more extensive and show little regard for the magnificence of the architecture and its serene austere interior that has been important to the community for almost a century

Community Superior, Father George Guiver is right; this is a fine building, but it does not follow that it is a great opportunity to do something imaginative. He shows there is an absence of a proper, conservation-led approach to the church. A detailed statement of significance or conservation statement that addresses the historic importance of all the features including; doors, screens, stations of the cross, hanging cross, seating, sacristy furniture and baldacchino that they are seeking to remove or relocate is essential.

The proposal to remove the stone floor to install underfloor heating is at odds with the historic building. The stone would be replaced by floor tiling with a polychromatic design 'River of Life'. There is absolutely no justification for what is proposed.

In 2003 English Heritages publication, New Work in Historic Places of Worship advised against underfloor heating in churches. In Section 5.3.1 it says underfloor heating systems are not usually an appropriate means of heating a church, only in exceptional circumstances would the removal of the floor to put in underfloor heating be justified, and Section 5.5 states that decorative stone, tile or high quality historic floor surfaces should generally not be removed.

The plans can be revised. Permission has not yet been granted through the Church of Englands own planning regime, faculty jurisdiction.

It is a pity that the Kirklees mayor, Julie Stewart-Turner was invited to the premature launch. She must have been unaware that there is opposition to the proposals from English Heritage, The Victorian Society, The Twentieth Century Society. It is time for community Superior, Father George Guiver to reconsider his funding appeal for works additional to those much needed.

Lamb Hall Road