Sheppard Architects

St Mary's, Harefield, Middlesex

This beautiful Grade I listed medieval church required internal alterations to provide new facilities and meeting rooms for its congregation.

Originally a private chapel to a great house, this beautiful Grade I listed medieval church houses a multitude of important monuments and historic fabric, including box pews and carved screens. However, the weight of its history led to considerable difficulties for the building’s new role as a Parish church. In particular, the absence of space for Sunday school groups and gathering, and the lack of lavatories or kitchen proved to be particularly problematic. Following careful analysis of the church’s needs and the historic development of the building, proposals for some practical but justifiable changes were drawn up. After obtaining the necessary consents, the organ and some of the pews were removed, the font was relocated, the gallery cleared and then screened. Box pews were relocated and historic carved screening was carefully adapted. New glazed screens were introduced to provide Sunday school and meeting rooms. A crèche, a natural gathering space in the Narthex, a small vestry, kitchen and a WC were all created. The building is now able to function as a parish church, whilst retaining its historic character and integrity.