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Ecclesistical & Heritage World No.99

Ecclesiastical & Heritage World JTC Roofing Contractors Ltd

New church building is an award-winner

On 12 May 1894 a parcel of land on Elizabeth Road in Caterham – now Francis Road – was purchased at a cost of £32, for a new church building to be called Oak Hall. The church building was completed during July and August at a cost of £206, and opened on Thursday 13 September of that year.

Fast forward 125 years and there is a new Oakhall church building in the heart of the Caterham community – a building which has been named South East Regional Winner in the 2019 LABC Building Excellence Awards in the Best Public Service Building category.

The roles of project manager, quantity surveyor and principal designer were undertaken by chartered surveyors Chawton Hill – calling on over 18 years of ecclesiastical experience to deliver another exceptional church building. It is a building that invites people in to a large multi-use auditorium, office space, café, classrooms and nursery, complete with generous new parking areas.

The project involved the demolition of derelict offices – a local eyesore for many years – removal of foundations and reworking of ground levels, followed by the erection of a new steel-framed building overclad with a variety of materials, including textured blockwork, through-colour rendering, brickwork and glazed curtain walling.

The new church is striking in appearance due to the variety of roof levels with varying pitches, interesting and varied façade treatments and large glazed areas. Inside the building the finish is of high quality, including hardwood joinery, acoustic folding partitions, various flooring types and excellent sanitary and services provisions. They are all highlighted by the vast amount of natural light afforded by the clever use of large glazed elements.

Chairing client briefing and design team meetings, the specialists at Chawton Hill were able to effectively co-ordinate design requirements and balance aspirations within the project budget.

Former operations director Peter Thompson described the new church as “a fabulous building which is already making an impact”.

For more information on Chawton Hill’s ecclesiastical services, including project manager, quantity surveyor and principal designer roles for church building projects and quinquennial inspection reports, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; tel 01372 360663; or visit www.chawtonhill.com. Alternatively, visit them on Stand S108 at CRE National.