Haverhill church is up for top Anglia design award

St Felix Church Haverhill
St Felix Church Haverhill

A new Haverhill church has been shortlisted for a top regional architectural gong.

St Felix Roman Catholic Church has been selected as one of four finalists in the East Anglia Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Awards 2013, in the Community Buildings Category

The winner will be presented with a trophy during an awards ceremony on April 26 at St Andrews Hall, Norwich. LABC promotes the design and construction of safe, accessible, environmentally efficient buildings that comply with building regulations.

St Felix Catholic church was completed in February 2012 at a cost of £980,000, following more than ten years of tireless fund raising by parishioners representing a multicultural congregation now totalling nearly 300 and drawn from Europe, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and America.

The purpose built church incorporates the practical requirements of a modern parish – flexible space with the capacity to seat a congregation of more than 260, has a reconciliation room, a meeting room, landscaping and designated car parking.

Father Michael Teader, the parish priest appointed local GP Dr Paul Stephenson, chairman of the new church project group who developed a brief calling also for a building with a ‘wow’ factor to act as a focal point for the community; NPS Group were appointed architects; the Norwich office prepared the original designs and applied for planning consent and the Needham office prepared construction drawings and supervised work on site.

The architects worked with the church project group, parishioners, St Felix school children and the residents surrounding the building on the Parkway Estate and appointed R G Carter from Thetford as main contractor, who liaised closely with the residents throughout the construction period.

At a civic ceremony to mark the opening of St Felix Catholic Church held in April 2012, former Haverhill mayor Maureen Byrne, former St Edmundsbury mayor Christopher Spicer, West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock and of Havebury Housing chief executive Karen Mayhew, who were among 200 VIPS, acknowledged that the new St Felix Church has added a new iconic landmark to Haverhill’s built environment.

Father Michael said: “It is a fitting tribute to the hard work of everyone concerned with delivering our new church that it has been nominated in the Best Community Building category.

“We strive to be a good neighbour and consulted the local residents during design and construction and the Parkway Residents’ Association is one of the local groups that use our new meeting room facilities.

“The nomination also acknowledges the professionalism of the architects and contractors.

“We thank our parishioners, donors, the Sisters of Mercy, trusts, local authorities, Havebury housing and countless others for their generosity in helping us to raise nearly £1m to help our dream become a reality.

“The Diocese loaned the parish £150,000 of the total estimate, to enable construction to begin; and therefore, St Felix parishioners continue fund raising to repay the overdraft.

“If anyone would like to make a donation, please contact me by calling 01440 702156 or emailing me at teadermicky@aol.com.

“Alternatively, please contact the chairman of the fund raising group, Sharon Paradine on 01440 704502 or email her at sparadine@yahoo.co.uk.”

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (April 25) Echo.