Holy Trinity Walton, Aylesbury, has long been a flourishing Evangelical Church. Since the 1860’s as a mission to workers on the nearby Grand Union Canal, it has grown disciples who wanted to make a difference in the world. It’s had various particular mountains to climb in the past few years. Not least among these has been a deeply problematic building.
People look at Victorian Churches and think they'll last for ever, but check the foundations first — often the Victorians rather skimped on these whilst reaching for the sky in rubble-filled knapped flint. This is a particularly serious problem when the ground underneath is dodgy as well, with underground streams and other chalky downland delights. Real architectural creativity and technological skill have gone into this project to make good some of the proboems about the site and existing building.
At one time the only option looked like a complete rebuild. Still, with inspirational leadership from Andrew Blyth, the Vicar, the building is now structurally sorted, with some real enhancements to the whole site tying things together and providing extra facilities for Ht’s many people and groups. There’s still substantial internal fitting out and reordering to be done, but the structural horror story is sorted. Like the best structural projects this one was tithed for overseas projects, and the local campaign to raise £900K has built new Churches in Pakistan and the Sudan, along with as other spin-off benefits.
The vibrant sense of hope, joy and community spirit in was overwhelming when I went to reopen the building the other week. We placed stones, as signs of faith and hope, in a well which has come to light under the new reception area — a rather symbolic unexpected find. So, for Walton, this year’s Christmas present is a structurally refurbed building for Church, playgroups, community organisations and passers by — I noticed a shower suite in what used to be the porch for the use of people off the streets.
With substantial new building of all kinds in the Holy Trinity parish, it’s good to see a flourishing, growing local parish Church doing what it’s there for with real passion, prayer and commitment. Get the internal relationships and processes working together, say your prayers, grow a culture of generosity, and very good things can happen...