St James Woodside Community Survey Winter 2016/17

Thank you to everyone who completed our community survey, a summary of the results and conclusions follow.

Background

Following on from the consultation with our congregation during 2016 regarding the use of our church buildings the Parochial Church Council (PCC) commissioned a community survey in order to understand more fully how local residents feel about the facilities and groups currently running in and around Horsforth and how likely they would be to use our buildings should we choose to redevelop them.

The survey consisted of 5 short questions to ascertain perceived local needs for various facilities and groups in the local area. The final question asked how likely people would be to use our Parish Centre or Church Building if we were to redevelop either or both of them. Should the PCC decide to go ahead with any improvement work it is essential to demonstrate local need for such a project when applying for any external funding applications.

The survey was designed after close consultation with the Diocesan Advisor on Community Consultation Susan Rundle using the “survey monkey” website for ease of collection and analysis.

Dates: The survey was open from 21/11/2016 – 08/01/2017

Number of respondents: 210

Survey Recruitment: The survey was advertised on the Horsforth Community Facebook group, to members of Messy Church, Little Jims and also to 3 classes of parents at Westbrook Lane school. These locations ensured a good cross-section of those in our local community who have the means to fill in an on-line questionnaire.

Questionnaire at Christmas Services

In order to include those who do not have access to a computer in our consultation we also gave out survey cards at all our Christmas services (to which we welcome lots of our local community over the Christmas period) to specifically ask for local people’s opinions on the possibility of redeveloping our buildings.

St James Woodside Community Survey Winter 2016/17 – Summary of Results

Awareness and use of the Church and Parish Centre Buildings

Questions 1 and 2 were to establish the respondents’ familiarity with St James Church and Parish Centre buildings.

Question 1: “Have you visited the church building (built in 1848) at St James, Woodside on Low Lane, Horsforth?”

Question 2: “Have you used St James Parish Centre (built c2000) – the building next to the church car park, adjacent to the Scout Hut?”

The majority of those surveyed were familiar with both the Church building and Parish Centre (66% and 74%).

Groups and Facilities in Horsforth

Questions 3 and 4 were to ascertain the perceived need for a variety of community activites and facilities. We asked both whether people thought there was a need and also whether they would personally use that activity or facility.

 Question 3: “What groups/activities would you like to see more of in Horsforth? (this question is asking about local amenities, rather than necessarily church provision)”

There was local support for more groups and activities in Horsforth, however a large proportion of people “would like there to be” but would not necessarily use the groups themselves if they did exist. More targeted consultation may be needed if any new groups or activities were to be set up.

 Question 4: “What facilities do you think we need more of in Horsforth?”

Residents would like to see improvements to safety or security and are in favour of a community café. There is less need for more commercial cafes and restaurants in Horsforth. There is local support for more places to hire for parties and events as well as places to meet for groups and activities.

82% of those surveyed would like there to be more venues to hire for parties, celebrations and events and 86% would like there to be more places to meet for groups or activities.

Building Improvement and Development at St James

The final question on the survey asked how likely local residents would be to use our Parish Centre and/or Church building should we choose to redevelop and improve them.

 Question 5: “If we developed our buildings with improvements and building work, would you be likely to use them for events or groups?”

There was more support for extending the Parish Centre than for redesigning the Church building.

61% of those surveyed would be likely to use an extended Parish Centre whereas only 46% would be likely to use a redesigned Church building.

Questionnaire at Christmas Services

Cards were given out at all our Christmas services with the following descriptions of potential redevelopments and questions for the congregation to answer. There were 60 responses to this part of the survey.

Options

  1. Church building – improve by installing a new heating system, more comfortable seating, better lighting, improved disability access and possibly toilets and a small kitchen.
  1. Parish Centre – extend onto the footprint of the Scout Hut to give a much bigger meeting space with a large third hall, an extended kitchen and more facilities.

Results:

Church Building:

84% supported work on the Church building as described

57% said they would use a redeveloped Church for groups and activities

Parish Centre

97% supported work on the Parish Centre as described

84% said they would use a redeveloped Parish Centre for groups and activities

Church Building vs Parish Centre Project

36% said they would opt for the Church building project if they had to choose one

64% said they would opt for the Parish Centre project if they had to choose one

Those attending our Christmas services were in favour of carrying out work to improve our buildings as described. People said they were more likely to use a redeveloped Parish Centre for groups and activities than a redeveloped Church (84% vs 57%).

Next Steps

Our PCC are in the process of discussing the future of our buildings in their regular meetings.  The results and comments from this community survey have been fed into those discussions, alongside consultation of our regular worshipping congregation.

As any major work would be a huge and costly undertaking, the PCC are hoping to agree a long-term overall plan with shorter-term aims to make smaller improvements in the meantime.  Any work to the church will be carried out in accordance with the Church of England’s Faculty process which ensures compliance with the law governing listed buildings.

Thank you once again for taking part, it was fantastic to get such a great response!