Update from the Parish Finance Committee
Outline of major works proposed for Three Patrons Church
Just over a year ago the parish sold No. 50 Rathgar Road. At that time the Parish Finance Committee outlined for parishioners the possible benefits to the parish being considered from the funds arising and invited suggestions from parishioners. The text of the presentation made in the Church is still available on the parish website.
Since then the Parish Finance Committee has been engaged in the diocesan process which must be followed by all parishes when significant works or developments are being undertaken to church buildings and Pastoral centres.
The diocesan process has three steps.
- The first step is a full needs assessment by the parish which clarifies what works are possible and would benefit the parish community.
- The second step is the submission of a fully costed proposal to the Diocesan Buildings Committee. Completing this step may involve amendments to the original proposal, based on feedback from the Diocesan Buildings Committee.
- The third step is submission of this proposal to the Diocesan Finance Committee. Their decision takes into account the recommendations of the Diocesan Buildings Committee in respect of each individual parish project.
Step One. The Parish Finance Committee undertook a needs assessment of parish buildings for current and future use and compiled a list of various potential works, taking account of the helpful suggestions and contributions put forward by members of the Finance Committee, Parish Staff and Parishioners.
Based on the needs assessment the Parish Finance Committee briefed the firm of Clonliffe Architects to complete the architectural drawings. The architect’s preliminary proposals were costed by a Quantity Surveyor.
The preliminary proposals together with the architects drawings and QS report were reviewed by the Parish Finance Committee and fine-tuned with the architect and QS until a final agreed plan, which was considered to meet the most pressing needs of the Parish at a level of affordable cost, had been developed.
Step Two then commenced with the submission by the Parish Finance Committee of a costed proposal to the Diocesan Buildings Committee who responded with suggested amendments to this proposal. These amendments were incorporated and the revised costed proposal was submitted to the Diocesan Buildings Committee. When they were satisfied with the proposal and costing they recommended the revised proposal to the Diocesan Finance Committee for approval.
Step Three was completed recently with the advice from the Diocesan Finance Committee on June 12th 2018 that the proposal has been approved and that Rathgar Parish has Diocesan sanction to proceed to lodge an application for planning permission and to prepare tender documentation for proceeding in time with the agreed works.
The main needs that have been identified and incorporated into the proposal are as follows:
- Complete refurbishment and extension of St Patrick’s Hall to include opening up access from the hall to the garden.
- Provision of suitable office accommodations for Parish Administration and Staff.
- Provision of new toilets with access for people with disability.
- Necessary works leading to obtaining a Fire Safety Certificate.
- Necessary works leading to obtaining a Disability Access Certificate.
- Reconfiguration of the unused Mortuary Chapel for use as a meeting and vesting room. This room will accommodate some of the activities currently located in St Brigid’s Room.
- External works at the front of the Church to provide off street access for hearses and wedding cars. These works are included in the planning application but are not included in the costings as they will be included in the next phase of works to be undertaken.
It is to be noted that virtually all of these works are within the existing building with some rooms taking on a new function. The refurbishment and extension of St Patrick’s Hall is the single biggest expenditure and will transform the existing hall which has served the parish well for 40 years. However, it is now recognised that it would benefit considerably from improvements in insulation, replacement of the single glazed windows, replacement of the ceiling which is failing, replacement of the floor covering and replacement of the inadequate toilet facilities. We expect that the new hall will prove ideal for many pastoral activities such as meetings, lectures, social gatherings and hospitality. It will open onto a patio and the garden and will be considerably brighter and more attractive than before. It will be well insulated, easily heated and multifunctional.
It is proposed that the parish administration and staff will be accommodated in a newly created office space, encompassing the existing space occupied by the Parish Administrator’s office and the adjoining Flower Room. A major advantage of this location is that the new office can be accessed directly from both outside and through the church. It places the Pastoral Office directly beside the sacristy which would be more accessible than the current location.
The advantage of constructing a new wall opening and door from the church into the St Patrick’s Hall corridor is that it would provide ready access not only to St. Patrick’s Hall itself but also to the new toilet block to be located in the current “St Brigid’s Room”, without the need to pass through the sacristy. The Flower room will also be accommodated within the current St Brigid’s Room.
Costings and Funding of these Works
When No. 50 was sold in 2017 for €1m, the Parish Finance Committee shared with the parish that the expenses relating to the maintenance and repairs to the house and the works to separate No 49 from No 50 before sale and the professional fees would be reimbursed to the parish funds. Those expenses amounted to around €70,000. We then communicated how €50,000 was gifted to a variety of charities providing services to the homeless and a parish in Tallaght that was desperately in need of assistance. The remaining funds were in the order of €880,000.
The committee is mindful of the importance of retaining some of these monies for major unforeseen costs, such as repairs to the church roof. We intend to establish from them a reserve sinking fund of €150,000 for future works as and when they become necessary. This leaves €730,000 available for the current works.
The QS costing for the works as currently proposed is a build cost of €600,000 including VAT. Including the necessary professional fees for design consultancy services and allowing contingency for unanticipated costs would bring the total estimated costs to approximately €730,000.
In conclusion, our goal is to have an excellent Parish Pastoral Facility in St Patrick’s Hall, to have our staff and administration accommodated in a comfortable contemporary office and to facilitate those with disabilities access appropriate toilet facilities. We intend to have funds in a sinking fund to support future works at our beautiful, historic church. At the same time the church will have a Fire Safety Certificate and a Disabled Access Certificate. In time we hope to have off street access for hearses and wedding cars, assisting the free flow of traffic on Rathgar Road.
Fr Joseph Mullan Parish Priest
John Purcell Chairman Parish Finance Committee