Church family consultation: 24 October 2019

Come and join us at our consultation evening on Thursday 24 October in the Church. We start with pizza and drinks at 5.30pm with the opportunity to chat to LDN Architects and the Impact project team, wander around the church and look at the designs being exhibited.

At 6pm Matthew will give a welcome followed by a short period of worship. From 6.30pm we will host a discussion forum where LDN and board members can answer your questions, take feedback, give you space to voice concerns and share ideas.

Copies of the boards that are displayed around church can also be viewed on this page so that you have time to look at the detail before the evening. If you cannot make the date but would like to give us your feedback, please view the designs in church or online and email comments to

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you.

LDN STAGE 2 1-page-001.jpg
LDN STAGE 2 3-page-001.jpg
LDN STAGE 2 2-page-001.jpg
LDN STAGE 2 4-page-001.jpg
Gillian Shepherd
Impact Church Consultation - Sunday 13th October

Since the appointment of LDN architects in June and the dismantling of the organ in August, significant progress has been made on the concept designs for the Church reordering.

They take into account comments made at the public exhibition in May, advice given by Historic England and the Diocese and surveys of the building fabric i.e. stone, glass etc that have taken place over the summer.

We are now keen to share those designs to you, receive your feedback and seek your ongoing support and prayers.

On Sunday 13 October, we will give an update at each service about the Impact project, showing the changes made in the development of the Concept design since the first ideas seen at the Public Exhibition and remind us of how it will serve our Vision.

A consultation evening in the church follows on Thursday 24 October starting with food at 5.30pm, a welcome from Matthew at 6pm and discussion forum until 7.15pm. You will be able to talk to LDN Architects and members of the Impact board, ask questions, raise concerns and share ideas.

We have adopted this two stage approach, keen to give you time to reflect on what you see and hear at the services, and then have the opportunity to discuss and comment.

We look forward to seeing you.

ImpactHannah Jeal
Dismantling of Organ starts 5 August. Workshop takes place 13 August 2019

St Michael le Belfrey and St Lawrence are delighted to confirm that work starts on dismantling the pipe organ on Monday 5 August. Work is expected to take up to 3 weeks as organ builders Nicholson & Co carefully clean, take apart the organ, and store all the parts and pipes in the side aisles of the church prior to transportation down to Malvern. After full restoration in Nicholson & Co’s workshop, the organ will return to its new home at St Lawrence.

Removing the organ is a key step in the Reordering project at St Michael le Belfrey as its aim is to develop a more versatile building that supports its vision and mission and encourages development of the activities of our community. The organ hasn’t been used to support worship for a number of years so the Belfrey is thrilled that its Denman organ will find a new and fitting home at St Lawrence's and remain here in York.

On Tuesday 13 August, starting at 12noon, Nicholson & Co will host an Organ workshop at St Michael le Belfrey, where people can learn more about this Victorian organ dating from 1885, one of the largest instruments built by York Organ Builder William Denman, and see the pipes and inner workings of the organ close up.

While the work is taking place, there will be restricted access around the church. Church family, volunteers and visitors will continue to be welcomed throughout August but will be encouraged to take extra care and shown the areas they can access.

ImpactBelfrey Media
LDN Architects win RIBA Competition to re-order St Michael le Belfrey Church, York

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and St Michael le Belfrey are pleased to announce that LDN Architects have been selected as the winner of the Contemporary Reordering of St Michael le Belfrey Competition.

The Grade 1 listed church, situated in the heart of York’s historic centre adjacent to York Minster, needs to be reordered so that it is suitable for 21st Century worship, welcoming to Visitors, and supports its ‘Resource Church’ status in the Diocese. The challenging brief asked teams to consider the required repair works to the existing building, as well as exploring how the church could be adapted to suit the needs of this modern congregation.

Download full press release below

ImpactBelfrey Media
Architects Presentation Day - 29 May 2019

Thank you to everyone who visited and viewed the designs from our Shortlisted Architects. The Public exhibition went well and we received over 250 responses from our Church congregations, visitors and stakeholders regarding the designs. Some of you spent some considerable time carefully considering each design and what was the best fit for St Michael le Belfrey which was important.

We know that people have continued to pray throughout the process and this was particularly appreciated by the evaluation panel.

On 29 May we met the 5 Architects teams - Dow Jones, LDN Architects, Purcell, Simpson & Brown and Steyn Studio with Anthony Grimshaw Associates. We were impressed at the level of detail and care which had gone into the submissions as each team sought to understand the mission and vision, the essence of St Michael le Belfrey and interpret that in their reports and initial designs.

We look forward to sharing the final results of the Competition with you soon.

ImpactBelfrey Media
Public Exhibition Saturday 11 to Friday 17 May

Please visit St Michael le Belfrey during our Public Exhibition to see the initial design concepts that our shortlisted Architects' have submitted as part of their proposals. The Church will be open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and then 10am to 3pm Sunday to Friday.
You can view the design concepts and read the Architects' rationale for their design in the accompanying exhibition booklet.

If you cannot make the Exhibition then why not go to our slide show below and view the ideas online.

Throughout the week our Belfrey Doors teams, supported by the Project Manager, will be on hand to welcome you and answer questions you may have. On Saturday members of the Impact Board will be present to talk to you in more detail.

We look forward to meeting you.

ImpactBelfrey Media
Public Exhibition Saturday 11 to Friday 17 May

Architect A

Delivery of our client’s aspirations and delivery of the project that works well, looks good, within budget and on time are our aims for every project. We achieve these aims both within the team and during client briefing by clear communication. We are used to working together with the professional team and we know that we can discuss the design creatively and collaboratively with them. Good design springs from practical engineering ideas. We control cost by frequent review and cost plans at control stages as the project develops.

It will be essential to establish a very clear brief. We will ask you how you would like to brief us. You know your group better than we can. Frequently we ask our clients to think in terms of a “day in the life” of the building when it is operating. We like to meet the groups that use the church and help its daily operation. The speed of this process varies between clients but it saves time at a later stage if everyone is confident that the brief and the response to it has been thorough. Sometimes entirely different solutions are a result. We hope that you will be flexible in your thinking as we aspire to be.

We would need to attend each type of worship at St Michael le Belfrey. We also consult with you about the best form of community consultation. We would also take your advice about members of the community that are difficult to reach, for instance, have a disability, and ensure that they are consulted. We ensure that our feasibility advice is delivered according to an agreed programme.

Architect B

The Belfrey strikes quite a sombre figure at night in the shadows of its towering neighbour, in stark contrast to the nearby shopfronts. There is a story at its heart, as dimly told in the stained-glass windows; but a story which does not yet quite reach out.

For vision one needs light, or clarity, and this is where the story of our proposal begins. Our proposal places The Light, literally and metaphorically, at the centre. This suggests a new dynamic layout which promotes a more intimate environment for telling the Story of Jesus, in a similar way that He may have done.

Through a series of sensitive interventions such as the suspended sculpture and the functional ‘halo’, this idea is further reinforced in a way that respects the architecture and history of the The Belfrey, yet in a strikingly simple, modern and elegant way.

The interior intervention presents a new neutral canvas against which many more stories at The Belfrey can play out. These spill out at the front of the church in the form of a new café, as a positive addition to the urban square; a gift for the general public as well as the congregation.

Architect C

The moment of arrival across the threshold of St. Michael le Belfrey will be uplifting and surprising. Gone will be the dark, cramped porch replaced with a full height, light filled, welcoming space leading people towards the re-ordered nave. Here, the Victorian clutter of dark pews will be replaced with new balconies and flexible rooms with comfortable, stackable chairs arranged in multiple ways to precisely suit the event, whether it be worship, concert or celebration. For smaller congregations, new moveable partitions will enclose the side rooms for other uses. On days when the Church is at capacity, these partitions will be drawn back and the balconies will be full, creating a vibrant atmosphere, with the congregation able to see suspended projection screens from any seat. Three acoustically separated rooms at balcony level will be accessible to all from the new lift and the stairs wrapping around the essential facilities of toilets, servery and stores. The expression of these new interventions will be simple and calm but with a subtle character - an intentional foil to the highly articulated Gothic architecture and the generations of memorials that line the walls. The re-ordered church will reinforce the commitment, passion and confidence of the people it serves.

Architect D

Our proposal makes a light-weight, contemporary building inside the west end of the church, providing a range of different spaces, and allowing the openness of the nave to be used in a variety of different ways.

The new building is designed as a giant piece of furniture that sits lightly inside the Grade I listed church. While simple in its objectives and contained in scale, it creates a layered and dynamic series of spaces at the threshold to the church.

A new stone floor provides a counterpoint to the gridded coffers of the church ceiling, and continues outside into the precinct, where a new fountain and seat create a point of welcome and engagement.
The new building is made as an oak frame with panels that change in scale across its height, responding to the stone tracery of the church. The new structure is substantially glazed to allow new views through the church and not obscuring the existing fabric.

The existing meeting room at the east of the church is reconfigured as an oratory to provide a place of quiet reflection off the city street.

Architect E

Our design concept has been to re-establish the aspect of greatest significance within the interior space of the 16th Century St Michael le Belfrey. This approach creates a spacious open interior at the west end of the church, where the west window with new stained glass, and uninterrupted sequence of aisle and western windows can be enjoyed. This proposal removes the very dark and visually oppressive incongruous 19th Century balcony, screens and pews, creating a bright, light interior volume characteristic of the 16th Century design.

Our proposal for extending the church at its 19th Century west front, is a contemporary stone building informed by the stone arcades and detailing of the existing ecclesiastical buildings and context. The exterior comprises an arcade that fully opens the narthex extension to Duncombe Place and Petergate; creating a porous welcoming flexible interior. Once inside the extension, a new and exciting surprise view of St Michael le Belfrey and York Minster can be enjoyed. We have created a design that responds to the setting and the urban space, the townscape and York Minster, it provides an unmistakably contemporary extension that adds to the unsurpassed ecclesiastical building tradition of York.

Belfrey Media