St Andrew's Church - Starbeck


St Andrew's Starbeck cafe area

A ‘welcome’ entrance which was non-threatening to non-churchgoers, a space where people could sit and chat and have a coffee, a comfortable space for meetings and an occasional overspill from the main worship space.

St Andrew’s Church is a Grade 2 Listed building and is located on the High Street, Starbeck. The Church was designed by Austin Paley and completed in 1910. The entrance to the church was on the north side of the building through a small vestibule. The south porch had been closed off and the porch used as a small toilet when the narthex room was added in the 1980s. The pews had been removed in the 1990s.

The Church recognised that they had a building which was dark and foreboding (fortress like) with no easy access from the High Street. The building was hampering the Church’s vision of being welcoming, a community resource and lacking modern kitchen and toilet facilities.

The church began to look for an architect who would be involved in all stages of the design and lead them through the process of obtaining approval from the Diocese, Conservation and Planning Officers and English Heritage.


The Church’s brief was to provide a more ‘welcome’ entrance which was non-threatening to non-churchgoers, a space where people could sit and chat and have a coffee, a comfortable space for meetings and an occasional overspill from the main worship space. 

Challenges + Opportunities

St Andrew's Starbeck internal

The area of land between the south aisle and supermarket was under-utilized and due to its position a place where the local youth congregated – graffiti was a major problem.

The Church had to enter into a Party Wall Agreement with the adjacent supermarket. Byrom Clark Roberts were involved with the negotiations.

Due to the restricted nature of the site, with no vehicular access from the High Street due to the location of a pedestrian crossing, careful consideration had to be given to the foundation design and the craning-in of the steel frame onto the site. The main contractor hired a large crane and lifted the steel across the main roof of the church mindful of the health and safety implications this entailed. Underpinning of the gable end of the supermarket also became necessary as the trial holes indicated the shallow nature of the foundations.


The new project consisted of an infill scheme with a new entrance created between the porch and supermarket- providing direct access from the High Street. The level access is provided by utilizing the existing site levels along the west wall. The stone wall along this boundary was rebuilt and the area repaved. The existing south porch was incorporated into the new scheme with the door and window retained. The kitchen was enlarged and serves both the new extension and existing narthex room. The servery has a dual purpose, a mid-week servery and a welcoming desk on a Sunday.

The south windows were carefully dismantled and new stone was shaped off-site to form new door reveals. The stone was cleaned by specialist to remove the grime and graffiti. The roof and gutters to the new extension is standing seam terne-coated stainless steel. The roof glazing is curtain walling. The mechanical ventilation is located above the corridor ceiling with ventilation ducts located in the bulkhead ceiling.


Starbeck - cafe

Byrom Clark Roberts were lead design consultants on the project. The Party Wall Surveyor and Structural Engineering services were also undertaken by Byrom Clark Roberts. The contract was procured under the JCT Standard Form of Building Contract with Byrom Clark Roberts acting as Contract Administrators. NRB Construction Management were the main contractors for the project.

"I would favour Byrom Clark Roberts for their experience, professional approach, addressing of the brief and Christian commitment… they demonstrated flair and creativity and showed a real grasp of what we at St Andrews are doing and what we are about."

  • Project Type : Church Extension Scheme
  • Project Value :  £477,200
  • Project Status : RIBA Stage 7 - In Use
  • BCR services : RIBA Stages 1-7
  • Start / End : October 2012 / June 2013 
  • Contractor : NRB Construction Management Ltd 
  • Last Updated : 31st October 2016




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