St Andrew's Methodist and URC - Rochdale

St Andrew's Methodist and URC

The design of the new church should be simple, distinctive and complimentary to the new developments both completed and under construction in the immediate vicinity and in the town centre.  The palette of materials should be high quality for ease of maintenance with a preference for a traditional vernacular. 

This church replaces the older church which had been built in the 1980s and which was subject to a compulsory purchase order to make way for a large retail development in the town centre. Representatives from Rochdale Development Agency, acting on behalf of Rochdale Council, Pennine Land and the St Andrew’s Church Development Group interviewed five architects who had experience in designing church and community centres. Byrom Clark Roberts were appointed as lead design consultants.


The new design should be welcoming and friendly – the kind of place that people find uplifting and look forward to visiting.

The design brief summarised the following spatial requirements: large foyer with a café, a worship space with semi-permanent seating for 80 people (expandable to 150 by drawing back an acoustic partition), large hall (which could seat 70 people), small kitchen (to serve the hall and café), smaller hall, minister’s vestry/prayer room, choir vestry and office.

Secure car parking and a private garden area.

Challenges + Opportunities

Part of the site contained the old swimming pool with the requirement for piled foundations. The buildings had been demolished as part of the adjacent Leisure Development.  The site was also subject to a Flood Risk Assessment, the report concluded that the floor finish should be 1.6m above the current flood level.

The new church to incorporate the latest energy and waste reduction measures in line with Rochdale Council’s sustainable policy.


St Andrew's external

The building has been designed to be sustainable. The space heating is underfloor with two air-source heat pumps drawing the latent heat from the air and are located in a fenced enclosure towards the rear of the car park. The storage cylinders and calorifiers are located in a small plant room above the office and main entrance.

The large hall and worship space are ventilated by Windcatchers. The meeting rooms and vestries are ventilated by openable windows.

Sunpipes bring natural daylight into the rear of the large hall and kitchen.


The construction phase was procured as a Design and Build contract: Globe were the main contractor, with Byrom Clark Roberts novated as architects. 

  • Project Type : New Church & Community Centre 
  • Project Value : £1,250,000
  • Project Status : Design & Build
  • BCR services : RIBA Stages 1-3 and novated Stages 4-6  
  • Start / End : Commencement September 2012. Completion July 2013.
  • Contractor : Globe Construction
  • Last Updated : 31st October 2016





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