A dilapidated former retail store in the centre of Wrexham has been transformed into the Hope Street Church, an inclusive community and faith centre for the Diocese of St Asaph.

Lawray won the commission following a competitive interview and has worked closely with the Diocese and the Church Revitalisation Trust (CRT), to-repurpose the building as a catalyst for the revitalisation of the town centre. By `planting’ a new church - the CRT’s first in Wales, the faith centre has become a hub for the wider community and provides support to the most vulnerable in society.

The client’s brief aimed at providing a welcoming, safe and unique venue to host community focused events open to all, regardless of race, gender, age, physical or mental ability, while seeking to engage with a younger demographic who see Christianity as positive social and community action rather than as hymns, psalms and scriptures.

Named after the street in which it is located, hope is written into the architecture of the new church, which is a contemporary interpretation of a faith and community building for the 21st century.

Active frontages welcome and draw the community into the coffee shop and multi-functional areas on the ground floor. Counselling rooms and administrative offices are housed on the first floor with a large faith/function space on the top floor that accommodates a congregation of up to 180 people.

The transformation from a tired and cheerless corner unit into a smart, stylish, and prominent community centre with a light and airy interior, resulted in a very happy client who greatly enjoyed observing the progression on site and witnessing the changes take place over the course of the construction programme. Thanks to the commitment of the client and design team, this was a significant achievement given that the project was delivered in the middle of aglobal pandemic.

The sympathetic striping away of materials added through years of retail fit-out, back to the bare brick, steel and timber of the existing structure, along with the installation of new mechanical and electrical services exposed at high level has resulted in a strikingly honest industrial aesthetic. The building has been well received and is a testament to the inclusive, high-quality design and expert craftsmanship of the project team.

Latest Stories

All stories