156 N. Monroe St.
P.O. Box 507
La Grange, Texas 78945
Father Eric: 979.968.3910
in the Preschool
Tuesday - Friday
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Early in 2016 St. James organized a committee, chaired by Bob Hays, to identify the current and future needs of the church campus. The committee interviewed people from groups that use the church building — the Pre-school, Choir, Secretary, Altar Guild and Rector. The survey recognized shortcomings in the historically important church and sacristy, the school and in the Parish Hall.
After a summer of reflection, and the departure of Bob and Helen Hays, Bill Bishop and Suzanne Batchelder made contact with St. Thomas Episcopal Church in College Station to see how it had handled nearly twenty-five years of changes on its campus. In early December, they met with David Woodcock, a retired member of the architecture faculty at Texas A&M, and heard about the series of parish workshops that had taken place at St. Thomas over the years.
After discussion with Father Eric and the Vestry, Woodcock was invited to visit at St. James, and he and his wife Valerie worshipped with us on February 5, and then met with church members. It was agreed that he would moderate one or two workshops for St. James, and the first is scheduled for Saturday, March 25, from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm.
Bill Bishop, who is now chair of the Master Plan Committee, recirculated the 2016 report, and the committee has now compiled an updated and revised report. David will use that report, together with Core Values, Mission, and Goals statements to begin a process to develop a Strategic Plan for improvements to the existing physical facilities to meet current and future needs. This will provide the basis for engaging a professional team to implement changes.
The March 2017 Master Plan Report recognizes some life safety, accessibility and code issues, and while the workshop on March 25 may reference those, the task will be to focus on strategic issues, not solutions. The process is often called “Problem Seeking” in professional terms, and its aim is to be sure that the parish reaches a consensus on needs and goals. The meeting will also provide an opportunity to consider options for action. As a preservation consultant, David Woodcock shares the parish’s dedication to the extraordinary 1885 church as an icon for La Grange, and a unique place for worship.
Attached are the results from our first forum...