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There are currently 300,000 listed buildings in the UK, and if your church is one of them, you might wonder if a new kitchen is possible. But with these examples from Steelplan, you can start planning today…

If you’ve decided to upgrade your church’s kitchen and the funds are firmly in place, but you’re working with a listed building, you might wonder what your options are. When it comes to home improvements and alterations that affect the character or appearance of the building, there are restrictions to the type of works that can be carried out, and you will need to hire an architect to help with the ideas and planning. However, Steelplan Kitchens have worked with architects on many different listed buildings to create bespoke kitchens fit for their purpose.

Which Grade are you?
Only 5.5% of listing buildings in the UK are classed as Grade II and 2.5% as Grade I, with most falling under the Grade III category. However, when replacing an existing kitchen in any Grade, listed building consent isn’t always needed – unless you are planning to make structural changes that affect the historic character of your church. For example, timber beams should be kept intact when fitting new pipework or extractor fans. And do establish before planning whether you have any important features that must stay, such as an original bread oven or fireplace. The good news is that most fitted furniture such as kitchen units are usually relatively recent, so removing them may not need consent.

What’s possible?
If you want to move the location of your kitchen, make sure you consider the features such as plasterwork, joinery and the historic layout of the church, and take advice from an architect, before undertaking any work. On the other hand, if you’re planning to add a kitchen to your church, you may need a creative solution from an experienced architect – but don’t worry, this can be more affordable than you think. And if you just want to update your existing space with modern units, you might need architectural advice on adding new ventilation, plumbing and wiring – but replacing cabinets is simple and you will have many options.

Steelplan Kitchens have provided kitchens for all the above – offering strength, durability, style and quality to your church, we are experts at maximising your space and creating your ideal kitchen.

Custom pods

With custom built ‘pods’ or hospitality suites created by an architect, you can fit a kitchen that’s suitable for your needs. Designed to supply a fully-functioning kitchen with running water, these are self-contained and have no impact on the surrounding structure of your church. Though not as spacious as a full kitchen made to serve the local community, these are ideal for tea rounds and occasional lunches for the committee and congregation, as the Holy Trinity Church in Bradford On Avon are experiencing. They are also a great alternative to building an extension to house a brand new kitchen, and ideal for churches that don’t currently have any catering facilities.

Listed-friendly extensions
Although not as simple as a pod, an extension on your current church might be a more suitable option to achieve your dream kitchen. It’s likely that you’ll need planning permission and it will be more costly, but it can offer you more options. It also doesn’t mean you have you to be conventional – often, a deliberately contemporary addition will maintain the integrity of the historic features – and with Steelplan, our powder-coated cabinets can be made in a variety of colours to give your new kitchen a modern look.

Cold kitchens
Unless you’re hoping to cook up 50 roast dinners or serve your local community hot soups and sandwiches, you could consider a kitchen without an oven. Therefore, reducing the disruption that installing extractor fans, gas pipes and ventilation can bring. A microwave, portable electric grill and slow cookers are great alternatives for those of you feeding less people and requiring minimal upheaval.

To find out more about fitting a bespoke kitchen in your listed church, call Steelplan Kitchens on 0844 809 9186. We can discuss your plans and create some options suitable for you and your needs.

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