For three years now, behind the scenes, plans for the new Brewer Building at St Mary’s have been grinding their way through hundreds of committees. Here you can find more detail about the work and its progress as well as the fund raising initiatives.
The new building will show off St Mary’s to the world by opening out the south side onto the new St George’s Square – actually now called Church Square. We will build a brand-new community centre that can be used by all the people of Putney.
Background to the Building Works
The Recreation Rooms Trust is a Putney charity. It was formed for “social, recreative and philanthropic purposes”. The Trust intends to build a new centre on the site of the church hall at St Mary’s on Putney Bridge. This will be called the Brewer Building. With the creation of this new building the Trust, with St Mary’s, will provide an exciting new community centre in the heart of Putney.
St Mary’s hosts a great number of community ventures. There are various groups for children and groups for elderly which organise lunches and outings. There are concerts, lectures, youth groups and school functions. There is a thriving Farmers’ Market once a week. In fact, a full-time manager is employed to help organise and assist the users of the building.
However, the current facilities are inadequate. There is insufficient space and we have to turn a number of activities away. The new Brewer Building will become host to these groups and will provide more space and greatly enhanced facilities. It will have a coffee shop, a large multi-purpose space for bookings and conferences, new offices, a new kitchen and a music room.
The Brewer Building will also provide a library dedicated to the Putney Debates, the subject of much recent interest on radio and television as well as from academics internationally. St Mary’s will provide space for an artist-in-residence. It will have a full-time nursery school. Disabled access will be improved throughout. As the Brewer Building is being constructed the church will make changes to its layout to take full advantage of the new design. At present Sunday morning services can be standing room only. A gallery will be built within the nave to accommodate another eighty people. More seats will make St Mary’s an even more attractive venue for the many concerts that take place during the year.
Most of the old industrial wall surrounding St Mary’s will be demolished, so the new building will look out onto the newly created ‘Church Square’. The Brewer Building will soon become a prominent and popular feature of Putney’s townscape.
Many thanks to Wandsworth Council, Putney Town Centre Management, English Heritage, the Diocese of Southwark, The Miles Trust, St George South London Ltd and many others who have helped to bring the project thus far.