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Bishop of Ely 'Breaks Ground' for new Diocese of Ely Office

The Right Revd Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely, ‘Breaks Ground’ ahead of the start of construction for the Diocese of Ely’s new office – Etheldreda House.

Bishop Stephen was joined by representatives from Grovemere Property Ltd, who own and manage the Lancaster Way Business Park on which Etheldreda House will be built, and MJS Projects who will be constructing the new building.

This marks a significant step for the Diocese of Ely (the “Ely Diocesan Board of Finance”), who largely vacated their old office on Barton Road, Ely at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, most staff have been working remotely, with the majority of the old Barton Road site now being leased on a long-term basis to a third party.

The construction of the new office building, paid for entirely from Diocesan investments that are ring-fenced for housing and building projects of this nature, comes at no cost at all to the parishes and parishioners in the Diocese, and will provide an exceptional work and meeting space for use by staff and parishes long into the future.

When completed, the new office will offer meeting and training room facilities fit for the 21st Century, offering both on-site and remote working options that will significantly enhance the opportunities to support the work of the Diocese.

In addition to being a great new shared workspace, St Etheldreda House will also feature much improved environmental and efficiency credentials from the old office. Fitted with rooftop PV cells, the new building is expected to meet all its electricity needs from the power they supply, which coupled with efficient LED lighting throughout, should even enable the sale of green electricity back to the grid. St Etheldreda House will also have energy efficient triple-glazed windows, electric car charging points and bicycle storage. These and many other features are expected to greatly reduce the running costs of the building while also improving our overall environmental impact.

The Right Revd Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely says of the project: “I am very glad to have dedicated the site for our new Diocesan office and learning centre today. The building will offer the base for the Ely Learning Platform and provide airy and sensible space for staff well-being and collaborative working. The nature of the build will enable us to move closer to the fulfilment of our carbon zero ambition. Our careful management of capital and investments allows us to create a new asset without any call on parish income or impact on ministry provision. Rather, we are building a resource to serve even greater efficiency, to enhance communication, to widen access to learning and training and to ensure a hospitable welcome to the wider community of Ely. This will be St Etheldreda House, named for our patron saint and under her embrace and prayers as we continue to live and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ from a modest and practical base”.

The Right Revd Dr Dagmar Winter, Bishop of Huntingdon, adds: “It will be so good to be able to meet and work in a shared space again. And the environmental considerations that have gone into this new building are fantastic – a real encouragement on our journey to sustainability”.

Further Information

Additional Pictures

Further pictures can be found on the Diocesan Facebook page, and some are also included below.

Page last updated: Thursday 2nd November 2023 10:57 PM
First published on: 3rd July 2023
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