— Posted in Electrical Updates, Religious Maintenance

The Problems with Church Kitchens

For many people it’s up to debate if places of worship should offer functioning kitchens within their hallowed grounds.

The concept of a church, for most people, is defined by convention – they are considered to be places of worship, only suitable for pews, an altar and a font.

After all, if traditionalism belongs anywhere, then it belongs in the church, an institution whose roots run deep into the historical fabric of our country. Although it’s hard to believe that such conventions are enforced so regimentally in this day and age it’s important to remember that, for many church goers, the idea of installing a kitchen in the back of a centuries old religious building will be preposterous for some and down-right offensive to others.

As much as a fully-functioning kitchen can aid a church greatly by supporting their community groups and providing catering facilities for event hire – a new kitchen build can also prove to be the cause of many problems in the future:

Decor in line with church

It might seem antecedent to the deep nature of religion, but the dissonance between the aesthetics of a modern kitchen and the original decor can often be enough to blight a church for the rest of its existence. Installing a modern kitchen that fits in with the rest of the building’s architecture can be an expensive endeavour and might well cost much more than most committees have the stomach for.

Cost of ongoing maintenance

Once a kitchen is built it must be maintained. We’ve often found that church kitchens are used much more than domestic kitchens, this inevitably leads to misuse and degradation. Unfortunately, as is often the case with communal spaces, damage can be done over long periods of time which goes unreported, resulting in potentially dangerous hazards developing, not to mention expensive repair bills.

Appliance misuse and failure

The costs of fitting a kitchen do not end when you’ve settled up with the builders. Once it’s been fitted you need to have it kitted out with all the necessary appliances that you’d expect: dishwasher, kettle, microwave. All of these items need to be robust enough to last repeated use and resist damage – usually expensive, catering-standard appliances are the only real option. Buying second hand or on the cheap could cost more in the longer oven and it could be embarrassing should a paying group call to report the Lamona oven not heating up.

Irrevocable change to building

The main problem builders and designers have with fitting kitchens is getting the permission to make the changes in the first place. Older churches are usually listed which essentially means reels of red tape that block all manner of development. Simply put: trying to get a functional, modern kitchen installed in an old church can be next to impossible unless you have smart (usually expensive) designs and the connections with the council to get it approved.

Should you still want to get your kitchen built or you need help maintaining your existing one, you can contact us here for some further advice.