Since 2009, the Millmead Centre has been undergoing a major building project, now due for completion in May 2020.

In the tabs below you can read more about the progress and planning, images from the building work, and architects’ impressions for the finished rooms.

Photos from the current building work are also regularly updated on our Facebook page.

Building Project

At the heart of the new ground floor is the proposed “Open Grounds Cafe”. A fundamental element in our 2009 Design Brief, it was requested by several ministries of the church to provide a space where they could socialise and meet new friends alongside being a place for the church to meet after services and welcome visitors.



Our vision is to be a community space that cultivates friendship, celebrates diversity, and delivers a high-quality service to all our visitors.

Click on the video below to hear more fully about the vision for this space…

Church Activities

It will be a space for church activities to use including Parent & Toddlers, New Focus, Young people, Fellowship meals and the Staff Team. It will be a great place for events such as Alpha meals, film nights, lunchtime music and exhibitions.


Community Use

The original brief and the continued desire of the church is to use Millmead as a tool in reaching out to the community around us. Since starting the Project, the Borough Council have converted Westnye Gardens into a popular children’s play space. This is a great opportunity to attract parents and children into the building. Since the opening of the first floor conference facilities, the footfall of external visitors has increased greatly and the Cafe will be used by visitors attending meetings, training and conferences.


A Way Forward

The Cafe Team, ask for comments on the proposal and will address any questions. Some Frequently Asked Questions are listed below, but please send further comments to the Church Office ( A developed Mission (Business) Plan will be presented to a Church Meeting shortly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we need yet another coffee shop in Guildford?

The Cafe is a means to attract people into the building, to serve those who already come in, and to provide a place to engage with the church family. It will form a focus of our community life together.

Is the Cafe going to be a business?

It will be a separate trading subsidiary to the church but this is to comply with regulations of the Charity Commission. It is integral to the church’s purpose and not intended to be a profit generating business.

As a ministry, how is the Cafe going to incorporate and/or support other ministries in the church?

Many of the church’s ministries – New Focus, Parent & Toddlers, Youth, etc. – identified a need for somewhere to engage with their group and where group members could invite visitors to spend time together. The Cafe provides this place.

How much is this all going to cost?

The basic facilities are being provided through the Building Project to provide for the church’s normal needs for refreshments on Sundays and midweek meetings. Additional equipment, furniture, crockery etc. for a Cafe use will be provided from a “start up” grant or loan from the church. The aim is for the Cafe to make a small profit which it will gift back to the church.

What is the staff structure going to look like? For example, volunteers/welcome team etc.

The Cafe will initially have a paid Manager and Assistant Manager. It is hoped to offer apprenticeships in coffee making/catering or other work experience opportunities. Volunteers will be welcomed and it is anticipated the Welcome Team will supplement staff numbers at busy times.

What are you going to sell? Hot food? Cream tea?

We anticipate starting simply with good quality beverages, cakes and pastries and expanding to light lunches including some paninis and other hot food.

How are you going to stand out from the other cafes in town?

We do not see the Cafe in competition with other cafes in town. This is a ministry that is using the Cafe as a means to achieve its key objectives. These are:

  • To be a pain bearing community
  • To be levelled at the cross
  • To present Jesus our Living Water

Can I (or anyone in the church) book out the Cafe for functions? Where is the priority?

The Cafe will be a resource for the church. It is anticipated that church groups or individuals will run events in the Cafe space and be supported by the Cafe facilities, e.g. Alpha, Messy Church, Film or Music events. The scope is limitless.

Will the Cafe be open on Sundays?

The Cafe will not be open on a Sunday but will be used to provide after service refreshments, missionary teas etc.

You are hoping to reach the community which brings the reality that it will be a diverse group of people, how are you going to manage this?

This will be a challenge which we recognise. The new ground floor offers us “space” to create areas or zones for different uses with appropriate furniture and dividers. Training of staff and volunteers will be key to success.

What is the church’s role in the Cafe?

The Cafe is a function of the church, and although legally separate, will be under the control of the Charity Trustees (the Elders). The church will be represented at all levels of the management of the Cafe.

What will happen for Thanksgiving services?

There will be times when the Cafe will need to close to allow for special church events such as Funerals/Thanksgiving Services.

What about the kitchen?

The kitchen will be used to support all church activities including use by the Cafe for baking and food preparation.

Take a look below at a drone video tour of the new building

Filmmaker: GoshawkFPV

If you would like to give towards the Project, please click here for our Giving Financially page. We have two accounts and one is specifically for the building project, so look out for that information on that page.

Vision and Scope of Phase 4

Phase 4 completes the project by completely redeveloping and extending the ground floor, providing new kitchen, eating, welcoming, gathering and worship spaces. It also includes the redevelopment of our outside spaces, providing a better connection with the river and the town.


This short video from Ian Stackhouse, our Senior Pastor, shows how the redeveloped spaces on the first and second floors have already enabled ministries to thrive, and goes on to address the urgent need to redevelop the ground floor. (Please note that this video, produced in 2017, references Phases 4A and 4B. As described above, the current proposal is for single, combined Phase 4.)


Animation of new spaces

In 2012 the Architects created an animation that moves you through the building. Whilst some details of the design have now changed, it still provides a good understanding of the spaces.

In February 2011, the church voted to start a phased redevelopment of the Millmead Centre. The project was split into four phases, as shown below:









Roof over Auditorium






Extended 2nd floor, all roof areas, two new staircases, lift, Chapel, external cladding, new electrical and mechanical services






1st floor meeting rooms, breakout area and toilets (except over games room), and cladding






New 1st floor meeting room over games room, windows to ground floor games room, cladding to north and east elevations






Ground floor toilets, disabled wet room, kitchen, stores, dining space, plus Auditorium lantern, windows and external cladding, Auditorium, foyer, front extension, landscaping


On site


Day-to-day management of the project has been delegated to a Project Team made up of members of the church and headed by Colin Henry, our Project Manager. The Project Team liaise with the Design Team, comprising: architects, Re-Format; main contractor, Caldera Construction; Quantity Surveyor, Ian Ford; M&E consultants, KUT and various specialist consultants. Throughout the project, the Project Team have intentionally engaged with church ministry groups and other users of the building to make sure the spaces created allow our various ministries to flourish. The team are available to chat to church groups or individuals at any time.

Colin Henry MBE – Project Manager

Graham Ball – Centre Manager

Anna Cheah – General and Structural

John Feltham – Finance

Tim Wears – AV and IT Infrastructure

Ian Stackhouse – Pastoral Leader

We have been very blessed in the receipt of gifts and grants of £30k which have moved us very near to having all the funds required to meet the Phase 4 budget.

While we show a deficit of £31k, costs of £85k will not be incurred until after the project has been completed.

We have also benefited from an offer from the Baptist Union of a three-month interest-free period and a three-month payment holiday on our loan. We have accepted this offer but have indicated to the Baptist Union that we intend to make a deferred payment of the interest and make up the loan repayments after building works are finished.

After the project is completed, we will also need to start repayment of the short-term loans advanced by members. By the end of this year £40k is repayable with a further £40k due early next year.

We continue to need additional regular monthly giving to service the BU loan so I would encourage anybody who is not currently doing so but is in a financially stable position to consider whether this is something they can commit to.


Financial Update (figures correct on 24 April 2020)

Phase 4 Budget                                    £3,271,000

Cash in hand                                        £289,402

Gift aid reclaim Jan/March £                £8,044

Grants outstanding                              £18,500

Payments made                                   £2,267,577

Undrawn BU loan                                 £656,104

Deficit                                                    £31,373


Overall Project Status

Phase 1 (fully funded)                         £287,022

Phase 2 (fully funded)                         £1,877,764

Phase 3 (fully funded)                         £949,000

Phase 4 (£31,373 deficit)                    £3,271,000

Phase 4 loans outstanding                 £1,722,734

Latest photos and videos…

From the front entrance




Buryfields entrance

South side, with extension on right

Extension – looking from new entrance towards auditorium, with café/servery on left

Activities space – looking from café/servery towards kitchen

Accessible toilet nearing completion – hoist in place

Toilet floors laid and cubicles fitted

Kitchen – ready for equipment

Auditorium from main doors

Auditorium from A3

Auditorium dais

Auditorium side walls

For those who like the technical…

Pews in manufacture

New Auditorium seating in production in Ireland

Front entrance from one side showing overhang and cladding

Another view of extension from terrace area

Side of extension to council car park

Kitchen with ceiling, wall and floor coverings (blue on walls is a protective covering)

Auditorium – high level scaffolding in Auditorium removed. New ceiling in place with ceiling and beam painted 

View from AV desk at rear of Auditorium towards lantern showing feature of original concrete beam and lantern baffles

Looking up towards lantern with new lighting bars hidden 

Auditorium ceiling

Auditorium ceiling

View of lantern baffles looking down into auditorium – new lighting bars in place

Looking down on dias and baptistry

Dining and lounge areas with acoustic ceiling finished – looking towards kitchen / servery

By servery

Sliding door to servery

Kitchen with ventilation duct work installed and ready to have walls and ceiling fitted

Cladding on side of extension and access ramp

Cladding on other side (council car park) and access ramp

Kitchen windows in

Gutters formed around Auditorium

Auditorium – new ceiling in place

Baptistry – re-tiled

Looking from side door across dining space to cafe area; Kitchen servery and corridor on right

Looking back from cafe area to side door; ceiling ready to have acoustic plaster applied

Extension – windows and cupboard near new entrance

Side window by cafe servery and existing stairs

Auditorium – formation of new family room from balcony

Toilets being prepared for panelling

Toilet panels fitted

South side cladding almost complete

South side windows and scaffold

West side windows

West side cladding started

Window at side of extension

Auditorium windows in

Corridor plaster edge in place ready for lay in access panels

Glass screen and frame to toilet corridor

Frame for doors to Auditorium