07 September 2017
New church journeys from adversity to ArrayProcessing
Four years on from a major setback that saw the collapse of an integral steel frame structure, City Gates Church in Ilford, Essex, UK, is resurgent thanks to a major fundraising and reconstruction effort. The dramatic incident, which fortunately left no injuries despite construction workers leaving only minutes before the collapse, was inevitably a major setback in the development of the new church, requiring its 1,200 strong congregation to relocate to a nearby cinema for services.
Pastor Rev. Stephen Derbyshire and his team were resolutely unbowed by the episode, ultimately raising £9m for a new church to stand on the same site. After years of work the five storey building, including a large auditorium, office space, children’s facilities and coffee shop, finally opened its doors in 2016.
At the heart of the new church is the main auditorium, a 1,000 capacity space intended for a wide variety of services and other activities. Here a d&b system is based around main hangs of Yi8 and Yi12 units, devised and installed by SSE Audio Group company Wigwam Acoustics, with support from d&b. Oran Burns from the d&b GB Education and Application Support team: “It’s a historic debut project for ArrayProcessing. The system features the first deployment of ArrayProcessing in an install environment in the UK or Ireland.”
The fact that ArrayProcessing necessitates a doubling of the number of amplifier channels means that it won’t be within the reach of all install customers, but Wigwam Sales Manager Phil Goldsworthy, who was instrumental in delivering this project, confirms that at City Gates it has helped to achieve “very even coverage throughout the auditorium. In conjunction with the Y-Series products, it makes it very easy to cope with everything from a single preacher speaking at the front of the room to a full scale gig type event.
“d&b is a staple of our installation projects, and in all honesty, it was at the top of our priority list from day one. As hoped it has delivered a versatile and powerful system for City Gates as it begins this exciting new chapter.”
“Everyone is very satisfied with the system’s performance,” adds Burns. “I have been there during services and it really does provide that live, inclusive feeling of being part of a large congregation.” Joseph Perry, Worship Pastor at City Gates, confirms the installation has exceeded expectations. “The congregation were pretty blown away the minute the first note was played. The coverage to the entire auditorium space is something quite spectacular, and while most wouldn’t know the ins and outs of why, it has certainly been appreciated by our church. As someone who heads up the music and production aspect of the church, it is a joy to play and sing in that environment each week. The d&b install, particularly with ArrayProcessing, makes for a very unique experience in a church.”
Photography courtesy of Wigwam/GPC Media