The Diocese of Winchester has announced that Old Alresford Place will no longer be used as its Diocesan Office by the end of December, with staff relocated to existing offices in Winchester, along with a greater use of flexible and home-working. The decision was made by the Winchester Diocesan Board of Finance, taking into account new working patterns introduced due to the pandemic, and with the Diocese looking to make financial savings as a result of ongoing pressures on churches’ income. Old Alresford Place will be temporarily closed whilst the Diocese begins a review of potential future uses for the site.
While Old Alresford Place dates back to the seventeenth century, it was originally a rectory and only began to be used as Diocesan offices in 2008. It has also been used as a local venue for a range of conferences and events, which have had to cease during COVID-19. The Diocese has offices located in Wolvesey Palace in Winchester, and these will now be prepared to accommodate additional staff.
Diocesan Chief Executive, Andrew Robinson, said:
“Old Alresford Place, or OAP, has been our home since I joined the Diocese and we’ve been fortunate to have benefited from its historic character and beautiful location. We’re equally fortunate that we have additional offices at Wolvesey we can use. The pandemic, though hugely challenging for us all, has also shown the potential and benefits for home working where possible, and the use of technology to keep everyone fully connected. It’s been a difficult decision to leave OAP but it will benefit the future of the Diocese and the church communities we serve across Hampshire and Southeast Dorset.”