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Case Study: St James Church, Finchampstead



Major conservation and overhaul of St James church fabric offered a unique opportunity to update audio services to improve compliance, widen appeal and exceed expectations of modern congregations.
CGA Integration compiled a meticulous site and usage survey to identify relevant elements and areas of novel installation. Their credentials from previous ecclesiastical projects, plus experience of sensitive buildings were a prime reason for their selection as multimedia partners.


The wide range of services and flexible nature of the church presented many challenges for system design. A listed building combined with sensitive conservation work also imposed major constraints on work practices and techniques. The project specification was painstakingly detailed combining these considerations with functionality expansion to ensure maximum potential was achieved. The remaining challenge was balancing user sophistication with acoustic limitation and hardware installation.


On the audio side, inputs from pulpit, lectern and hanging microphones are processed by auto mixers, feedback killers and outboard processing before EV amplifiers feed ZX1 speakers finished in sympathetic white, and compact speakers relay sound to the vestry and bell tower. A full 2012 ready radio microphone system is used. Video services centre on a Digital DVR that records the two Mega pixel camera feeds for a record of services and for 24/7 security. The Video system enables, playback and off site editing, with the infrastructure for video links to other churches, web streaming and podcasts. All floor boxes offer network connections ensuring future connectivity with fibre optic pulled in.


‘The completed project used cutting edge technology to solve so many issues for us in one go: improving security both inside and out; meeting the needs of those with hearing difficulties; creative use of new media opportunities on the internet; enhancing sound provision and flexibility for services and concerts; the ability to record special services such as weddings and baptisms. We are delighted with the results! With such a modern facility in a historic building, we are able to keep our worship relevant and accessible to so many more in our community’ – Rev Richard Warden

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