Situated amid a quiet neighborhood in Lynnwood, WA, St. Thomas More Catholic Church blends seamlessly into its residential surroundings as an inviting, welcoming presence where community can gather and worship. The project, which began as a master plan in 2004, took a hiatus for many years while church leadership underwent a transformation and the Great Recession further delayed parish momentum. In 2011, a capital campaign, led by the new pastor, Father Stephen Okumu reengaged the community and in 2019, after several other parish facility renovations, a new project scope took shape. In addition to reinforcing the church’s failing glulam structure, the project included refurbishing the 16,485 sf church interiors with new finishes throughout, the creation of a new altar, relocating the tabernacle to a dedicated space, relocating the pews to center around a new sanctuary platform, new HVAC and lighting systems, and the addition of a new 2,025 sf entry narthex, vestibule, restrooms, and storage spaces.
To honor St. Thomas’ diverse community, where opening prayers can be in as many as eight or more languages, the unpretentious design draws on clean and simple building materials and light-filled spaces that engage the landscape and make all parishioners feel at home. The new western ceremonial entrance and narthex enable a celebratory procession eastward towards the altar and allow the community to gather before and after worship in this uplifting space.
© Benjamin Benschneider Photography