The Village of Buckland Monachorum
Buckland Monachorum is a village and civil parish in the West Devon District Council situated between open moorland and the River Tavy, about 4 miles from Tavistock.
Domesday Book(1086) records Buckland Monachorum (Bocheland) as having 46 households, land for 15 ploughs, a salt pan and a fishery. It was in the possession of William de Poilley, one of 17 estates he held in southern Devon as a tenant-in-chief of William the Conqueror.
Together with the nearby village of Crapstone there were upwards 3,380 as taken in 2011 census but the villages both continue to grow as this is a popular dormitory area to nearby Plymouth.
Near to Buckland Monachorum is Buckland Abbey, home of Sir Francis Drake during the Elizabethan era. Along with the Church of St Andrews named by the monks from Buckland Abbey there are many historic buildings, and a complex of interesting gardens, known as "The Garden House". The Gift House, a seventeenth-century Almshouse, was built by a descendant of Sir Francis Drake.
The Drake Manor Inn- a popular public house, restaurant and B&B is also situated in the village. A general store and Post Office was situated in the village but today although the post box remains it has been converted into a dwelling.
St Andrew's C of E Primary School is located in the village, providing education for around 200 pupils from the local area. The school has close associations with the church indeed the original church school buildings stand close to the church. St Andrews CEVA Primary school and it has its own website.
Near to the church is Buckland Chapel built by the Baptist Church in the late 19th Century, which then became The Baptist Hostel for time and is now turn by Trust and is used as a community venue. It is undergoing remodelling at present but the main Baptist Chapel has being largely restored to a Hall. From its grade 2 listing we find it described Baptist hostel, formerly Baptist Chapel. 1850.
Rubble walls. Gable ended slated roof.
Single room plan originally had gallery at west end which has been removed, probably
when the building was converted to a hostel in the later C20.
Single storey. Symmetrical elevations with 4 lancet windows on each of the long
sides which have gabled buttresses between them. 3-light lancet at east gable end
which fronts the road. Windows have cast iron 'diamond' glazing bars. C20 addition
at rear. Interior has had original fittings removed.
However since restoration has begun by the Trust the former baptistery has been located under the floor!
The village also enjoys the use of a large purpose built Village Hall and runs a range village activities from Toddler groups to adult education classes. The Village Hall has its own website where a range of their activities can be found.
St. Andrew's Church
St. Andrew’s Church is extremely attractive and remains in good condition, although five hundred years of Devon weather and centuries of treading feet have certainly left their mark! As a result, regular, painstaking maintenance is required to preserve the beauty and tranquillity of the church
The current building, which dates from circa1490, was constructed in the Perpendicular style and essentially consists of a chancel, nave and two transepts.
The Chancel and Nave
The chancel is entered through a remarkably lopsided arch, yet the reason for this anomaly remains unclear. Beyond the choir stalls lies the altar and above this a beautiful mosaic depicting St Andrew. Our patron saint also features in the stained glass windows on this side of the church.
The high roof of the nave is adorned with sixteen finely carved angel figures, playing a variety of musical instruments to accompany the congregation seated below. On the floor of the nave and aisles lies a highly admired display of Victorian encaustic tiles, produced by in-laying coloured clays prior to firing.
The Aisles and Chapels
On both sides of the nave lie five grand arches, leading into the aisles, each of which has a chapel at its eastern extreme.
The Drake Chapel is the most noteworthy and lies on the south side of the nave. This is named after the family whose most illustrious son; the Elizabethan sea-farer Sir Francis Drake, bought nearby Buckland Abbey in 1581. He may have been a visitor to the church and one pew still bears his carved coat of arms. His nephew, Francis, was baptised and married at St Andrew’s.
Behind the chapel altar is a large, elaborate and some would say ostentatious monument by John Bacon. This is recognised as an outstanding example of the eighteenth century artist’s craftsmanship. Other monuments by Bacon may be viewed at Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral.
The northern chapel is known as the Crapstone or Crymes Chapel and now houses the organ. This was designed by Dr L G Hayne who also wrote the popular hymn tune ‘Buckland.’ His brother was the vicar of St Andrew’s in 1849 when the organ was first installed. It has undergone several renovations over the years but its swelling melodies still sound wonderful!
A Tale Of Two Fonts
In the north west corner of the church lies an ancient font, crudely carved from a single block of Roborough granite from nearby Roborough Down. It is believed to date from Saxon times and was probably used from about 900AD. When the church was rebuilt in 1490, this primitive asymmetric baptismal trough was considered too old fashioned to be used in such a modern building. It was buried under the church, where it remained hidden for many centuries, before being rediscovered in 1857.
Close to the church entrance, beside a beautifully carved wooden screen, lies the ‘new’ font. This octagonal structure dates from 1490 and is still in use today. Traces of original colouring may still be seen, together with two carved faces, their tongues out to ward off evil spirits.
This slender, elegant structure is seventy feet high and surmounted by a quartet of impressive pinnacles. It originally housed four bells, but when two more were added in 1723 the tower was seriously weakened and required urgent repair.
In 1947 the bells were re-cast and re-hung, two trebles being added to make a ring of eight. A dedicated team of ringers ensures that their distinctive sound continues to peal out over the village and campanology competitions are sometimes held at Buckland.
Out and About
The churchyard is a place of great beauty and tranquillity, where blossom falls over ancient gravestones and bird-song is plentiful.
One prominent feature is a towering cross, erected to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. This sits above a stepped plinth which is very much older and once formed part of the Preaching Cross that stood on the village green.
History of St. Andrew's
There has probably been a church at the heart of Buckland Monachorum since Saxon times. This section charts the development of St Andrew’s as a place of worship and also as a focus for community life.
The story starts a very long time ago….
c.900AD It is thought that a small wooden church was built in the centre of the village.
1271 Odo de Arundelle became the first of forty-six recorded vicars.
1280 Buckland Abbey was established. The Abbot had the monks living at nearby Buckland Abbey oversee the activities of the church and it was probably they who chose St Andrew as the patron saint. The Abbot had the right to appoint the Vicar straightaway.
1305 A vicarage with forty acres of land was built at Lovecombe. The ruins of this can still be seen in the beautiful grounds of ‘The Garden House’ which is well worth a visit.
1342 During the Archdeacon’s visitation it was noted that the chancel was too dark. The princely sum of forty shillings and two quarters of oats were given to the new Vicar for the ‘defects to the Vicarage’.
1349 Vicar Walter Weyridge died of the Black Death.
c.1350 The wooden building was replaced by a more substantial cruciform stone structure which was used for one hundred and forty years.
1490 The present building was erected during the reign of Henry VIIth. Much of the stone used was salvaged from its predecessor and examples can still be seen in the tower today.
1557 Following the dissolution of the Abbey in 1539, John Toker, the last abbot, became Vicar of Buckland Monachorum 17 years later in 1557.
1581 Sir Francis Drake, the renowned Elizabethan mariner bought Buckland Abbey. The Drake Seat with its carving of the Golden Hind is probably late C19, made for the Drake Chapel when the family sat there.
1646 Joseph Rowe became vicar. His sixty-two year tenure spanned the Civil War, the Commonwealth and no less than four royal reigns. He died at the grand old age of ninety…no mean feat for the time! Rowe’s tombe stone is set in the wall of the porch at the west end of the church.
1710 The vicarage was enlarged to include seven bedrooms, a study, parlour, hall, kitchen, dairy, cellar and last but not least; a brew house.
1723 4 Bells were cast into 5 and the 6th bell is thought to be a gift as it doesn’t appear in the accounts. Unfortunately their weight and vibration fractured the weakened tower and emergency repairs were needed to avert disaster! The bells were cast by a famous bell founding family, the Pennington’s if Stoke Climsland & Legant. The initials JP & CP fare on the bells; John & Christopher Pennington.
1753 Music was provided by singers and a ‘church band’ consisting of a violin, cello, flute and bassoon.
1785 The church decided to hire a professional music teacher, feeling perhaps that the singers and instrumentalists needed a little help! Organist and composers, William Bennet, was paid 6s a day for ‘teaching the singing’. One month’s board and lodging for him and his horse cost the parish 2 guineas.
1802 A musicians gallery was added to the west end of the church.
1815 Armed with a barrel of beer, the bell-ringers broke into the church one Saturday and rang to their heart’s content all through the night. For this “mutinous and riotous” behaviour they were dismissed and banned from both ringing and singing in the church forever! This story is told in a page of the Church Warden’s accounts.
1826 Vicar, Charles Barter, decided to demolish the vicarage and build a replacement….all without permission! This house is now ‘The Garden House.’ He got a retrospective faculty,’church speak’ for planning permission. It was about the only thing he did for Buckland, as he was an absentee Vicar with another parish when he lived for over 60 years. Buckland was cared for by curates and it seems that things went downhill. The church became very neglected, The Vicar who succeeded Barter left in despair. Then came Richard Hayne who pulled everything together and was one of three longest serving Vicars.
1830 Church meetings were noted always to terminate in the ‘Horse and Jockey’ or ‘Crown Inn.’ Perhaps this ancient tradition should be revived!
1849 Organ music arrived at St Andrew’s and its designer, Dr L G Hayne, composed the well known hymn tune “Buckland.” sung to Loving Shepherd of thy Sheep.
1897 A cross was erected in the churchyard to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. At its unveiling, prayers were said for the Queen, children waved flags and the Buckland Brass Band led a parish procession to Pound for a grand celebratory tea. A restoration of what remained of the much older village cross with new parts added in 1897.
1906 A new tower clock was installed amidst great celebration. It was set going on Easter Sunday.
1920 Vicar Richard Hayne died aged ninety-six. During his sixty-four years at Buckland, this popular character restored St Andrew’s, built a church at Milton Coombe and also oversaw the construction of local schools. He even declined the opportunity to become a bishop, preferring to remain within his idyllic rural parish. He and his wife are buried at the east end of the churchyard. Mrs Hayne was older than her husband. Within living memory there were people who remembered being taught to curtsy to Mrs Hayne when they were children.
1924 The current vicarage was built. Although smaller than its predecessors, this building enjoys superb views across rolling fields towards the hills of Cornwall.
1930 Candlelight was finally superseded by electricity in the church
1947 All six bells were re-cast and re-hung. Two new treble bells were added. On the Sunday before Christmas a service of dedication of the bells took place. Newspaper cuttings are preserved in the parish records. The Church was packed to overflowing. Ringers came from other parishes. ‘Two hundred year old bells ring out again’ said the Tavistock Times. In WWII church bells were silent. They were only rung to warn of enemy invasion. To be able to ring in peace was an occasion for rejoicing.
1966 St Andrew’s became a musical centre for choirs, choral festivals and organ recitals. The Buckland Chamber Orchestra and Festival Chorus gave many performances to packed audiences.
1984 The current vicar, Graham Cotter, arrived at Buckland and Milton Combe.
1990 The ‘new’ church celebrated its five hundredth birthday! Buckland Church was the scene for a concert by the well known Exon singers, called ‘Thomas Hardy & Music’. The singers performed church music which Hardy would have known and played. Two members of the BBC read some of his poems. It was an honour for Buckland to have the Exon Singers.
St. Andrew's Church Interior
A Guide to the Interior of St. Andrew's Church
The earliest church on the site was of wooden construction and was likely to have been made from wood. A later church was built in stone on the same site and was likely to have been built in the C14th during the time of Bishop Grandison who built many churches within the Diocese. It was of cruciform shape.
Extensive remodelling of the church took place in 1490 using some of the stone from the 14thcentury building. The style of architecture adopted for the new building is Perpendicular. Many churches in Devon were restyle during the same period all using the Perpendicular style.
The Nave as we see it today would have been very different and would have had lancet widows. The arches to the nave were added later when the north and south aisles were added.
The dedication of the church is to Saint Andrew, possibly the choice of the monks at the Abbey. Buckland Abbey and the village church existed in close relationship and the last Abbot, John Toker, became Vicar in 1557. (The dissolution of the nearby Cistercian Abbey took place in 1539).
Today the Saxon Font is to be found in the northern side of the transept crossing and is again used for infant baptisms and is by far the most ancient thing to be seen. In style it is called a ‘Tub Font’ and has always been regarded as Saxon or Norman. Discovered in the ground during repairs to the church in 1857, it was used in two other local churches before finally being returned to Buck land in 1936.
Baptism of infants became common practice in England from the 8th century, and Buck land’s Font represents a transitional stage in design from a hollow tub, used for the immersion of adults, to a bowl raised on a stand, more suitable for babies. A glance inside will reveal that the working part is only about 12 inches deep. After the 15th century rebuilding, the font was considered too crude and old-fashioned for the improved building, but because it had been used for Holy Baptism, it was buried under the church to safeguard it from profane use.
16th Century Font
There is a second font close by the church entrance, octagonal, and of a date corresponding with the age of the present building. It shows traces of colouring, and what appears to be a capital letter T on the side facing the Nave. A glance round the back will reveal two faces carved with their tongues out; possibly to discourage evil spirits.
Looking East, an important feature of the church that attracts attention is the Chancel Arch which is remarkable for being lopsided. The supporting pillars do not correspond and there is undressed stone on the north side. There are competing suggestions as to the reason for all this, including the need to give a better view of the South (Drake) Chapel when the arch was raised, the Chancel extended, and the Chapel restored in Stuart times. The Chancel got its wagon roof at this time.
The roof over the Nave, which is supported by five splendid arches on either side, is notable for its attractively carved oak figures of angels; a fascinating orchestra of sixteen figures, each playing a different musical instrument to the glory of God. Centrally placed is a boss depicting two special figures thought to be our Lord and His Mother, Mary, or perhaps a King and Queen? This curious carving was taken down for cleaning in 1959 and put on display during a period of extensive repairs and eradication of beetle attack to the roof timbers. All these figures may be seen more clearly by using the mirror table found at the West end of the Nave.
During the 19th Century many churches had become in a near ruinous state and St Andrews was remodeled within that period, Part of the remodelling was to the South Porch when the coffered ceiling was added.it was in this time that the encaustic tiling was placed on the floors and many of the pews were refashioned. A few old carved pre-Reformation bench ends survive –
one in the north aisle depicts 2 angels bearing heraldic shields – but for the most part they are C19 reproductions.
It is within this period of remodeling that the gallery, believed to be Georgian in origin and stood at the western end of the nave was removed. (The plan of interior can be seen at West End of Church).
‘Over the centuries the church at Sheepstor had undergone various stages of renovation, and during one of these projects the original rood screen which dated to the early 1500s was mercilessly torn out by a builder from Tavistock but completely restored to the original design again in 1914’, this is the point when Buckland may have acquired part of the former Victorian screen, which now stands between the main nave and the West Tower entrance. Beneath the tower arch is a wooden screen taken from Sheepstor Church. It retains its original Perpendicular tracery and vine leaf cornice but the paneling and cresting have been renewed.
On the wall of the south aisle is a list of known incumbents, three of whom held the Living for over 60 years. Perhaps the most remarkable of these was Joseph Rowe who, between 1646 and 1708, served during the latter part of the Civil War, the Commonwealth and then continued, like the Vicar of Bray, throughout the reigns of Charles II James II, William & Mary, and on into that of Queen Anne. His slate tombstone on the church porch wall gives his age at death as 98, but other sources suggest it was 90.
Reference has already been made to the Drake Chapel on the south side of the Nave. It gets its name from the family called Drake, descended from Thomas, brother of Sir Francis Drake, the famous Elizabethan seaman whose two marriages produced no children. Sir Francis bought Buckland Abbey in 1581 and when at home he must have visited the church. An embroidered reproduction of his Coat of Arms can be seen on the wall and a large pew bearing a carving of the Golden Hind, (which used to stand in the chapel) now occupies a place on the south side of the transept crossing. The Pew, known as the Drakes Pew has a carving depicting a Tudor Rose and the Golden Hind.
Within the chapel is a huge monument which is now considered as an outstanding example of the work of John Bacon, the 18th century artist whose monuments also appear in Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The subject of this particular monument is General Elliott, who successfully defended Gibraltar during the long siege by Spain, from 1779 to 1783. As Baron Heathfield, he is buried at Heathfield in Sussex. He had married Lady Anne Drake, and their son inherited the Buckland Abbey estates when the last surviving male of the Drakes died childless.
The monument to Francis August Elliott, second Baron Heathfield, which was designed by John Bacon Junior, can be seen on the wall next to that of Francis Henry Drake, whose estates he inherited. At a time when this country’s fortunes were at a very low ebb, General Elliott’s defence of Gibraltar became a symbol of steadiness, courage and endurance. The amazing details depicted on his memorial well repay careful scrutiny. In order to position the memorial, a door and a window of the chapel had to be blocked up and their outline can be seen from outside. The faculty was granted on condition that a new door on the south wall was made. This little door is still there but only used in an emergency.
The Church also contains examples of the work of three distinguished late 18th century and early 19th century sculptors, the two Bacons (already mentioned) and the younger Westmacott who designed the tablet to Dame Eleanor Drake on the south wall of the Sanctuary. Dame Eleanor was the wife of Sir Trayton who gave the organ. An interesting and agreeably worded 18th century monument to Amos Crymes Vicar, is fixed opposite on the north wall.
The church Tower is 70 feet high and contains eight bells. Its design led to a long running problem which began when the first bells were installed. Many Devon towers of a similar slender design have pinnacles surmounting them. These are sometimes quite large and at Buckland the style reached its limit of practicability. From a structural point of view it sacrificed strength for elegance. At first there were four bells, but when in 1723, another two were added, it was asking for trouble.
On the north side of the chancel was another chapel, but this is now filled with the organ and its pipes. By tradition, this chapel was known as the Crymes (or Crapstone) Chapel. These names are used by virtue of the family of Crymes who held the Patronage of the church from 1646 until the 18th century. Their house, called Crapstone Barton, (now a farm) stands higher up the village.
To the east of the organ lies the vestry, a much older part of the building. Above the entrance door, in a recess (once a window), are the Royal Arms of Charles II, commemorating his return from exile in 1660.
The Transepts are of different widths. There would have been chapels in the small, pre-15 century cruciform building. The south transept contains signs of an altar and there is part of a piscine (a niche once intended for Holy water in which the priest could wash his fingers), plus an aumbry (a small recess in which the Eucharistic vessels could be kept.
Repeated ringing weakened the tower and in 1735, major repairs became necessary. The church wardens involved at the time were Joseph Wills and Thomas Reed. Their initials are visible at the top of a lead rainwater pipe outside the west wall of the nave.
In 1858, it was discovered that the wooden bell cage had rotted and that someone had misguidedly driven wedges between the timbers and the walls of the tower. This had caused fractures in the tower as a result of incessant vibration. Not until 1905 were the bells re-hung in a new wood frame, and a tablet in the church commemorates the event. In 1947 the bells were re-cast and re-hung in an iron and steel frame and two treble bells added making a ring of eight. A ringers’ gallery was provided in 1961. The beautiful appearance of the church tower today is the result of extensive renovation and structural repair carried out in 1980, using traditional methods and materials. For 500 years despite inherent weakness, it has stood as an important landmark and its bells rung by today’s dedicated team of men and women continue to call the faithful to worship every Sunday.
The stained glass of this church is modern, apart from some small figures and monograms in the tracery of the east window. The Chief Lights depict the four Evangelists with their symbols and Our Lord as the Good Shepherd, centrally placed. The design of this window is said to have been influenced by William Morris and Burne Jones.
On the south side of the sanctuary is a triple display showing Christ on the Cross flanked on either side by the Holy Family and the women at the sepulcher. The south transept has four Lights illustrating Abraham, Moses, Peter and Paul, together with two scenes from the life of each, whilst in the north transept there is a group of British missionaries, including Saint Boniface who was born in Devon.
Finally, at the west end is a window showing four Old Testament characters associated with the building of the Temple in Jerusalem. Note the tiny wheat sheaf in one of the lower corners the mark of Charles Kempe, the Victorian artist. He and Tower are credited with this window (date, 1907) and also the south transept window (date, 1901). Kempe alone designed the north transept window in 1880. A guide to the stained glass windows can be found at the West End of the Nave.
Outside, near the entrance gate to the churchyard, is the restored cross commemorating Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The visitor’s eye is naturally directed first to the shaft with its simple cross, but of far more significance is the three stepped base on which it stands. The stones of this are very old indeed. They are part of the original Preaching (or perhaps Market) Cross that once stood on the village green, now occupied by cottages. When it was decided to restore the cross, not much of the original was left. The restored version, with the same base blocks forming the pedestal, was removed to its present position. The name Victoria, and the dates, 1837-1897, were cut in a conspicuous place so that the great antiquity of the base is often overlooked. Today the shaft has a very simple surmounting cross, placed there in recent times, but some old photographs show it to have once had an impressive, four sided, canopied head. This, according to records, contained the figures of Saint Andrew, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, founder of the Cistercian Order of monks to which the Abbey belonged, and two coats of arms. It seems that this was taken down during repairs, and removed for safekeeping. Sadly it has not been seen since and its whereabouts remains unknown at present.
Furture Plans for Church Interior
Remodelling of St Andrews Church Interior
The church community have held aspirations to improve the facilities within the church since 1985. However despite all the various alternatives that have been considered these have all been over shadowed by the need to keep the fabric in good order.
Once this had been largely achieved pressing forward with one of the many plans was therefore possible financially. However any Grade1 listed property does require a faculty from the Chancellor for the Diocese of Exeter in order to proceed. Thereby at the turn of the millennia the church architect was able with the assistance of The Diocesan Area Council to formulate two projects for which subsequently faculties have been granted.
The first phase comprised the building of internal toilets including disabled facilities a kitchenette and servery and some essential temporary storage. This phase has now been completed.
The second phase of the faculty included within it the more substantive internal remodelling, this also being phased as funding becomes available. However within each phase of remodelling works are carried out in an order so that each subsequent phase will not involve changes to an already completed item of work.
The Church Plan shown on the right shows the plan for the remodelling within the faculty and shows with the coloured sections what areas have currently been achieved within the church. This includes some of the heating and electrics which were carried out at the same time that the work within the Transept Crossing and Chancel were carried out.
Currently the completed phases include the following works:-
The re-designation of the South Porch to include within it a small area for a crèche.
The opening up of the West Tower to form a more spacious entrance foyer suitable for disabled access this will be completed at a later date with the building of an automatic sliding internal glass door, which will give the Tower a more weather tight entrance but offer an encouragement to step inside the church. The door when fitted will also assist further with disabled access.
The organ has enjoyed additional features being added to as a result of a bequest. Further works are planned to improve the mechanism from electro mechanical to an electronic circuitry only.
The works undertaken within the Chancel and at the transept crossing give a now larger and more flexible space. The Chancel area can now be used for small services including communion using the existing sanctuary and communion point and makes for a more intimate service or meeting point. It also gives flexibility for the Worship groups and provides a larger staging area for children of St Andrews Primary school to make presentations. There are also aspirations that Buckland will once again become a venue for Choral and Organ works when it became a venue of choice as the church had good acoustic properties and had a good organ.
Repositioning of former choir music desks which were within Chancel to open space for multi-purpose use. The Desks have been allocated within the East end of the church, so that they could be repositioned when needed.
Replacing temporary Dais with new octagonal ended dais within transept crossing, this now also has demountable communion rails and an ambulatory additionally this has underfloor heating and hides all the umbilical wiring associated with church AVA.
The Chancel together with the Dais and the West End of the Nave and Side aisles now has a bespoke floor covering to compliment the Victorian best preserved encaustic tiling.
Some of the historical aspects have been re-installed within the Transept, they include the Drake Pew and the Saxon Font. Work has also been undertaken to give greater prominence and access to the Bacon memorials which are within the Drake Chapel.
Future works within Current Faculty
The heating of the church is to be improved by placing heating beneath the pews and thereby reducing the number of panel heaters. Ironically one DAC representative asked if the original heating was the ’Perkins system’ as if enough remained we would have been required to retain it!
Upgrading of the lighting circuits and replacement of the sodium uplighters with clustered pendant lights, I do hope the sodium uplighters do not hold some historical significance!
The most prestigious project will however be left until last as it will be the single most expensive too deliver and this is the insertion of a Narthex which will replace the previously removed Georgian gallery. An artist’s impression looking west towards proposed Narthex.
The Narthex Gallery level looking towards north and the Servery. The upper floor of the Narthex will provide more flexible social space as well as additional seating for large church services and have its own kitchenette and servery and have disabled access.
The plan is also to have a glazed screen to the ringers gallery with access from the gallery, this space will serve as an additional space but which can also be a small meeting room and when required enclosed when the ringers are at work.
At ground level the West End of the Nave and the underside of the Narthex will be separated by a screen giving more social space with access to the gallery, ringers chamber and toilet facilities.
This portion of the church will be heated separately from the Nave in order that the space can be used flexibly on other occasions and at lower level will give children and carers more overspill space from the crèche.
Part of the Narthex work has already been achieved within the first phase when the toilets were put in.
We are blessed with a beautiful ancient building that has seen generation after generation pass through its doors to worship God. The Finance Committee oversee the building repairs and improvements:
Please let us know if you have practical or professional expertise that could be made available to the church.
Maintenance and Repair
There is a constant need to maintain and repair the buildings and grounds. Health and Safety duty of care means that we have to protect people against the potential dangers. One of these is the moat that surrounds the church which is now lit.
We are making every effort to ensure that the church remains a live and vibrant place; not a museum. To this end we are looking to develop a Narthex, at the back of the church, that will provide kitchen and toilet facilities as well as rooms and a gallery. The remodelling is likely to proceed in phases dependent on resources and priorities.