...keeping Somerset's churches & chapels alive

Case Studies

Horsington - St John

Grade II*

The Grade II* listed building in Horsington was suffering
from rotting wooden floor supports in the south aisle and under the parish room. This, plus a lack of servery and WC facilities spurred the (relatively small) parish north of Templecombe into a massive fund-raising effort. The total project cost of over £175,000 inc professional fees and VAT has rectified these problems and created an excellent servery and fully disabled friendly WC.

These new facilities were officially dedicated by Archdeacon Nicola Sullivan on August 10th 2016, prior to her move from Wells to Southwell (Notts).

The Somerset Churches Trust granted £4,000 to this
project, with the bulk of the funds being provided by the Viridor Credits Environmental Company. The main contractor was T A Green of Wincanton and the project was overseen by Marc Pique of Philip Hughes Associates, also of Wincanton, and Mrs Anne Jones, the long-standing Churchwarden at St.Johns.

Norton Malreward - Holy Trinity 

Grade II

Norton MalrewardSet within a rural farming community near the Chew Valley Lake, the church is the central heart of the village and with no other community facilities, the members of the church were desperate to make use of their only community building - to provide a space for community use, comfort to visitors or just a place for quiet contemplation.

The church is of traditional plan, with a tower to the west, chancel to the east and a north and south aisle either side of the Nave. The layout of pews left little room for other uses other than formal services.

Norton MalrewardIn July-2009, the PCC instructed their architects to look in to the provision of community facilities within the church. A scheme was put forward for agreement in early 2010 to allow for the reordering of the south aisle, removing some pews while others were rearranged around the walls, with the fine Font placed as center-focus in the new aisle-space. The repositioning of the organ, allowed for new facilities to be design within the south transept, providing a small servery and disabled Wc to serve the south aisle.

Norton Malreward

Detailed drawings were put to the DAC in January 2011, followed by an application to the FSCC for a grant to help towards the alteration costs in November 2011 At their January 2012 meeting, the FSCC was able to offer a small grant towards the provision of these community facilities – making this the first grant of this kind offered by the Friends. Work began on Ascension Day (06/02/12) and took 3 months to complete.

Norton Malreward

The result of the church member’s efforts is that the south aisle is now supported by a small Servery and Disabled Loo Unit, both screened, with the latter sound-proofed, and contained within the South Transept. A scheme that is so important for Community and Church, for believers and non-believers alike, as it provides space and comfort to whoever wants to call in or just to be quiet in the church building.

Weston Bampfylde - Holy Cross Church

Grade II*

Weston BampfyldeSet apart from village, and with access through an adjacent farmyard, the existing church is made up of a Nave, west tower and chancel is constructed of local Lias coursed rubble with ham stone dressings, under a stone tiled roof. Its main external feature is the impressive west end tower with square base turning to octagonal for the upper lifts. Of 13th century origin, it was later altered in both the 15th and 19th centuries.

Weston BampfyldeIn 2010, the Quinquennial Inspection noted severe spalling/loss of face to the external stonework on the north, south and west elevations of the tower, although repairs had been undertaken at previous times – some more successful than others ! The damage to the external walls was in turn allowing water to penetrate inside, damaging the timber beams and floor construction of the bell frame and chamber.

Weston BampfyldeA detailed repair schedule was put to the DAC in November 2011, followed by an application to the FSCC for a grant to help towards masonry repairs in April 2012. At their July meeting, the FSCC was not able to offer a grant at the time, but recommended the works for a repair grant from the National Churches Trust. This additional grant was awarded by the NCT in December 2012 when work was almost complete.

Weston BampfyldeWork commenced on site in October 2012, concentrating on the upper sections of the tower, where the removal of cement pointing and replacement stonework formed the major external works. Repairs were also required to the weathered string courses and some new facing works were undertaken in matching blue Lias, using lime mortar for bedding. Internally, only the most urgent repairs to the supporting ends of bell fames and ringing chamber main floor beams were undertaken, since the bells themselves have not been rung for many years. All was completed by Christmas 2012.

Witham Friary - Blessed Virgin Mary

Listing: Grade I.

Witham FriaryNow acting as the village church and community venue, the building was built as a Lay Brother’s Chapelry for the 1st Carthusian Monastery, founded between 1178-79. Some of the remaining early 12c fabric may be associated with the Monastery building constructed by the Augustinian canons of Bruton, but it is the Mid-late 12th c fabric (particularly the vaulted roof) that gives the church its simple monastic feel.

Witham FriaryOriginally of 3 bays with apsidal chancel at east end, built of local limestone, with a timbered bellcote at the apex of the roof at the west end.

Later 18th and then 1827-32 alterations and additions by Charles Long of Frome included a 3-stage tower and internal gallery, while in 1875 the tower was removed and replaced by a 4th bay and a series of flying buttresses by William White of London.

Witham FriaryA condition report was issued as part of the informal application to the DAC – which highlighted the condition of the west elevation. In order to inspect this area, Wiltshire Steeplejacks were asked to use a cherry picker to gain access to the high areas, including the bells, bellcote and the high level masonry.

Having obtained DAC approval, the PCC applied to the FSCC for a grant to help towards masonry repairs in March 2012, although works to the 3 18th /19th c bells and chiming fittings were not eligible. At their April meeting, the FSCC not only offered the church a grant, but also recommended the works for an additional grant from the National Churches Trust. This additional grant was awarded by the NCT in May 2012. Repair works were then undertaken to the bellcote area, replacing the stone cross at the apex and general repointing to west elevation.

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