Plans for the Reordering of Holy Trinity Church, Minchinhampton
The stone masons have returned to lay the floor in the Lady Chapel. As much as possible this will be the original stone from the Lady Chapel and nave. Nick Miles’s team are working on the floors in the sacristy and choir vestry. The choir vestry wall has been cleaned of mould and re-pointed. The dado panels will now be repaired and refurbished: the nave is almost completed!
The Font and Baptistry
As part of the current re-ordering work, the font is to be re-located at the back of the nave and on the centre line of the church; a number of people have asked why the font is not remaining in its original position and this article sets out to explain the issues from both a design and a liturgical point of view.
Completion is happening! The Rood Screen is now finished having had all of the top carvings replaced. Also the chancel floor which is looking very good with the insertion of tiles to match the Victorian originals. The Trinity sign on the stone floor is now in place as work progresses down the middle of the nave. The under floor heating is laid in four sections in the nave. It has to remain off in the areas where stone has just recently been laid allowing for natural drying out. Thank you to the weekly dusters and hooverers and to everyone for your ongoing support.
The Rood Screen has been successfully moved to its new home in the Lady Chapel Arch: a perfect fit. The stone floor is progressing across the nave: drying out is taking time especially where the stones are laid on lime crete for ease of access. The stone floor has two layers of sealant with grouting in between. Work has now started on laying the matching tiles in the chancel: it is hard to tell the new tiles from the old. They are looking very beautiful. The under floor heating is laid in four sections in the nave. At least one section will be on each week and more as the work progresses. Thank you to the people who are or have offered to help with dusting and hoovering each week and thank you for everyone for your patience.
Any visitor to Holy Trinity, who has any knowledge of the church, will undoubtedly see that the chancel screen has moved. Why? The reasons go back quite a long way, and it might be better to start from the beginning. As you probably know, the C14th church was extensively “remodelled” by the Victorians. They wanted more of a feeling of space, since the congregation at the time was over 450 on Sunday mornings services, though there were in those days upper galleries along the north and south aisles. They engaged an architect, and started a major re-ordering. Our recent one pales into insignificance, since they knocked down all of the nave and chancel, leaving only the transepts standing, bankrolled by the patron of the time, David Ricardo (he of the four-stroke engine fame, later the basis of most modern cars). They did, of course, run out of money, and the later stages were to a lower standard.
By the time you read this all our services will be taking place back in our Church and we will have been able to see the excellent progress that has been made in implementing Phase One of the re-ordering process. It seems therefore to be an appropriate time to review where we are in our fundraising campaign and to assess what more we have to do to achieve our objective of “Protecting the Past, Preserving the Present and Planning for Posterity”.
Much of the first two has been done and more will follow in the New Year. In our original article we anticipated the overall estimate would be in the region of £1.25 million. Once we have firm estimates for the further stages it looks as if the overall cost may well be close to that figure, despite the fact that we have encountered problems along the way that have added unforeseen amounts to the total. We must congratulate and thank the many people involved on the project for the great way that many difficulties have been faced and solved.
The final delivery of Chairs and Choir Stands is due at the end November. 100 chairs at £200 each have received sponsorship, 200 more to go! The choir stands, of which there are 12, accommodate 2 people each and cost £812-50. Four have already received sponsorship just 8 more to go. The choir stands have been specially made by Chris Thompson, a local furniture designer. They are made of oak, to blend with the Theo chair, and have been designed to reflect different shapes within the church, such as the arches and the 'sign of the trinity': this sign will also be picked up in the nave with darker stone in the new floor.
Chair sponsorship forms and reordering gift aid forms, which can be marked 'for a choir stand,' are on the shelf at the back of the Porch room. any queries please do let us know.
With kind regards from the Church Wardens, Howard Browning and Mandy Jutsum
The foundations for the nave and chancel are now complete and consistent in timing with the church being back in use for Advent. Essentially, the church has now been handed over to Jupiter to start on installation of the under-floor system, but still under Nick Miles’ overall management. A geotextile membrane has been installed, and Jupiter have laid a layer of crushed slate on top of it, to give a flat surface on which to lay “Fermacell” boards, stapled together to give a base for further work. The “flatness” has been established using the state-of-the-art laser device that you may have seen. Overall this gives a floor that the workmen can walk on to install heating, electrical and instrument connections, before laying the final parts of the heating system.
Mandy and Howard, Church Wardens
The main part of the floor base has now been built up. The reinforced concrete panels specified by the structural engineer have been constructed, and the other areas of the nave built up with hardcore. This last week has seen the last part of the base going in – the RFG, reinforced foamed glass, plus a geotextile layer. That means we are now in shape to start on the Jupiter system: installation of high-performance insulation layers, which will lead later to under-floor heating pipes and the terra-cotta layer which will be the surface we will have over Advent. Final limestone flooring will be laid early in 2018. Inevitably, a building project like this throws up something unexpected. In our case, it is largely about water: how to drain the surprising cistern under the sacristy and reroute the water that has been filling it, how to feed and drain the new rainwater pipe under the nave – improvements that have probably been needed since 1842, and have probably led to the high humidities we have experienced! To keep us occupied, we are also trying to find the best way to renew the flue from the cellar, and confirm what boilers are needed to feed it.
Mandy and Howard, Church Wardens
The work consists of replacing the current wooden floor and pews and installing a new stone floor at one level throughout the main body of the church to provide a flexible space and improved disabled access, together with installing under-floor heating and a modern heating system. The work is due to be completed by February 2018.
Church wardens Mandy Jutsum and Howard Browning said: “The clergy and congregation are delighted to have been awarded a grant of £50,000 towards the re-ordering of Holy Trinity.”
“This will enable the church space (the largest meeting space in the parish) to be much more flexible in the type and size of events that can take place in the church and will be able to offer the facilities to the whole community.
“The Victorian pews, which were of low quality when installed and have gradually deteriorated since, will be replaced by specially-designed, award-winning chairs which will again enhance the flexibility of the new layout.”
The work, which has just started, is now on target for completion in February 2018. The works programme will however allow the church to be fully used over the Advent and Christmas period, with the final floor finish being laid shortly after.
Thanks to The Gloucestershire Environmental Trust, other trusts and the generosity of many individuals in the community we are making this long-anticipated project a reality.
Over the last 12 months, close to £1.5 million has been awarded to community projects in Gloucestershire by the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust.
The Gloucestershire Environmental Trust is unable to accept new applications for funding between now and its closure in 2019, with all anticipated Landfill Community Fund income
allocated to projects. For more information visit http://ge-trust.org.uk/
Today at our excavation at Holy Trinity church Minchinhampton we have found this beautifully carved architectural fragment. It is probably from a crocketed pinnacle and may be from a tomb, or decorated wall niche. Similar crocketed pinnacles can be seen on the mid 14th century tomb in the south transept.
Finding tiny fragments like this will allow us to reconstruct aspects of the medieval church that were destroyed during the Reformation, by Puritans, accidental damage or by the Victorian rebuilding.
Chiz Harward BA MCIfA Urban Archaeology
We are still on schedule for Advent! The builders have started work on building up a solid floor base; the archeological work on site is almost completed (see reports on this page and http://urban-archaeology.blogspot.co.uk). Water in the church: a blocked drainage culvert found running under the church will be used as a useful route for rainwater disposal from the north side north/south side of church; the cistern discovered under the sacristy will be drained and safely investigated towards the best solution. The architect, archaeologist, builder and structural engineer have been collaborating closely to preserve our ancient building and it clearly needed it! Donations for the 6P’s campaign can be made using the reordering gift aid envelopes available in the Porch room or from the Church office in Butt Street. Similarly Chair sponsorship leaflets.
Mandy and Howard, Church Wardens.
More from the excavation at Holy Trinity church, Minchinhampton. This time a pit...backfilled with architectural fragments from the medieval church. The pit is below our formation level so we're not lifting the stones, but are taking tracings of the profiles and hope to be able to date them, and work out where they would go in the church.
Chiz Harward BA MCIfA Urban Archaeology