AN UPDATE ON THE REPAIR AND RE-ORDERING OF HOLY TRINITY CHURCH
You were last invited to attend a Service of Dedication for the reordered church, conducted by The Right Reverend Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester in the presence of Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne, the Princess Royal on Friday 27th April 2018. A very splendid occasion which marked the completion of the major work of removing the old church pews and wooden plinths, installing under floor heating and a new limestone floor throughout. There were, at this time, some significant works still to do to bring us to the completion of the first stage of the 6Ps appeal.
PROTECTING THE PAST, PRESERVING THE PRESENT AND PLANNING FOR POSTERITY
Protecting the Past
Prior to the 2017 reordering the majority of the church floor was made up of wooden plinths, with a void underneath going down to the ground below. When the plinths were removed the remains of the medieval church which stood for 100s of years prior to the Victorian reordering were revealed and along with this the potential for archeological exploration. A two week investigation ensued. In 2019 Chiz Harward, the archeologist, completed a 121 page Archaeological Post-excavation Assessment Report on his findings at Holy Trinity Church. A fascinating report giving us new insights into the very early church in Minchinhampton and some aspects of the lives of its people further back in time than ever before. Chiz is working on producing a shortened version of his findings with the aim of reaching a wider audience.
During the 6Ps reordering it became apparent that there were several different items of historic importance that needed to be reinstated into the church. The preservation and reinstatement of memorials from different eras in the life of the church ranging from the 800 year old cross slab to the memorial unveiled in 2018 by HRH, the Princess Royal, to commemorate the service of dedication by the Bishop and the Royal visit. These have all been recently installed by the Stone Masons and are mainly located in the Narthex (entrance area at the back of the church).
This work is described in the article entitled ‘What has been going on in the Narthex?’
Preserving the Present
There has been a reduction in heating costs of £1,500 per annum since 2018 as a result of the sophisticated new under floor heating system and modern boilers. Increased comfort and accessibility (a flat floor nearly throughout) have greatly contributed to the widening use of this beautiful building, with its capacity of 350 people, by different groups in the community and by choirs and orchestras and other groups. Sam Willis, the BBC historian and Professor James Daybell will be bringing their latest touring show to the church on Saturday March 14th ‘Histories of the Unexpected: the Tudors’. An event not to be missed: details on the back page. These and other events have become possible through the installation in 2018 of the new sound and AV system which includes a drop down screen, long distance projector, modern sound desk and slim line speakers. The challenge is to locate the screen and the speakers when you come into church! Discretely installed so as to ‘protect the past’.
Currently underway and to be completed in time for the Organ Recital and Reception are the Improvements being made to the entrance area which include the rebuilding of the roof, installation of a glass lantern and sliding glass doors. New floor matting and sliding doors through to the kitchen and toilet areas are all designed to make this as physically welcoming an area as possible before people walk into the light, well ordered, now dry and warm church. Gone are the days of 85% humidity!
Planning for Posterity
Longer-term, the Architect’s quinquennial report recommends that in the next five years, if possible, we have three more significant projects – refurbishment of the organ, primarily involving the action, replacement or upgrading of the glass in the south (rose) and east windows, and improving the overall lighting. The organ and the rose window overlooking the town are now becoming a priority for the 6Ps. More to follow in the months ahead …….…..
Thank you to the many individuals, groups, trusts and grant awarding bodies who have made the completion of the work so far a reality. We do hope to see as many people as possible at the Organ Recital and Reception as we celebrate together the end of the first phase of the 6Ps and look to the future.
The Church Wardens