Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Renovation hope for ‘depressing’ Beer church

15:00 11 May 2014

Beer’s ‘thoroughly depressing’ parish church will undergo major internal renovations to reverse a period of decline if parishioners lend their support.

A damning report compared St Michael’s to a cluttered ‘rummage sale’ filled with abandoned remnants of a bygone era – but the parish church council (PCC) is determined to give it a new lease of life.

The proposed work includes removing many of the pews and the altar, levelling the floor, reconfiguring the layout and installing storage space.

A professional survey noted: “For all the claims that the church is an impressive building and celebration of its grandeur, the present interior is full of clutter and all manner of stuff that no-one seems to have had the confidence to throw away.

“It has the appearance of a slightly musty and irrelevant rummage sale, remnants of a bygone era that have been abandoned with a degree of sorrow and sadness.

“It all suggests a congregation who are overwhelmed by the challenges of their building and mission. I found St Michael’s a thoroughly depressing place to be.”

In response, the plans read: “This candid report stung the PCC and congregation into serious reflection, and the realisation that continued decline could only lead to closure. It also led to a resolve that this should not be the case.”

Knowing the work would be needed, the PCC already has the funds set aside, and its coffers were boosted recent by a generous legacy.

The PCC wants to clear the clutter and make the building appear ‘more cared for and loved’, and create a more intimate space for smaller services and prayer.

They also plan to improve the facilities for families and younger people, form a larger space for social interaction and an occasional café, enhance the popular bookstall and boost the quality of the space for concerts and exhibitions.

The majority of Beer’s 1,500 parishioners will attend a service at some point in the year, and the church aims to make those experiences positive.

The grade II listed church was completed in 1877 and is currently left open every day of the year, attracting several thousand visitors.

The blueprints have won the approval of the Diocese of Exeter and now the church has to make a ‘petition for faculty’ to the parishioners.

They are on display in the church, together with instructions for anyone wanting to object.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sidmouth Herald visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sidmouth Herald staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sidmouth Herald account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

11:38
Ref mhz Honiton Show promo.

Porkies family butchers are giving away a £50 voucher for your best picture

Read more

Sidmouth resident warns about thieves targeting rural car parks after her bag was snatched.

Read more
NATIONAL EXPRESS - 45 YEARS OLD
Pictured the August 7th 1965 Wedding Photo Album of Brian Lewis & Patricia Cavanagh at St Clements Church. The Photographic album was handed in after being found at Birmingham Coach Station and National Express would like to reunite the album with the family
FOR FURTHER DETAILS CONTACT: Ros Golds on  0121 460 8419 / 07825 976 593 or rosalyn.golds@nationalexpress.com
Picture by Adam Fradgley

A coach company is appealing to reunite a wedding album with its rightful owner – ahead of what would be the couple’s 51st anniversary.

Read more
06:24
Record breaking stunt cyclist Andrei Burton entertained students at Sidmouth College this week as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations. Ref shs 28-16SH 2311. Picture: Simon Horn.

Sidmouth College pupils enjoyed a special treat to mark the end of the school’s golden anniversary celebrations.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:46
Sidmouth Horse Trials

Processional animals are mane attraction at fun new feature

Read more
Yesterday, 15:34
Federation schools from Branscombe, Farway and Broadhembury took part in their own Olympics at the end of term. Ref shb 30-16SH 2831. Picture: Simon Horn.

Federation schools compete at Branscombe

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00
Having fun at the community festival. Ref shs 30-16TI 4736. Picture: Terry Ife

Community fun day

Read more
Yesterday, 12:59
police

Police are appealing for information after reports an 18-year-old was approached by three men

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30
Wally Cotgrave's golden voice has raised £40,000 for Help for Heroes. Ref shs 28-16SH 2006. Picture: Simon Horn.

A busking pensioner has raised more than £40,000 for a charity close to his heart – and wishes he had started earlier in life.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:17
Alma Rose celebrating her 100th birthday in January this year.

The Friends of Alma Rose group are in the process of organising a service for residents who could not attend her funeral.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 14°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications