Bishop praises Ottery church work

The Bishop of Exeter gave a service of re-dedication at the Parish Church after the completion of more then �200,000 worth of renovation works.

The Right Reverend Michael Langrish helped celebrate the restoration of the Lady Chapel, the opening of floor space for functions and the installation of central heating.

The works took six months and were funded by a number of generous legacies which have been left to the church.

Bishop Michael said: “It’s been restored wonderfully and the quality of the workmanship of the three chapels I dedicated is fantastic. Down through the ages churches were a community building, and thanks to the work it is able to perform that function again.”

Dave Roberts, Clerk to the Governors who has overseen much of the work, said: “The rector had a vision of making the church more welcoming for the community and it started from that. We need to open our doors and make it welcoming to everybody; we have to think of the 21st century.”

The Bishop preached at Parish Communion last Sunday before being interviewed on his faith at the Church’s new service ‘Caf� Church. As well as the Lady Chapel the church’s two side chapels have been restored, but the biggest difference is the removal of the Dorset Aisle pews and the floor replaced to create a space for functions and exhibitions

Grenville Gilbert, a church warden who has been involved with the renovation work, said: “It is the culmination of so much hard work, and now we have this big space the community can all use.”

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Money was spent placing under-floor heating in the Dorset Aisle, along with a new heating system and boiler room. Work has also been completed to prepare for the creation of a shop in the south west corner of the church.

Katie Drew, the Parish administrator, said: “During the past six months the church has undergone a number of changes, which while respecting the historic significance of the building, will enable the church to meet the needs of today’s congregation and local community. It is hope that the changes to the building will enhance and enable more activities to go on in the church.”