Exciting transformation for Sidmouth church
A MULTI-GENERATIONAL Sidmouth church is undergoing a 21st century �530,000 transformation. Grade Two listed All Saints Church, built in 1837, is being cleared in readiness for Sidmouth builders Skinners to begin work at the beginning of October
A MULTI-GENERATIONAL Sidmouth church is undergoing a 21st century �530,000 transformation.
Grade Two listed All Saints Church, built in 1837, is being cleared in readiness for Sidmouth builders Skinners to begin work at the beginning of October to remove pews, church organ, two side galleries and pulpit.
The aim is to encompass all the different services held at the All Saints Road church, including the more contemporary-style family worship, which is outgrowing the adjacent church hall where its services are currently held, traditional morning service and interactive services.
Church warden David Burgoyne said: "It is a huge amount of change and the project will take at least eight or nine months.
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"We have overwhelming support of the congregation. A presentation by the vicar, the Reverend Roger Trumper, was enthusiastically received.
"The purpose is to have ministry for different age groups. One benefit will be to transfer the 9.30am service to release the hall for children's ministry, dividing it into rooms for different age groups."
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Currently 125 adults and 25 children attend and numbers are growing.
The 20th century organ, in a gallery at the end of the nave, originated from Sidmouth Parish Church and will soon need �20-�30,000 spent on it.
It will be dismantled and go to a specialist company. The void left will be filled with oak pews from the side galleries. Early 1900 pews will be preserved.
Some of the congregation have shown interest in buying other pews to be replaced by padded wooden chairs.
Mr Burgoyne said: "We will have seating for just over 300. At the moment it is about 250 and no-one sits in the side galleries because there is no visibility."
Two staircases leading to the galleries will go, giving more space and the altar will come forward, leaving the original altar untouched and screened off to make a quiet chapel.
Screens will project hymns and Bible texts, and be used for audio visual talks.
"Our aim is to provide first class sound, it will be great to have really modern, high standard audio and visual facilities."
A plate-glass walkway will link the church to the church hall and act as main focus for welcoming people.
A piano will be replaced by an electric organ and there will be a platform area for performances with instrumentalists using a side aisle.
"We hope, very much, it will be used by the community in appropriate ways during the week, for concerts, choirs even conferences," said Mr Burgoyne, who said plans for the re-ordering had been in place for some years.
"This church has uniquely no parish, just an acre of ground and the vicarage. This will be an exciting transformation.