Amazing Spaces Project.

Service of Celebration Sunday 24th March at 3pm.  All welcome.

…and we are open again...

We have almost completed the project and were able to re-open for our first Sunday service on 28th January 2024, seven months after starting the renovation.

St George’s Church, Modbury needed some TLC.

Our Grade 1 listed church building needed some Tender Loving Care.  We have installed a new underfloor heating system, a new electric system and restored the interior. It’s a flexible space for everyone at the heart of the community.  Shown below, you will see a brief story of our journey, starting with the latest pictures.

Thank you to the many people and organisations who have been involved in this renovation.

Our renovation project has been a long time in the making.  We have been working closely for a number of years with the Diocese of Exeter, our Architect, Historic England, the Victorian Society and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.

The project has been partly funded by generous grant-awarding bodies including Devon Historic Churches Trust, the Benefact Trust, the Ian Foulerton Trust and the Rural Churches Repair Fund, the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Congregational & General Charitable Trust.  It has been supported financially also by Eton College, The Stetson Kindred of America, the Betty Coyte Trust, the District Council and the Modbury Society.

We are thankful to all of these organisations for their support and generosity and to the congregation, the local community, local businesses, the PCC and the Vicar.

November: new flooring was laid alongside old original stonework.

Our new stone flooring has been sourced from The Forest of Dean.  The original stone in the aisles has been retained exactly where it was because some of it is believed to be historically significant and may have been laid here during the Norman period.  

October: the carpenter got started.

With the commissioning of a new glass front door and oak frame, and the renovation of the choir stalls, there has been plenty to keep the carpenter busy.

September: some pews were returned to the building.

We were able to return some pews to the building.  Thank you to everyone involved in storing these throughout the summer in Bigbury, moving them back again and lifting them into the building.  They will form part of the flexible seating in the future, sitting alongside oak chairs and choir stalls.

August: the walls & ceiling were repaired and lime plaster applied.

During the summer months, a team of local plasterers got to work and started to transform the interior of the building.

The colours are more noticeable from the stained glass windows when the sun shines.

Mid-August: the screed was poured.

It took 3 lorry loads of screed to pour the new floor.  The heating pipes are under the screed and once it dried, we pumped a small amount of heat through the pipes to aid the process of fully curing the floor.

Thank you to all the professionals and volunteers who made this a slick and successful day - a day to remember, something we might only see once in our own lifetimes.

July: busy times for groundworks and heating engineers.

June: Painting started on walls and ceiling.

Everything was protected before we began.

Precious items were carefully wrapped; plans were poured over; the organ was put to bed.

June: self-help and a cleared church.

Thanks to the enormous efforts of our congregation, with volunteers ranging in age from 4 years to 84 years old, the congregation got the building ready themselves to hand over to the Project Manager and the sub-contractors.

Under the pew platforms and choir stalls, as expected, we found void spaces that were created by the Victorians.  These are ideal in shape and size for laying underfloor heating.  It means we won’t need to dig the ground, but even so there will be an archaeologist watching and carefully recording everything when the ground preparation is being done.

Thank you to everyone for their hard work!

June: pews on holiday in Bigbury.

Half of our pews started their well-earned break in June 2023 after nearly 200 years’ service.  They have gone on holiday near Bigbury.  We anticipate they will return looking refreshed and ready to go again.

These pews have a long history which was thoroughly recorded by an Independent Archaeologist before they were moved.

The building is truly beautiful and steeped in history.

These beautiful memorial stones dating back to 1780 had been hidden under a carpet for decades.  We didn’t know they were there but we have uncovered them.

June: upcycle & recycle.

In keeping with our green credentials (we will be hydrogen-ready with the new boilers installed in church), we are encouraging upcycling and recycling everywhere and at every available opportunity.

Pictured here is our old kitchenette being removed by a team who will reuse it at St Lawrence’s Church, Bigbury.  Also pictured, two of the upcycled pews in their new homes.  Around 30 pews have been re-homed in the local area, with the remaining 20 pews due to return to the building in due course.

Time Team Digital came to see the church in mid-June, just as the original floor was uncovered.  It was great to meet people who are as excited about its history as we are.

Excited about the future.

We hope the interior will look something like this.

This picture gives an idea of the vision we have for the interior.  We will be combining old and new, traditional and modern, in a beautiful blend like the church pictured in this photograph.

The chairs and pews can be moved anywhere within the building to suit the occasion.  Whether it’s a Sunday service, a concert, a wedding (and wedding reception) or a traditional funeral (with a catered wake), this space will become versatile and adaptable, serving the needs of the community and community groups.

We are making the building accessible to all by installing a sloping porch - we want you to enjoy this amazing space.  We look forward to sharing it with you - whether you’re a member of the congregation, the town’s community, a wedding couple, choral group, orchestra or scout troop - you will be very welcome.

Donation Point.

All donations are gratefully received.

Email us at amazingspaces@modburyteam.org for more information

A Quilt of Memories.

A ‘Quilt of Memories’ is being created in celebration of this Amazing Space, using materials that represent a special occasion, time or person in your life.  

The quilt will be hung as a lasting memory for all in St George’s Church.

Our history: did Modbury Church once look like this?

It is well-known that the origin of Modbury’s church dates back to Saxon times, but there is also a theory that it was originally a Saxon Minster.

Pictured: artist’s impression of a Saxon Minster

The church building today.

The original Saxon structure is long gone, and the church was rebuilt in phases, starting around 700 years ago.  Today’s building incorporates stone that has been identified as a Saxon Roundel alongside a beautiful 21st Century roof, as well as materials used in all the years between.  This amazing church spans millennia and sits beautifully atop the hill of Modbury high street, an iconic silhouette, drawing people from near and far.

"The programme of works will have a major impact on the appeal of the building as a concert venue, improving the aesthetics and overall comfort.."

Stanborough Chorus

"The church is enormous inside and would be great to use on wet winter evenings if it was at least warm and easily accessible."

1st Modbury Scouts

"The planned works will have a major impact on the appeal of the building as a venue for delivering talks on the work of ModWAG, making it a more comfortable and welcoming space."

Modbury Wildlife Action group

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