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2. Changes

A brief History of Reorderings, Refurbishments and Repairs before 2002.

The original church

It must be remembered that the original Georgian building was a very plain, austere one, with little ornament and intended to hold 2000 people on 2 levels.

The windows were of clear diamond leaded glass, the walls whitewashed and the floor stone flagged. Plain deal timber pews ran the full length of the nave, and extended across the nave and both the side aisles.

All five arch spans were therefore filled with pews, a total of 30 metres in length and about 22 metres in width (i.e. 100 feet long by about 75 feet wide).

The organ was high on the west wall above the gallery, accessed by a doorway that can still be seen as an indented arch. The only real ornamentation was the groined ceiling with plaster coving and bosses, and the plasterwork on the ceiling under the gallery. The upper ceiling was a change to the original design, resulting in a lower level than planned !! as can be seen in the way it cuts across the stonework at the top of chancel arch.

The changes

  • 1862 Heating system installed - this may have been the underfloor hot air system.
  • 1863 Heating system flue causes roof to catch fire.
  • 1870 Stained glass east window installed.
  • 1873 West wall organ loft removed and the Brindley & Fosters organ installed.
  • 1874 New reredos installed of 9 niches with Irish marble pillars. The old reredos was moved to a place above the west door.
  • 1877 Box pews removed and replaced with a more regular arrangement. The organ chamber, choir vestry and chancel were formed from the east bays of north and south aisles and the nave respectively. The front six rows of pews were removed to allow this. A porch was made for the west entrance, the pulpit lowered and decorated. The roof was painted "French grey striped with maroon" and the walls a "warm drab".
  • 1887 Building was made watertight, chancel floor raised and mosaic tiled, new choir stalls fitted and the chancel separted from the nave by a low screen of Bolton stone and a new Caenstone pulpit installed. The sanctuary floor was also raised and fitted with a blue marble step. Redecoration took place with such items as imitation mediaeval brickwork on the ceiling under the galleries and the chancel ceiling covered with gold stars and "broad Indian red lines".
  • 1899 Stained glass window of Faith & St Lawrence fitted to clerestory on south side.
  • 1900 A new heating system installed and the first stained glass window fitted to the nave.
  • 1910 The sanctuary Holy Table was replaced.
  • 1912 Oak communion rails installed.
  • 1919 Electric light installed.
  • 1924 Gallery fronts refaced with Austrian oak, organ renovated.
  • 1925 Refacing of clergy and choir stalls and three more stained glass windows.
  • 1926 Paintings on zinc, Lord Help Me and Watch and Pray fitted into niches in the chancel arch.
  • 1960 Redecorated and rewired, pendant light fittings being replaced with strip lighting.
  • 1963 Red carpet laid down the central aisle.
  • 1974 to 1988 - Creation of Narthex, redecoration, extension of chancel into the front of the nave. Creation of servery and toilet at the west end of the tower.
  • 1988 to 2001 - Roof repaired (twice).