Anonymous said...

May one just say that I believe it is a terrible decision to remove the pews from the church. I believe that in perhaps 10/20 years it make the church look dated. People want to get married at Christ Church for it's original victorian charm and style. I do believe that the money spent could be used elsewhere, such as updating the online burial database. Let's say swindon was to become a city, Christ church would most probably be in favour to become cathedral, and quite frankly we do not see Dr David Ison in a rush to remove the pews from St Pauls Cathedral! It would be an absolute shame for the church to lose it's character and it's pews to be rotting away in a reclamation yard for the next 40 years!

The Idea of havin a creche and coffee bar inside the church quite frankly upsets me when would be a perfectly good Leisure centre wasting away! I appreciate that people may be old, and therefore unable to make the journey but whats wrong with the use of a tea urn??
I am aware that these plans are to try and bring the younger generation into the parish but why should they bother getting married here if all they are going to see are either cheap pews or a load of interlocking chairs - they could have the exact same experience down at the registry office!

May I repeat myself by saying... DON'T LET THIS CHURCH LOSE IT'S CHARM!!!!!!!

Many Thanks

Stephen said...

Thank you for your comments. I think you highlight a need to revise our information. Although not fully mandated by the PCC as yet,we are currently considering retaining the original pews in the centre of the church and removing the few remaining ones in the side aisles. Part of this thinking is driven by the need to reduce costs but mostly because it seems a sin against our avowed aim to retain the character of the church and to adopt a sustainable approach. As you point out, our Baltic oak pews would have little or no resale value and are in perfectly good nick. We are investigating if they can be made free standing as we do intend to remove the pew platforms and flatten the floor in the long term.

You might also be interested to know that we are considering replacing the original west internal porch to improve our draught proofing - a lot of our heat does disappear out of that door.

Not quite sure what you mean about updating the burial database - it is maintained for free and has all the available records from 1907 - 2010. I am afraid it would be a major project to cross reference the electronic records held in the parish office with the book records - it must have been done at some time however to get the 7,000 odd records we do have.

You don't mention your feelings about a possible toilet in the NW corner. We are being strongly encouraged to do this by the diocese. There is no firm plan at present to make a tea bar anywhere.

Having chairs in the side aisles would allow us to stack them to make space for more tea urns/ coffee stations for the relatively few occasions we do this.

Anyway thanks for raising your concerns and I hope I have gone some way to answer them. I am usually at church on Sunday morning if you would like to ask anything else or discuss any of the above.


Anonymous said...

Hi Stephen,
May I also suggest that the pews are kept? It would be an absolute shame to lose them as by also looking around the country at churches modernised in 1970s/80s a lot of charm was removed making the churches seem almost souless.

I am from Devonshire, and when I got back there to visit my family, I often pop into the local church and simply admire how things have been sympathetically restored, keeping the victorian look about it still.

May I suggest that simply you:
Walls are painted/whitewashed
and New carpets are led (replacing those gastly beige ones!)

May I also put the point across that Having a toilet in the church may also cause gastly smells! Lets face it, you must remember the school cloakrooms that stunk of urine! Because lets face it, there's probably not going to be much money left to have the toilets cleaned everyday - and could the new Leisure centre not just have some put in? Because a church lets face it is to worship -not pee! Why spoil such a magnificent building? Also, a 'Tea bar' would just sspoil the church and I must say I do agree,a bar would look so ugly! - urns can be stowed away much neater!

The Replacement of the door could be useful however it should be in keeping with what is already there if it is required to be changed at all!

Also, may I say that upon walking my dog on quite a few occasions in the past, I noticed that the spot light in the rose garden has not been working whilst all of the otheras have been? - I know it's minimal but thought it might be of some use to you

I also must agree with 'commenter 1' as my cousin's records have neither been put on the church weebsite yet.

Anyway, I would be much obliged if you was to take my points into consideration, and not turn the old lady on the hill into a set of public conveniences!

Take care,

Shirley x

Stephen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen said...

Hi Shirley

Thanks for your thoughts - as it stands, we have deferred the decision on whether to go with toilets until we come to do the major work on the floors and heating.

As to the pews,I think it is likely that we will plan to retain the central ones and remove the few remaining aisle ones. With a flat floor, we should still have considerable flexibility to manage space within the church.

Thanks for letting us know about the floodlight in the rose garden. I am afraid we have had some problems with the lights due to their age. The building committee is investigating.

Stephen Grosvenor