St Peters’s Church Withington Reordering Proposals
updated February 2014
Preliminary architect plans are on display in the church. For further information on the reordering project contact:
Marcia Hopkins 850933
Kevin Hewison 850074
Section E of Statement of Needs and Significance
Proposed plan Option A
Install a mains water supply and mains drainage to the building.
Install an auto winding clock mechanism to the clock at the top of the tower so that the existing winding mechanism and its wooden casing can be removed, freeing up valuable space on the ground floor. (Faculty submitted)
Create a mezzanine floor above the base of the tower for the bell ringers with glass balustrading and handrails at Nave screen for safety.
Create access to the new floor by utilising the existing stone staircase. Contact Diocesan Guild of bell ringers and Central Council.
Create access to a new lobby, kitchen and wheelchair accessible WC by adapting the existing screen on the ground floor of the tower.
The kitchen to have a hatched door serving facility, created within the existing tower screen, with facilities to heat food, wash up and with ample storage space.
Locate a ‘dirty sink’ in the space with sufficient cupboard space for cleaning materials and equipment, and flower arranging materials.
All existing raised timber boarded flooring in the west end of the Nave to be lowered to the current circulation level. Take up the tiles, now or later, some of which are in poor condition, saving the better ones. Consider height of the font. Remove the pews at this end of the Nave, creating a flexible multi-use community space for activities such as study groups, soup lunches cafe church, messy church etc. Activities in the Church to complement those held in the Village Hall.
Chair storage and cupboard space to be created against the south side wall of the Nave
NB As only the west end raised areas are to be be removed in the short term as part of Phase 1, this may create a short term problem when the earth floor is exposed under the raised boarded floor.
Remove the remaining raised timber boarding at the east end of the Nave and provide suitable flooring material and cover and ventilation to the whole of the Nave.
Create a new performance platform at the east end of the Nave, level with the chancel floor and with a portable ramp for accessibility.
Reorganise the Chancel to increase the potential for use of this area to create flexible Worship space. Consult DAC
Remove the existing organ, pipes and works, ( which is in need of costly renovation ) to create a space which, when joined with the existing vestry, can be used as a good sized easily heated multi use room. Restore the existing vestry door for external access to the new space. Consult Dr Roy Massey in the first instance.
Purchase a suitable digital organ to replace the removed one and consider possible sites for it within the Church.
Review the situation re the pews in the east end of the Nave which are made of pine and in poor condition, and consider replacing some or all with modern chairs.
Review provision of storage space generally.
Review the current electrical circuits, heating and lighting provision in the Church, installing cost effective, efficient and aesthetically sympathetic systems.
Re-plaster and redecorate the Church interior and take into consideration the need for improved ventilation generally.
Regrade the existing path to the porch, lower and relay the existing floor of the porch to the new level of the Nave.
Install a drainage channel in front of the new glazed doors on the porch to address wind blow rain.
Re-install glazing to the upper framing of the porch.
A History of St Peter's Church, Withington
By The late Reverend J C Williams
Withington and its manors are mentioned in the Domesday Book (1085 – 1087), the name being spelt “Withingtune”, and there was almost certainly a Saxon church on the site.
The Nave and Chancel were built in the late 12th century, the evidence being the thickness of the walls and the 12th century doorways (the north one is now blocked). The Tower and graceful Spire were added in the 14th century.
The windows date from the 13th century onwards, whilst the Chanel Screen is of the 15th century. In the south wall of the nave is a Piscina of the late 13th century (used for cleansing the sacred vessels after Communion) and nearby an unusual recess of the same date.
In the Chancel there is a brass tablet to William Saxeye (1612), a Chief Justice in Ireland under Queen Elizabeth 1. There are also chairs dating from 1626 onwards. The Communion Table is mid-17th century.
The steps and base of the churchyard Cross are of the 14th or 15th century, and the Lych gate (which has been restored) probably dates from the 16th century.
John Phillips (1676 – 1709) author of “Cyder and other verse, lived at Withington Court and has a monument in Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey. The grave of his friend and contemporary, William Broome, was recently discovered east of the Chancel. He lived at Eau Withington.
A Processional Cross in wrought iron with silver inserts representing the crucifixion nails was in recent years placed in the Chancel in memory of the Reverend J C Williams.