Furture Plans for Church Interior
Remodelling of St Andrews Church Interior
The church community have held aspirations to improve the facilities within the church since 1985. However despite all the various alternatives that have been considered these have all been over shadowed by the need to keep the fabric in good order.
Once this had been largely achieved pressing forward with one of the many plans was therefore possible financially. However any Grade1 listed property does require a faculty from the Chancellor for the Diocese of Exeter in order to proceed. Thereby at the turn of the millennia the church architect was able with the assistance of The Diocesan Area Council to formulate two projects for which subsequently faculties have been granted
The second phase of the faculty included within it the more substantive internal remodelling, this also being phased as funding becomes available. However within each phase of remodelling works are carried out in an order so that each subsequent phase will not involve changes to an already completed item of work.
The Church Plan shown on the right shows the plan for the remodelling within the faculty and shows with the coloured sections what areas have currently been achieved within the church. This includes some of the heating and electrics which were carried out at the same time that the work within the Transept Crossing and Chancel were carried out
Currently the completed phases include the following works:-
The re-designation of the South Porch to include within it a small area for a crèche.
The opening up of the West Tower to form a more spacious entrance foyer suitable for disabled access this will be completed at a later date with the building of an automatic sliding internal glass door, which will give the Tower a more weather tight entrance but offer an encouragement to step inside the church. The door when fitted will also assist further with disabled access.
Repositioning of former choir music desks which were within Chancel to open space for multi-purpose use. The Desks have been allocated within the East end of the church, so that they could be repositioned when needed.
Replacing temporary Dais with new octagonal ended dais within transept crossing, this now also has demountable communion rails and an ambulatory additionally this has underfloor heating and hides all the umbilical wiring associated with church AVA
The Chancel together with the Dais and the West End of the Nave and Side aisles now has a bespoke floor covering to compliment the Victorian best preserved encaustic tiling.
Some of the historical aspects have been re-installed within the Transept, they include the Drake Pew and the Saxon Font. Work has also been undertaken to give greater prominence and access to the Bacon memorials which are within the Drake Chapel.
The organ has enjoyed additional features being added to as a result of a bequest. Further works are planned to improve the mechanism from electro mechanical to an electronic circuitry only.
The works undertaken within the Chancel and at the transept crossing give a now larger and more flexible space. The Chancel area can now be used for small services including communion using the existing sanctuary and communion point and makes for a more intimate service or meeting point. It also gives flexibility for the Worship groups and provides a larger staging area for children of St Andrews Primary school to make presentations. There are also aspirations that Buckland will once again become a venue for Choral and Organ works when it became a venue of choice as the church had good acoustic properties and had a good organ.
Future works within Current Faculty
The heating of the church is to be improved by placing heating beneath the pews and thereby reducing the number of panel heaters. Ironically one DAC representative asked if the original heating was the ’Perkins system’ as if enough remained we would have been required to retain it!
Upgrading of the lighting circuits and replacement of the sodium uplighters with clustered pendant lights, I do hope the sodium uplighters do not hold some historical significance!
The most prestigious project will however be left until last as it will be the single most expensive too deliver and this is the insertion of a Narthex which will replace the previously removed Georgian gallery.
To the left an artist’s impression looking west towards proposed Narthex
The upper floor of the Narthex will provide more flexible social space as well as additional seating for large church services and have its own kitchenette and servery and have disabled access.
The plan is also to have a glazed screen to the ringers gallery with access from the gallery, this space will serve as an additional space but which can also be a small meeting room and when required enclosed when the ringers are at work.
At ground level the West End of the Nave and the underside of the Narthex will be separated by a screen giving more social space with access to the gallery, ringers chamber and toilet facilities.
This portion of the church will be heated separately from the Nave in order that the space can be used flexibly on other occasions and at lower level will give children and carers more overspill space from the crèche.
Part of the Narthex work has already been achieved within the first phase when the toilets were put in.