St Mary’s Church has received a confirmed grant of £290,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its tower restoration project. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the project aims to make essential repairs to the historic church tower, which is on English Heritage’s ‘At Risk Register’, and preserve it as a focus of village life and a place of great beauty for future generations.
The contractor Stone Edge has started to rebuild the badly damaged eastern parapet, relead the parapet gutters, replace gargoyles, repair the belfry louvres, repair the carved frieze and redecorate the clock faces. An educational programme is running to coincide with the work including children from the nearby Christopher Rawlins Church of England Primary School designing replacement gargoyles and a village talk by the architect about the restoration work being done on the tower.
The £400,000 needed for restoration is largely funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Friends of St Mary’s Adderbury (FOSMA) is raising funds with Jazz in the Garden, Christmas Tree Festival, Chris Lesley concert and other community events. Those who were sponsored to take part in Ride and Stride also raised money for the tower restoration. Grants were also received from the Oxford Historic Church Trust, Church Care, Society of Antiquaries, Adderbury Parish Council, Adderbury Education and Banbury Charities.
The tower, with its distinctive clock faces and tall octagonal spire, has been a focal point for the village community since it was added as part of the 14th century rebuilding of the church and reaches 150 feet into the sky visible for miles around. The church has an active congregation that does much for the community and the building is used for services, weddings, christening, funerals, bell-ringing and choral activities as well as school and village events including concerts, markets and festivals benefiting the village and wider community. St. Mary’s is home to the Adderbury Ensemble.
Commenting on the award, the Vicar of St Mary’s Church Adderbury, Rev Stephen Fletcher said: “We are delighted that we have received this support thanks to National Lottery players. The tower with its spire has been a focal point for the community since it was built 700 years ago. The restoration work will ensure the tower is no longer at risk and preserved for generations to come.”
Stone Edge Operations Director, Keith Learoyd, said: “The team is delighted to be carrying out the works at this fascinating medieval church. It’s a privilege to be working in such a historic setting, surrounded by the wonderful carvings.”
Further information will follow in Contact and there will be updates in the church and on the website www.adderbury-stmarys.com as well as on social media @adderburychurch #adderburychurchtower. If you would like to contribute to the cost of restoration then please contact FOSMA who will welcome donations. For details of future fundraising events, please visit their website www.fosmaadderbury.weebly.com.
The restoration work uses lime mortar which takes time to dry and cure which has made it necessary to stop bell ringing from 25 June until the work finishes in December. A Quarter Peal will be rung after the service on Sunday 24 June to mark the beginning of the cessation. The carillon is sounded by hammers so continues to operate.
Photograph copyright George Sainsbury.
"Come and Sing" afternoon on Sunday 26 February in the church 3.00pm-5.00pm. If you enjoy singing then come along. James and Holly, new members of our congregation, will be hosting this. So please encourage anyone you know who enjoys singing to come along. We will also be thinking about getting a choir back together.
Monday evenings in February - 7.30pm in Church House – Come along to ‘Meet a theologian’. Learn and share together what they thought.
We are starting a new initiative with our school of Cafe Church. This will alternate between taking place at the school and St Mary's. It will involve cake and coffee and tea and juice in a friendly atmosphere with time to reflect in the afternoon from 3.30pm to 4.15pm. The first Cafe Church is on Monday 30 January in the school. If this initiative is to reach its potential it is important that we all make an effort to attend, it should be a great time together.
Thank you to everyone who helped to make St Mary’s Church Adderbury’s popular, annual Christmas Tree Festival (2 – 4 December) such a success.
Hundreds of people of all ages visited St Mary’s Church to see its transformation into a glittering wonderland. We made just over £3,900, with the majority going towards the work and upkeep of St Mary’s Church and the rest going to The Children’s Society.
Live music and festive refreshments were served throughout the three day Festival, with a glorious Victorian Carol Service on Sunday afternoon to close the event.
The festival saw the church filled with 40 trees, all individually decorated by local businesses, schools, charities and organisations.
Visitors to the event were asked to vote for their favourite tree and by the end of the festival, the winners of the public vote were as follows:
Fairtrade Christmas Bazaar, Wednesday 9 November
Church House from 10.00 - 6.30pm. Refreshments throughout day with a soup lunch from 12.00-2.00pm. All refreshment proceeds to St Marys Church.
Advent Carol Service, Sunday 27 November
Advent Carol Service Sunday 27th November at 6pm Join us for this special atmospheric candlelit service to mark the beginning of Advent. The service is held in candlelit with Biblical readings and choral music sung by the enhanced Church Choir it will be offered in celebration and anticipation of the arrival of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World.
All are welcome to attend, no ticket required.
Advent Reflection, Wednesday 30 November
Advent reflection on Wednesday 30th November 2pm at the Methodist Church.
Confirmation group about to start 13 plus, youth and adult groups, please contact the Vicar 01295 810309.
House Group to re-start Friday 4th November. Meeting at 21 Sydenham Close at 2.00pm. the theme will be to get to know the "real" Jesus, probing beyond the traditional picture. Looking at his roots and his influence on the world from birth to the present day. All welcome.
Just a quick reminder that St Mary's Church Holiday Club - Guardians of Ancora - will be taking place on Thursday 28th July 2016 from 10am to 4pm. As usual it will be an exciting mix of games, crafts, stories and a picnic lunch.
If you have some time to spare and would like to help out at the holiday club, or you know of some young people and teenagers who would like to help then Sarah Duffy would love to hear from you. Either contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up on the form which is on the table next to the church door.