Over five years the Parish Church has been undergoing restoration.
The photographs here record a brief outline history of how it happened.

Nave floor
Large Partitioning
nave up
floor detail
finished floor
Trinity Chapel
Font moved
Monox Tomb
Monox jigsaw
Monox build
Monox complete
St John's chapel
Organ frame
Organ frame
Organ frame
Organ pipes
Organ pipes
New nave
New nave
South Porch

The first step was to ensure the tower pinnacles were safe. Some ingenious scaffolding was erected.

New gargoyles were carved to replace the old worn and unrecognisable ones... a contemporary style.

Gradually the work was completed...

...until the Tower was clear again.

The next stage saw work on the church itself begin. First hoardings were erected...

...with details of the planned works displayed on large boards.

Inside work began on the nave floor. Firstly, the old Victorian tiles were removed. Some were auctioned, some were sold in the Corner Stone for souvenirs or teapot stands...

Scaffolding was built under the tower to hold all the oak pews from the nave and aisles.

Some pews had to be cut down to be stored....

Then a partition to hide the storage area was erected.

Once the tiles and wooden floor areas were removed, the nave looked very bare.

Services would take place in the North Aisle facing the Trinity Chapel. So partitioning was fitted between the pillars to keep the deposit of working dust to a minimum.

The dividers between areas were quite effective...

...although a group of 'dustbuster' volunteers came in every day to ensure the areas used in the church were as clean as possible.

Viewing windows enabled tourists and parishioners to see how the work was progressing.

The pews were turned to face the Trinity Chapel for Sunday services.

The Chapel effectively became the new Sanctuary for the time being.

As the floor came up so brick channels were laid for the heating pipes....

..that twisted and turned throughout the new floored area.

It was an extensive area to heat.

Soon it was ready to lay the new floor and hundreds of limestone slabs were brought in and carefully laid.

The new flooring looked stunning...

...from all directions...

..and gave a remarkable feeling of space.

The font was moved from the north aisle to a new position in the south aisle.

To make way for the refurbished organ the Monox tomb had also to be moved.

It was taken down in a large number of pieces, all carefully labelled...

..and gradually assembled again at the west end of the south aisle.

Visitors could now see it in its new place.

Work also began on refurbishing the Father Willis organ.

Without the Monox Tomb there was more room for an improved instrument to be built in the St John's chapel

A new and additional organ frame was constructed facing into the south aisle with a passage through the pipe housing to the vestry.

New pipes were added to the new frame....

and more.

Staff from Harrison and Harrison fitted the many pipes of all sizes into the new organ...

..until it was completed.

The new organ is a world class instrument....

..and many come to enjoy the sound and the concerts which show off its capabilities.

Only the nave now has pews. Stackable chairs are used in the side aisles.

This offers a great deal of flexibility for the many events that take place in this lovely church, while, at the same time, maintaining its integrity as a place of worship.

The final stage was the refurbishment of the South Porch.


Contact details

The Parish Centre, Gosditch Street, Cirencester, Glos. GL7 2AG

Tel: 01285 659317

The magazine for the Parish of Cirencester, 'Parish Life' is on sale every month priced 50p.

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