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TWENTY OF THE BEST PEWS RESTORED

Andy Janas of Janas Joinery, a local craftsman in wood, having previously carried out work in St Mary’s and mindful of certain constraints and a need to follow tradition was approached by the PCC in late 2013, to submit ideas, designs and estimates to refashion and refurbish twenty of the present church pews into ones that will carry through the history of the church into the next century.

The original 1870’s pews in resonable condition which were 18ft long were to be reduced in length to 9ft 6ins with the excess material (minus woodworm) being reserved for further projects. With dismantling and restoring carried out in his workshop the parts were then transferred to a ‘temporary workshop’, where the public could watch and ask questions, in the north aisle to be re-constructed and finished.

These pews have only been here since Victorian times, the woodwork carving of the 1870’s oak pews was executed by Mr John Spurgeon of Stowmarket - before that there were old ‘box pews’ and before that, no pews at all ! Buildings of all types are continually changing and evolving - and churches are no exception to that. The pews are not particularly valuable and many of them are in need of repair. However, as part of an agreement with the Victorian Society we are restoring twenty pews.

Job Done! - August 7th 2014
THE TWENTY RESTORED PEWS ARE NOW BACK IN CHURCH

SURPLUS PEWS SOLD OFF

Rosemary Cleaver has overseen the publicity and practical work in selling off fifty one surplus pews.

The money raised from this sale will be channelled towards the costs associated with the restoration of the oak pews that we are keeping.

Job Done! - May 27th 2014
ALL THE SURPLUS PEWS HAVE BEEN SOLD

NEW SEATING PURCHASED

New chairs are the first stage in this exciting journey of the reordering project to make St Mary’s truly “a church for everyone’ - at the centre of the community, working with and for all the people of Hadleigh. There has been much thought, discussion and prayer about this. Our Vision and hope is to ensure the viability of our historic and beautiful church building, equipping it to meet the needs of the future generations.

Our needs are very specific. We need chairs:

  • That will last for more than a few years
  • Stack and move easily, making the building as flexible as possible for a wide range of uses
  • Meet the very stringent legal requirements placed on us by, amongst others, the Diocesan Advisory Committee. This group has the biggest influence on decisions about what is allowed in - and appropriate for - the building.

We are looking to purchase 400 chairs altogether including 40 chairs with arms, the chairs chosen will include built in links between chairs, floor runners etc and trollies will also be needed for stacking the chairs on to store them in a suitable area when not in use. 

We can’t really clear the pews until we have enough chairs for our general needs. We don’t have to buy all 400 at once, but are aiming to purchase 100 to start off the process. 

All donations are most welcome, with further details always available from the Benefice office or members of the Vision committee. Please help if you can.

The church interior has been reordered many times over the centuries and the PCC believes that now is the time to make another major change. 

Preliminary discussions have taken place with the local council planning department regarding future plans for reordering of the building and are supportive of the architect's vision of what may be achieved. 

2015 - 230 CHAIRS PURCHASED INCLUDING 30 CHAIRS WITH ARMS
NEW ALTAR, LECTERN & 3 COMMUNION CHAIRS FOR THE LADY CHAPEL
Dedicated by the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, The Right Revd Martin Seeley