St Bartholomew’s, a Grade I listed rural parish church in Ingoldsby, Lincolnshire, is celebrating the installation of much-needed modern facilities.
The National Churches Trust awarded the church a £5,000 Community Grant in June 2016, helping to fund a project to connect to the water supply and install a sink and serving unit for refreshments. The funding also helped to pay for a new cupboard for hymn books and to house the wheelchair and the portable wheelchair ramp.
A small church with a big history
A church was recorded in Ingoldsby in the Domesday Book, which was probably a wooden building on the same site. The present building dates back to the late Norman period, with columns in the north aisle dating from the twelfth century. The church has a traditional plan of chancel and nave with two side aisles. The south aisle contains rare fragments of medieval stained glass thought to be from a ‘Coronation of the Virgin’ window.
Making an impact
The installation of the servery has made a great improvement to the life of the church. Previously any hot drinks were served using a kettle balanced on top of a storage chest. With no plumbing, there was no way to wash up!
Before the work to add the servery could begin the church needed to wait until they were sure that funding would be in place, finally getting the go-ahead thanks to the National Churches Trust, the Lincolnshire Churches Trust, and a loan from the Diocese of Lincoln.
Now, with the church connected to the water supply, there is a sink, boiler, and drainage, together with preparation surfaces.
Part of the big picture
The installation of the servery facilities is the latest in a series of works to St Bartholomew’s church.
Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, previous work included urgent repairs to the south aisle roof and tower masonry. In addition, the woodblock floor was sanded, mended, and polished, hugely improving the look of the interior.
These works also included changes to the layout of the vestry. This meant that the church was able to add a toilet, which today is essential for weddings and funerals, and this is proving useful now that the church is able to hold more events.
Ready to welcome the community
St Bartholomew’s is in a benefice of seven parishes, whose parishioners regularly come to join together for worship.
The new facilities, combined with the flexible space, new toilets, and the structural repairs, mean that St Bartholomew’s is now in excellent condition and restored to its position at the heart of the local community.
The church council hopes that opening up St Bartholomew’s as an active centre for community life will increase interest in the village’s heritage, and give people the chance to form community roots and a sense of local identity.
Already, events are being planned for 2017. These include an art exhibition by local artists and children; a concert from ‘Music in Quiet Places’; a harvest meal near to St Bartholomew’s Day; refreshments after Sunday services; plans for an annual Gala; open weekends for visitors in the summer; and refreshments for the annual Ride+Stride day in September.
Daniel Welbourne, churchwarden, said:
“The installation of the servery and cupboard went exceedingly well and without trouble.”
“It was possible to add them to a well-planned contract for repairs and improvements to the church, due to the generous funding from the National Churches Trust and the Lincolnshire Churches trust, to whom we in the church council are extremely grateful.”
“Our plans for the future use of the servery are developing fast, since members of the PCC now realise how flexible for many events the church has now become.”