The Bishop of Bath and Wells, the Rt Revd Peter Hancock, will rededicate All Saints Church Nunney on Saturday 13 May at 6pm.
Bishop Peter has served as the Bishop of Bath and Wells since 2014. Previously, from 2010 to 2014, he was the Bishop of Basingstoke, an suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Winchester.
Nunney has particularly strong historic ties with both Basingstoke and Winchester through the various former owners and occupants of Nunney Castle.
All Saints Church dates back to the 12th century – possible earlier -, but was largely remodelled at the end of the 19th century. It is considerably older than Nunney Castle and a unique part of local heritage.
The people of Nunney – from quarry workers and farm labourers to knights – have been baptised, married and buried in Nunney Church for over 800 years.
The Grade I listed church closed in September 2016 with a special service, which saw villagers leave the church holding burning candles. Within days, work started to remove the last remnants of the agricultural ceiling structure put in place in 1957.
In the months since then, local firm C & L Pearce has reinstalled four dormer windows that used to flood the church with light. Most villagers and visitors have only ever known Nunney Church as a gloomy space.
In place of the dodgy plastic tiles they installed a new nave ceiling that looks as much as possible like the 15th century barrel vaulted ceiling that was removed after it rotted away.
The Friends of Nunney Church campaigned for nine years to raise enough money to give the monument its dignity back. The Raise the Roof Appeal is still around £40,000 short of the funds needed to complete the project.
The Church of England is – contrary to what many wrongly believe – not a fabulously wealthy organisation that could simply fork out for every church building in need of some TLC. If we don’t do it, the building is at risk of being closed.
It is intended to increase the usage of the church for other non religious activities by adding a lavatory and making it the favourite venue for concerts, exhibitions and other performances as well as a visitor centre and resource for the many tourists and other visitors who grace the village each year.
The Friends of Nunney Church work closely with Visit Nunney to promote and develop events and exhibitions for next year and beyond.
Ken Lloyd, chairman of the Raise the Roof Appeal, told Visit Nunney, “Progress has been excellent and we now have the four dormer windows cut into the roof and the new steel roof trusses should arrive soon.”
“We decided to make a start this winter so as not to lose another year, even though we had not quite enough cash to complete the whole project. We are today about £40,000 short of projected total cost of £220,000.”
“We need one final push to get us over the line. Any amount, however small, will make a difference. You can all do the maths – If 1,000 people gave £40 each we would be there.”
Please play your part in this historical event. Click here to see the order of service.
We have a chest in the church for donations – cheques should be sent to Ken Lloyd or Hilary Allom made out to ‘Postlebury PCC Friends of Nunney Church’ and there is a donate button on the appeal’s website at nunneyraisetheroof.org.uk.
You can also get updates on the Friends who like Nunney Church Raise the Roof Appeal page on Facebook.