St Mary's Church Charlbury with Shorthampton

Church Restoration

The Restoration of St Mary’s 1990-1995

During these years the church experienced what is believed to be the most comprehensive restoration in its 900 year history. The aim was to combine essential repairs and renewals with adapting the church for contemporary needs.

The fabric was extensively repaired
A stone floor was laid in the nave, north and south aisles and in the memorial chapel
New heating, lighting and seating were installed
A sanctuary was formed at the west end
An electronic organ replaced the old pipe organ
The empty organ chamber was transformed into a vestry, kitchen and toilet, with a meeting room above
A sound amplifying system (with loop) was installed
A glass screen was placed around the Memorial Chapel
New kneelers were embroidered by parishioners and others

The total cost was £385,000 of which £280,000 was given directly by parishioners. The remainder was raised by events sponsored by the PCC and individual church members: by the sale of specially designed goods, by sponsorship of new chairs and kneelers, by the sale of the old pews and other redundant items and by donations from outside benefactors. The result of the restoration is a church better able to proclaim Christ afresh to a new generation.

Many visitors ask what the thinking is behind the arrangement of the seats and altars in St Mary’s.  For them and for anyone else thinking of re-ordering their church here is a document that explains the history and design process we took to reach the present configuration. The Church Layout