Friends of Friendless Churches

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The Friends of Friendless Churches is a registered charity active in England and Wales.[1] It campaigns for and rescues redundant historic churches threatened by demolition, decay, or inappropriate conversion.[2] To that end, as of March 2012, it owns 44 former churches or chapels, 23 of which are in England,[3][4] and 21 in Wales.[5]

History

The charity was formed in 1957 by Ivor Bulmer-Thomas, a writer, former MP and a high church Anglican,[6] who became its first chairman; its executive committee included prominent politicians and architects. Initially the charity campaigned and obtained grants for the repair and restoration of churches within its remit. The 1968 Pastoral Measure established the Redundant Churches Fund (now called the Churches Conservation Trust), which it was thought would obviate the need for the Friends. However, the Church Commissioners turned down a number of buildings that the executive committee considered worthy of preservation, including Old St Matthew's Church, Lightcliffe, and St Peter's Church, Wickham Bishops. The charity therefore decided in 1972 to change its constitution, allowing it to acquire threatened buildings either by freehold or by lease. The tower of the church at Lightcliffe was the first property to be vested with the charity.[7]

Activities

The charity raises money from a number of sources. Since 1999, it has been recognised in Wales as the equivalent of the Churches Conservation Trust (which only covers churches in England), and as a consequence receives full funding for taking Anglican churches into its care. Of this, 70% comes from the State via Cadw, and 30% from the Church in Wales.[8] In England, grants are sometimes obtained from bodies such as English Heritage, as in the case of St Mary's Church, Mundon,[9] but otherwise funds are raised by donations and local money-raising campaigns. Some of the churches have been supported by the formation of local groups of Friends, such as Caldecote Church Friends,[10] and the Friends of St Andrew's, Wood Walton.[11] Members of the public can make donations, become a member of the charity, or leave a legacy in their wills.[12] In addition the charity administers two trusts,[13] one of which, the Cottam Will Trust, was established by Rev S. E. Cottam for "the advancement of religion of objects of beauty to be placed in ancient Gothic churches either in England or Wales".[14]

All the churches owned by the charity are listed buildings, and most are former Anglican churches, either from the Church of England or the Church in Wales, although three were private chapels, one, the Strict and Particular Baptist Chapel, Waddesdon, was a Nonconformist chapel,[2] and another, St Mary of the Angels Church, Brownshill, was a Roman Catholic church.[4] In the financial year ending 31 March 2010, the income of the charity was £475,367, and its expenditure was £509,034.[1] The charity works closely with the Ancient Monuments Society.[2] As of 2013, its patronage is vacant, due to the death of the Marquess of Anglesey, the ecclesiastical patron is Rev Wyn Evans, Bishop of St David's, the president is the Marquess of Salisbury, and the chairman is Roger Evans.[15] In 2007 the charity achieved its 50th anniversary, in celebration of which they published a book entitled Saving Churches, containing details of their history and accounts of their churches.[16]

List of vested churches

The list is split into two sections, one for England and the other for Wales. This division reflects the former management of the English churches (with one exception) by the Church of England, the Welsh churches by the Church in Wales, and the different funding arrangements in the two countries.

Key

Grade Criteria[17]
I Buildings of exceptional interest, sometimes considered to be internationally important
II* Particularly important buildings of more than special interest
II Buildings of national importance and special interest

England

Name Location Image Date[B] Notes Grade
St Peter Wickham Bishops, Essex
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100px 11th century It is thought this was originally a private chapel for the Bishops of London, and then became a parish church. It was restored in 1850, but then became a chapel of ease in the parish of St Bartholmew. The fabric deteriorated and it was declared redundant in 1975. Since 1995 it has been used as an artist's studio.[18] II*[19]
St Peter Llancillo, Herefordshire
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100px 11th to 12th century Built in a remote position near the England–Wales border, it is thought the site was used by a hermit in the 6th century. The church was restored in the 17th century, but it closed for public worship in 2006.[20][21] II*[22]
Urishay Castle Chapel Urishay, Peterchurch, Herefordshire
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100px Early 12th century The chapel is built in the bailey of the now-ruined Urishay Castle. A chancel was added in the 13th century, alterations were made in the 16th and 17th centuries, and restorations have been carried out during the 20th century. It has been under the care of the charity since 1978.[23][24] II*[25]
St John Allington, Wiltshire
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100px 12th century Although it originated in the 12th century, only the chancel arch and part of a Norman arch remain from that period. The rest was built in 1847–51, and was designed by the "priest-architect" Fr William Grey.[26] II[27]
All Saints Ballidon, Derbyshire
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100px 12th century Originating in the 12th century, the church was much rebuilt and restored in the 19th century.[28] II[29]
St Mary Magdalen Boveney, Buckinghamshire
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100px 12th century The church stands on the north bank of the River Thames, and was built for bargemen working on the river. It was declared redundant in 1975 and came under the care of the charity in 1983. It was later found that the tower was unstable, and repairs costing £200,000 have been carried out, partially funded by choral concerts held at nearby Eton College.[30][31] I[32]
St Leonard Spernall, Warwickshire
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100px 12th century Alterations were made to the church in the 14th and 18th centuries. In the mid-19th century a chancel, porch and bellcote were added. It was declared redundant in 1972. After an application for conversion to a house was declined, it was bought by the Ancient Monuments Society to save it from demolition. A series of repairs has been carried out, and since 1983 it has been used as an artist's workshop.[33][34] II*[35]
St John the Baptist Sutterby, Lincolnshire
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100px 12th century Additions were made to the church in the 14th century and a porch was built in 1743. It was made redundant in 1972. It was donated as a monument in 1981. Major repairs were carried out in 2002, and more are being undertaken in 2010.[36] II[37]
St Mary Hardmead, Buckinghamshire
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13th century The church was built to serve a medieval village that has since disappeared. Additions were made to it in the 15th century. After it was declared redundant, it was proposed to convert it into a house, but it was acquired by the charity and, as of 2010, is managed by the Friends of Hardmead.[38] I[39]
Ruins of St Andrew's Church South Huish,
South Hams, Devon
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100px 13th century Additions were made to the church in the 14th and 15th centuries, but its fabric deteriorated and by 1866 it was considered to be beyond repair. A new church was built in a nearby village and all the fittings were removed. The charity has carried out work to slow down the rate of decay of the ruins, and services are held annually at the site.[40] II*[41]
St Andrew Woodwalton, Cambridgeshire
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A stone church with red tiled roofs seen from an angle, the battlemented tower being on the left. In the foreground is a statue of a child. 13th century Additions and modifications have been made over the centuries since it was built. Because of its isolated position, it has suffered from theft and, since it was declared redundant, it has been subject to damage from vandalism. In addition the foundations are moving, leading to parts of the church settling at different rates. The church has been placed on the Heritage at Risk Register and applications have been made for grants towards its repair.[11][42][43] II*[44]
St Mary Fordham, Norfolk
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A simple stone church, consisting of a nave and a smaller chancel, seen from the south 13th century The tower and south aisle were demolished in about 1730, leaving a simple church consisting of a nave and chancel, with a bellcote.[45] II*[46]
St Denis East Hatley, Cambridgeshire
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100px c.1300 A simple church without tower or spire. The nave dates from about 1300; the chancel was rebuilt by William Butterfield in 1871–74, with a reredos articulated in different-coloured stones.[47] II*[48]
St Mary Mundon, Essex
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100px 14th century The church is constructed from a variety of materials; the nave is in stone, the chancel in brick, the aisle on three sides of the tower is timber-framed, the belfry is weatherboarded, and the roof is tiled. Some of the original 18th-century furniture is still present. Repair and conservation work, assisted by a grant of £140,000 from English Heritage, has been carried out.[9][49] I[50]
St Mary Magdalene Caldecote, Hertfordshire
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A stone church seen from the southwest, with a tower on the left; the porch and body of the church are battlemented 14th to 15th century The church stands in a deserted medieval village that was abandoned mainly during the 15th and 16th centuries. It was repaired during the 18th century, but because of depopulation it was declared redundant in 1975. It has been under the care of the charity since 1982, and its survival is now assisted by the Caldecote Church Friends.[51][52][53] II*[54]
Ayshford Chapel Ayshford, Devon
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100px 15th century This was the private chapel of the Ayshford family of the adjacent Ayshford Court, and it was renovated in the 19th century. The charity undertook major work in 2001–02 that included restoration of the internal salmon-pink limewash, and repair of the stained glass.[55][56][57] I[58]
St Mary Eastwell, Kent
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100px 15th century Only the tower, the wall of the south aisle, and the 19th-century mortuary chapel remain. The monuments formerly in the church have been moved, most of them to the Victoria and Albert Museum. The remains are a Scheduled Monument.[59][60] II[61]
St Mary Long Crichel, Dorset
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100px 15th century The Perpendicular tower dates from the 15th century. The rest of the church was rebuilt in 1851, although the interior is more Georgian than Gothic Revival in style.[4][62] II[63]
Tower of St Peter's Church Saltfleetby, Lincolnshire
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Late 15th century The tower is the only surviving part of the structure of this former church. It was taken into the care of the charity in 1976.[64] I[65]
St John the Baptist Papworth St Agnes, Cambridgeshire
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100px 1530 The church was almost completely rebuilt in the 19th century, to a design thought to be by its rector, Rev J. H. Sperling. By the 1970s it was largely derelict, and it was taken into the care of the charity in 1979. The church has been restored with the addition of a kitchen and toilets, and it is used as a community centre.[66][67] II*[68]
Tuxlith Chapel Milland, West Sussex
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100px 16th century A gallery was added to the chapel in the 17th century,and during the following century the north transept was built. Because of population growth, a new larger church was built nearby in 1879, and the chapel was used as a Sunday school. This use continued until the 1930s, but the building's fabric subsequently deteriorated and it was declared redundant in 1974. The chapel has been restored and is now used as a community centre, hosting concerts and other events.[69][70][71] II[72]
Thornton-le-Beans
Chapel
Thornton-le-Beans,
North Yorkshire
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100px 1770 This has always been a chapel of ease in the parish of St Andrew, South Otterington. It is a stone chapel with a simple plan consisting of a nave and chancel, with a west bellcote.[4][73][74] II[75]
Tower of Old St Matthew's Church Lightcliffe,
West Yorkshire
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1775 The Neoclassical style church was replaced in the late 19th century by a new church a short distance away, and it was then used as a mortuary chapel. It was damaged in a storm in the 1960s, and then suffered from vandalism. The body of the church was demolished, and the tower was taken into the care of the charity, who organised its repair.[76] II[77]
Strict and Particular Baptist Chapel Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire
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100px 1792 A porch and an extension were added in the 19th century. The chapel closed in 1976, and since then the charity has carried out repairs to the chapel and to its associated stables.[78][79] II[80]
Chapel of St John the Baptist Matlock Bath, Derbyshire
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1897 This was a private chapel for Mrs Louisa Sophia Harris, who commissioned Arts and Crafts artists to design the building and its fittings and furnishings. These included Guy Dawber, Louis Davis, George Bankart and John Cooke. Since taking it over, the charity has organised repairs and cleaning.[81][82] II*[83]
St Mary of the Angels Brownshill, Chalford, Gloucestershire
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1930–37 The church was built to serve the religious community of Templewood, later a Tertiary Chapter of the Dominican Order. It is the first Roman Catholic church to be vested in the charity.[4] II[84]

Wales

Name Location Photograph Date[B] Notes Grade
St Peulan Llanbeulan, Anglesey
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100px 12th century Despite a 19th-century restoration, the church has retained its simple medieval character. It contains a font that possibly dates from the pre-Norman era.[85] II*[86]
St Jerome Llangwm Uchaf, Monmouthshire
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100px 12th century The church has 12th century origins and was restored in 1863–1878. Its features include a formidable tower to the north side, an elaborately carved early 15th century screen, 19th century floor tiles and the 19th century east window.[87] I[88]
St Cynhaearn Ystumllyn, Gwynedd
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12th century The church stands in an isolated position on what used to be an island in a former lake, and is approached by an ancient causeway. Its structure dates from the 12th, 16th and 17th centuries, while most of the interior fittings are Georgian in style, dating from 1832.[89] II*[90]
St Mary, Tal-y-llyn Near Aberffraw, Anglesey
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100px 12th century (probable) This is a simple medieval church that is virtually unrestored. Its fabric dates from the 12th century (probably) and the 16th and 17th centuries. Most of the furnishings are from the 18th century, although some have had to be replaced because of vandalism in the 20th century.[91] I[92]
St Mary Derwen, Denbighshire
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100px 13th century St Mary's Church retains late pre-Reformation stone carving, and a rood screen with its loft. Its fabric dates from the 13th century, and it was restored in 1857. The churchyard contains a pre-Reformation cross and a sundial, both of which are listed.[93][94] I[95]
St Odoceus Llandawke, Carmarthenshire
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100px 13th century Having been built in the 13th century, it was remodelled during the following century, and restored in the Victorian era. When it was taken over by the charity in 2006 it was in "a state of dereliction"; repair and restoration work has been carried out.[96] II[97]
St Ellyw Llanelieu, Powys
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100px 13th century In an isolated position in the Brecon Beacons, it has retained much of its medieval interior, including wall paintings and a rood screen. It is used as a venue for the annual Talgarth Festival.[98] I[99]
St Michael and All Angels Llanfihangel Rogiet, Monmouthshire
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100px 13th century The church stands close to a group of farm buildings. Following a programme of restoration work by the charity, it is managed by the Local History Society.[100] II*[101]
St Brothen Llanfrothen, Gwynedd
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St Brothen 0005.jpg
13th century The church was re-roofed in the 15th century, additions were made in the 17th century, and restorations took place in the 19th century. It retains its rood screen constructed from the wood of trees felled between 1496 and 1506.[102] I[103]
Hodgeston Parish Church Hodgeston, Pembrokeshire
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100px 13th century (probable) At the beginning of the 19th century the church was "in extreme disrepair". It was renovated in the 1850s, but retained many of its internal features, including a Norman font, a double piscina, and a triple sedilia.[104] II*[105]
St Decumanus Rhoscrowther, Pembrokeshire
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100px 13th century (possibly) Mainly medieval church with a tall tower, dedicated to St Decumanus (St Decuman). Has four side chapels associated with houses in the parish. Located beside a large oil refinery. [106] I[107]
Manordeifi Old Church Manordeifi, Pembrokeshire
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A stone church seen from an angle in a graveyard, with a porch and a bellcote 13th or 14th century The church stands close to the River Teifi. Following repairs in the earlier part of the 19th century, it was abandoned as a parish church in 1899, and taken into the care of the charity in 2002. The tradition of keeping a coracle in the porch in case of flooding continues to be maintained.[108] II*[109]
St Baglan Llanfaglan, Gwynedd
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100px 14th century St Baglan's stands in an isolated position in a field. It escaped restoration in the 19th century, and retains its 18th-century furnishings, including communion rails, pulpit with sounding board, box pews and benches.[110] I[111]
St Beuno Penmorfa, Gwynedd
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100px 14th century The chancel was added in the 15th century, and the vestry and porch in the 18th century. During the 19th century there were three restorations, but it retains its medieval roof.[112] II*[113]
St Mary Llanfair Kilgeddin, Monmouthshire
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100px Mid to late 14th century (possible) Although it was rebuilt in 1875–76, the church retains medieval contents, including a font. The walls are decorated in Arts and Crafts style sgraffito with designs by Heywood Sumner based on the Benedicite.[114] I[115]
St Afran, St Ieuan and St Sannan Llantrisant, Anglesey
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100px Late 14th century Sited in an isolated position by a farm, it became redundant in 1899 when a new church was built nearer the centre of the settlement. By 1970 it was in ruins and without a roof. It was repaired in 1976–77 and came into the care of the charity in 2002.[116] II*[117]
St Mary Penllech, Gwynedd
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100px 15th century (probable) The church stands on an old pilgrims' route. Although it was substantially rebuilt in 1840, its interior retains its Georgian style. Since coming under the care of the charity in 2009, repairs have been undertaken.[118] II*[119]
St David Llangeview, Monmouthshire
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100px Late 15th century The interior of the church is largely unrestored and contains a 15th-century rood screen with its loft, and rare pre-Victorian box pews and other fittings. It was declared redundant in 1999, and repairs to the exterior have been carried out.[120] I[121]
St Figael Llanfigael, Anglesey
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100px 18th century (probable) The church was largely rebuilt in 1841 and has retained most of its 19th-century interior. It also contains three fonts, the oldest dating back to the 12th century. Since taking it over, the charity has re-roofed it and reintroduced timber tracery in the windows.[122] II[123]
St Andrew Bayvil, Pembrokeshire
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A simple stone church seen from the south. The only visible features are a west bellcote and two windows Early 19th century This is thought to be an early 19th-century rebuild of a medieval church, and it has been unaltered since. Its features include box pews, a three-decker pulpit with a sounding board, and a 12th-century font.[124] II*[125]
St Michael's Church Tremain, Ceredigion
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1846–48 John Jones, otherwise known by his bardic name of Talhaiarn, designed the church in Early English style. Jones is acknowledged as the first Welsh architect to have been trained formally, and this is the only building he designed exclusively by himself.[126] II*[127]
St Mark Brithdir, Gwynedd
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100px 1895–98 Designed by Henry Wilson, this is considered to be one of the finest Arts and Crafts churches in Wales. It was commissioned in memory of Rev Charles Tooth, founder of St Mark's English Church, Florence.[128] I[129]
St Teilo Llandeloy, Pembrokeshire
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100px 1926 The church was built from medieval ruins and designed by John Coates Carter based on the principles of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Its interior is dominated by a carved rood screen and a painted reredos.[130] II[131]

See also

Notes

A The distinctive characteristic of voluntary sources is that the donor receives nothing in return for the money given. It includes grants from government and other charitable sources, as well as public gifts, donations and legacies.[132]
B This is the date of first construction of the existing building.

References

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External links

  • Saunders, Matthew (2007), Fifty Years of the Friends of Friendless Churches, Historic Churches, Cathedral Communications, retrieved 7 August 2010<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Saunders, Matthew (March 2006), Protecting the disused but beautiful, 93, Institute of Historic Building Conservation, retrieved 7 August 2010<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>