I recently wrote about our plan to repair and update the Church of St Andrew in Redlingfield and expand the Doorstep Green – which alongside a larger play area would provide road access and parking for the church.
Since then the project has moved on. To repair the roof, walls and sort out the penetrating damp will cost £150,200. We also plan to re-open the “back door” of the church and create a path to it as well as install a water supply along with a toilet. We plan to do more to the celebrate the history of the church – an information board, a new website and booklets for visitors. The total project cost is £170,100. We have asked the Heritage Lottery Fund for £143,700, around 85% of the costs. We will put in the remaining £26,400:- that’s £4,000 from the Church PCC, £2,500 from fundraising events and £19,900 from counting volunteers time put into the project (which contributes between £300 and £50 a day depending on the work done). It will be next March before we get the bid results and the end of 2016 before the church is fully repaired.
In researching the history of the church for the bid we have found out a lot of interesting things:-
- Built by the Anglo Saxons and recorded in the Domesday Book, St Andrew is Grade2* listed.
- Originally belonging to the village of Redlingfield (known as Radinghefelda at that time), in 1120 a Benedictine Nunnery was created and the village church was taken by the nuns for their own use.
- When Henry VIII disbanded the monasteries in 1536, it was given to Sir Henry Bedingfield, Knight, whom Queen Elizabeth called her “Jailor”. Eventually the church was returned to the village as the Parish church.
- The church has been “improved” a number of times over the centuries.
- Traces of its Anglo-Saxon origins remain, most of the windows are 14th century, the early Tudors raised the height of the nave walls and added or replaced the base of the tower and the Victorians rebuild the chancel (where the alter is) but reused all the old doors and windows.
- There are even some mediaeval paintings in the church that were covered over in the 1980s to protect them.