Repair work started on historic spire

September 02 2016

CAMPAIGNERS battling to preserve historic Stapleton Church have reached two milestones this summer.

stapleton church

CAMPAIGNERS battling to preserve historic Stapleton Church have reached two milestones this summer.

They have passed the £50,000 mark in their fundraising efforts and have seen a start made on repair work to the 170ft spire.

You may have seen the scaffolding on the landmark in recent weeks – this has been to allow the parapet at the foot of the spire to be repaired and to fit anti-pigeon guards to the spire openings to protect the bells from further damage.

But this is only the start: the church needs a new roof, which will require 13,000 slates and cost about £240,000.

Churchwarden Delia Beake said: “There is a long way to go, but it is encouraging to have made a start on the roof. We are very grateful to everyone who has supported our fundraising efforts so far and we are grateful for a £7,500 grant from the Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust.

“We would like to encourage people to consider our ‘sponsor a slate’ and spire floodlighting schemes. They can find details on our website.”

The next big fundraising activity is a concert on September 11 at 3pm in the church. Local organist, Richard Morgan, who also plays at St Mary’s Fishponds, will perform a programme based on wedding music. Tickets, costing £8, include tea and cake, can be ordered from 0117 965 2001.

The day before, the church will be taking part in the annual Ride and Stride event run by Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust, in which church members walk or cycle between churches in the deanery. It is hoped this will boost the roof fund as well as supporting the trust.

There has been a church on the site in Stapleton for at least 500 years. In 1854, the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol, Bishop Monk, whose official residence was what is now Colston’s School, offered to rebuild the existing church.

He wanted a church where all the growing population of Stapleton would have a pew to sit on, regardless of how wealthy they were.

Bishop Monk chose the Bristolian architect John Norton, who was also responsible for creating Tyntesfield House in North Somerset.

The church was built from pennant stone, quarried at Broom Hill, and dedicated in 1857. It was recognised as a fine example of Victorian Gothic architecture.

The Grade ll starred listed building’s most notable feature is its spire, which can be seen from the M32 and from many parts of the city. 

The congregation is determined to preserve it for future generations.