A Report by Geoff Sayers, reproduced from the March Church Magazine

We are delighted to have received a Faculty for our proposed reordering works.

Over nine years have passed since Canon Stephen Evans presented his 'Building Vision' to the congregation in April 2008 and in July 2008 the Reordering Task Group held its first meeting.

A lot has happened in those intervening years, culminating in an appeal by the Victorian Society to the Chancellor's Judgement in which he gave the Registrar an instruction to issue a Faculty.

The appeal went to the Court of Arches (the highest court in the Church of England). However a compromise was reached with the Victorian Society, following which the appeal was withdrawn and a proposed Court hearing was cancelled.

We then submitted a revised Petition for Faculty and the Chancellor granted an amended Faculty on 1st February 2018.

What does reordering the church mean to us at St Botolph's?

It means that by reorganising the furnishings and fittings within the church we can achieve our needs for Worship and Mission which were identified in the Statement of Needs adopted by the PCC on 26th May 2015.

How will this be achieved?


  • Removal of the screen and retaining 5 bays which will be relocated on the North wall of the Cloister with provision for display boards in the open areas. The beam to the centre section will be repositioned at high level to support the rood figures.
  • Removal of the Choir stalls and platforms.
  • Removal of the high altar and dais. Provision of a new removeable altar which can be positioned at the East end or more centrally in the Chancel.
  • Retention of the Reredos but lowering of the centre section to expose more of the East window.
  • Provision of a new Credence Table and Aumbry below the East window.
  • Retention of the raised Victorian tiled section in the Sanctuary and the altar rails.
  • Construction of a new stone floor.
  • Retention of the Bishop's Chair, Reader's Desk, Prie Dieu and furniture.


  • Removal of the Pulpit, pews and pew platforms.
  • Retention of the dado panelling.
  • Removal of the Lady Chapel altar.
  • Repositioning the Font to a central location at the West end of the centre aisle.
  • Construction of a new stone floor.
  • Retention of the Eagle Lectern and provision of a new Ambo.
  • New comfortable chairs and pew benches (all moveable).
  • Replacement of the South door into the Cloister with a glazed door.


  • Updating the organ with a digital section. Repositioning the organ pipes on the West wall each side of the West window. Making the organ console moveable so that it can be used in alternative areas of the church.


  • Upgrading the heating system.
  • New electric power installation with further improvements to the lighting.
  • Repositioning of the sound system console.
  • Retention of all memorials.
  • Redecoration throughout.

What happens now?

The Reordering Task Group will be reconvened and discussions will take place with Jackie and Stephen Oliver our architect to determine the way forward. Decisions will have to be made on the final specification of work, phasing the project, a time schedule and identifying any work that could be carried out on a 'self help' basis. We will then embark on a tendering process for the works.

We need to form a fund raising group which will also identify any grant facilities that may be available.

I wish to express my gratitude to all those who have put in so much time and effort to achieve this goal. But this is only the start — the hard work is about to begin!

Geoff Sayers