St John’s Chapel Restoration Appeal

St John’s Chapel Needs Our Help.

One of the most significant parts of St Giles’ Church is the old mortuary chapel, built c 1640 – 1650, to house the bodies of the Harrington Family.  This mortuary chapel, now called St John’s Chapel, has unique and intricate plaster work, the significance of which is one of the reasons the church was given Grade 2* listed status.

The bodies were removed from this Chapel in 1914 and reinterred in the north-west corner of the churchyard; a large marble stone commemorates those interred.

Holy Mowers cleaning memorial stone February 2024

There is one body left in the wall that of Elizabeth Harrington 6th daughter of James Harrington of Swakeleys House interred in 1647. 

Most recently the chapel was used as a place for quiet prayer and for prayer ministry after services.

In 1960 the chapel was restored through the bequest of Mr Pool and in memory of Mrs Lockett. 

 Now the interior lime plasterwork is once again failing.  The resultant remedial work will be expensive, our latest estimate is £85,000, and time consuming. The longer the work is left the more plaster work disappears.

Whilst there are grants that can be applied for to help us in funding this important work, such grants are limited and much sought after, and at best match 1:1 the funds raised locally.  Additionally, it is worth noting that broadly only one application in twelve successfully receives any level of funding.

As a church we have been using Legacy monies to fund this work to date, but the PCC are now looking at ways to engage more with the community to enable us to raise the necessary funding. The PCC have agreed to set aside £6500 as a start towards a fund for restoration.  During Festival Week we are arranging events to help raise money and awareness of this important work.  We know how important St Giles is to the wider community, especially at those important times in our lives.

And so, our lovely, centuries old, historic building now desperately needs our help, our efforts and yes, of course, money. We would be grateful for donations towards this important restoration work using the button below. Donations can also be made left in the post box outside of the church back door or given in at the church office.


Donate here

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