Nottinghamshire Pew plan sparks conservation row

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Nottinghamshire church is at the centre of a conservation row over plans to modernise its interior.

Rev Allan Scriviner has said he wants to create a more flexible space for worship at St Edmund's Church in Mansfield Woodhouse.

But this means the removal of a number of antique mahogany "poppy head" pews, believed to be unique in the area.

The Victorian Society and English Heritage have lodged objections, saying the pews should be preserved.

There has been a place of worship on the site since at least the 11th century but the building has been regularly rebuilt.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry

7 Comments
Posted March 26, 2008 at 8:19 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Summersnow wrote:

A living Church or a museum?  I wonder how often the preservationists attend service and how much they contribute to the Church coffers.

According to the article, it seems that many of the pews will still be in use in the Church.  Auction off the extra pews—that way they can be preserved and enjoyed by those who care for them.

March 26, 10:54 am | [comment link]
2. The_Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

We’ve never done it that way!

March 26, 12:28 pm | [comment link]
3. Philip Snyder wrote:

Tradition - the living faith of the dead:  “Faith of our Fathers Living Still”
Traditionalism - the dead faith of the living: “We’ve never done it that way before.”

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

March 26, 2:59 pm | [comment link]
4. recchip wrote:

First it’s the pews.  Then they will put in folding chairs without kneelers.  Then the organ goes and is replaced with guitars and drums.  Then the priest takes off his collar and puts on a suit (or Polo Shirt).  Then he stops being a priest and becomes a “minister.”  Then they stop using the Book of Common Prayer. 

Step by step, a real Anglican Church becomes a “community church” and the faith is lost. 

If it were just taking out a few pews, it would not be a problem,

Our Biblical faith makes us Christians, but it is all the other “accessories” (Prayer Book, Priests, candles,  etc) which makes us Anglican. 

My current parish worships in a cafeteria and what we have to go through to make it into a “Church” each Sunday is extensive.  We would “kill” for a building with pews etc.  If that church in England does not want the church anymore, they can “mail” it to us and we will be happy to send them our chairs!!

March 26, 3:12 pm | [comment link]
5. ls from oz wrote:

I’ve had the hard job of trying to maintain ministry in a heritage church and I can vouch for the frustration it can bring! Nobody wants to be a cultural Philistine, but if the building is standing in the way of what the church is really there to do, then the building needs to change.
# 4 rechip, I would suspect that a “real” Anglican church cares less about externals such as where and on what you sit and more about gospel ministry.
You cannot “make” any building into a church - church happens wherever God’s people gather around God’s word and the Holy Spirit does his work.

March 26, 4:25 pm | [comment link]
6. Jeff Thimsen wrote:

Wow. Dates from the 11th century in Nottinghamshire. I wonder if Robin Hood was a parishioner.

March 26, 7:25 pm | [comment link]
7. libraryjim wrote:

Jeff, I wouldn’t be surprise!  But I bet there weren’t ANY pews when he attended services there. They are a fairly late invention, and Mass was much longer then as compared to our paltry 1.25 hour services.

I heard someone recently say that they had gone to an Orthodox High Service that lasted almost 4 hours!  whew! Not only can’t I imagine that, but imagine having to STAND for that service?

March 27, 3:06 pm | [comment link]
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