st mary's church amport

recent developments

In 2005 Amport PCC initiated an ambitious project to re-develop our Parish Church to make it more adaptable to present needs and to enable us to engage with young people, families and the community we serve.

In order to achieve this, the PCC set out to raise the necessary funds and the Lily Appeal was established.

A large amount of work has been carried out in the last decade.

In particular:

  • The nave was redeveloped by the removal of the old pews, which required levelling of the floor and replacement of much of the wooden flooring which was in a poor state of repair. The floor was re-carpeted and new upholstered stackable chairs installed. This allows the whole of the nave to be cleared and used for different functions.
  • Major renovations was undertaken to exterior walls of the tower which required re-plastering.
  • Improved lighting was fitted high up on the walls which gave much improved illumination compared with the hanging lamps which were fitted when electricity was installed in 1940. The new lights can be dimmed to give the right lighting for all occasions.
  • A sound system was installed with a loop.
  • An external WC was added, shielded by a surrounding wall, and a kitchenette was installed at the back of the nave, with a matching cupboard opposite by the door.
  • A Garden of Remembrance was constructed which makes a very attractive place for memorial stones.
  • The Victorian heating system was completely renovated and fitted with an electric blown air heater unit which has much improved the heating.
  • The organ was stripped down and given a thorough clean and refurbishment and fitted with a new blower.
  • The stonework on the mullion (central pillar) of the south window in the south transept had been damaged by the steel cross bracing bars having rusted and broken away part of the stone. This window, which contains some 17th century glass, was removed, the mullion replaced and the window re-assembled.
  • A number of lower cost items were completed, including overhaul of the rainwater goods system, repair of the ground drains, various areas of pointing around the church and tiles on the roof which had slipped.
  • Signs of death watch beetle have been found in the roof of the tower. This is limited to a small area at the moment and is under surveillance.
  • In 2020 a major project was undertaken to re-render much of the old external walls as the old render, first applied over the flint walls about two hundred years ago, was badly broken up and had been patch repaired with the wrong materials in many places. This is now nearly complete and has much improved the look of the church and has secured the integrity of the walls which were being damaged by the ingress of water. There is one wall left to do, which will be completed in the summer of 2021.

To date about £210,000 has been spent on these projects and the improvements to the church have made it much more versatile and suited to community use.

This work, spanning about fifteen years, could not have been done without financial help from a number of gifts and donations from Amport parishioners and various grant bodies

Including:

  • Garfield Weston Foundation
  • Historic Churches Trust
  • All Churches Trust
  • Ecclesiastical Church Trust
  • Veolia Trust
  • Dulverton Trust
  • Bernard Sunley Trust
  • Erranda Foundation
  • Hampshire and Isle of Wight Churches Trust
  • ChurchCare

We are proud to say that with the new heating system installed and the exterior walls re-rendered, the planned programme of work is nearly complete, although further improvements will be added as required.