Chancel Floor Update

Chancel floor update. The project to investigate and rectify the sinking floor in the chancel is underway. See below for project updates.

After a considerable amount of waiting, punctuated by many emails, a further site meeting was held in early November to agree on how to progress with remedying the collapsing floor.

Constructional engineer Ed Morton from the Morton Partnership who offers advice all over the Diocese confirmed that a Ground Penetrating Radar Scan needs to be made in order to begin to determine the reason for the subsidence: earth-cut graves gradually crumbling over time, or the more dramatic collapse of a vault.

With financial support from the Friends of All Saints, the scan was commissioned and took place in early December. During the scanning firm’s visit, they were able to scan a wider area of the church, so this will be a useful resource for the Church Log Book. We are now awaiting the report, which will be forwarded to the experts for their interpretation of the results and advice as to the next steps.

We continue to be most grateful to everyone for their patience with this lengthy process.

Mary Henley


Because of subsidence, the North choir stalls were removed earlier in 2018. A row of four ledger stones marking the graves of six parishioners who had been buried ( in South to North order) in 1666, 1655, 1675 and 1674 was uncovered beneath the stalls and the Chancel carpet. These may have been originally placed in other locations within the church, but been gathered into a neat row by the Victorians when they tidied up the nave, elevated the altar, built the choir stalls and installed the organ. (There is another stone under the south choir stalls, and brass and possibly another stone under the organ, which will not be excavated.) There are also two stones at the altar steps where two Rectors were buried, the Rev. Robert Parry in 1814, and the Rev. Thomas Waldron Hornbuckle in 1848.

After a lengthy and frustrating period of inactivity, a further site meeting was held at the beginning of July, involving different professionals: Edmund Harris from the DAC and Archdeacon Stephen Taylor. The Diocese has taken over responsibility for steering the project and making progress.

Meanwhile, our Grant Application group has been preparing material which can be used when we eventually have plans drawn up.

At the same meeting, it was agreed that local repair work to the tilting slabs in the main aisle could go ahead. We have had the Faculty for this work for some time. Work will be starting on Monday 23rd July.

Buildings & Grounds Committee

All Saints’ Church Parochial Church Council continue to gather information to discern the right decision about how to restore the choir and chancel floor. We are grateful to all those who continue to carry out “business as usual” in the church. Especial thanks to our choir who contributed such poignant and uplifting music to our Easter services, despite standing at the edge of the building site!

As you will have read in the update earlier in the year, the church floor has a subsidence problem in the chancel and choir area. Uneven slabs of stone are increasingly tilting, and it has been necessary to remove the pews to facilitate a closer investigation. The PCC has determined that to know how best to proceed, more information needs to be in place about the scope and costings of different options suggested. Our church architect has been asked to provide outline plans, and we are keeping the Diocesan Advisory Committee updated.

A working party is meeting regularly, again with guidance from the Diocese, to prepare applications to grant-making bodies. The PCC is also looking at effective ways of fundraising for the project.

We are appreciative of the interest and sympathy shown by the village community and would welcome the involvement of anyone with relevant experience of building work.

All Saints’ church is an amenity and a resource for the whole village. Please use us and support us!

Since the last update, the Diocesan Archaeological advisor has made his planned visit to look at the exposed floor in the north choir and chancel area. A report has subsequently been received, indicating the likelihood of voids under the floor slabs, which are causing the subsidence.

Whilst considering the information we have in order to determine our next steps, the PCC is also looking at different grant-making bodies to try to gauge the likelihood of receiving funds for this work.

Please pray for PCC members during this time of difficult decision-making as we try to discern the best way forward.

Mary Henley, Churchwarden

I am pleased to confirm that experts will be meeting in church this coming week to investigate the floor. The meetings will take place over two days, and the PCC will look forward to receiving reports and proposals for remedial work.

The closure of the choir and chancel area of the church is requiring some changes and resourcefulness to manage different services. Change caused by necessity can sometimes bring about further creative thoughts – please do speak to me, Silke or any of the PCC if you have any ideas you would like to discuss.

Thank you to those organising next Sunday’s Remembrance Service for their flexibility in coping with the space available. If you plan to attend the Remembrance Service, please do tell others about what is happening in our building.

Mary Henley, Churchwarden

The north choir pews have been successfully removed, and the floor is now ready for the site meeting to determine the way forward. We hope to make clear the scope and cost of the work involved.

Thank you to the choir for evacuating their choir stalls and to you all for your understanding and accommodation during the next few months.

Please note the safety signs and keep away from the choir and chancel area.

Mary Henley, Churchwarden


Work will be starting to dismantle the north choir pews. Once the pews are removed, experts will be visiting to make a thorough investigation of the area and to propose a plan of remedial work to level and make safe the floor.


Once the work has started, the choir, chancel and high altar area of the church will no longer be accessible. Please do not attempt to enter this part of the church.

The main part of the church, and St George’s chapel will be in use as normal. The PCC realise that this will mean that the layout and organisation of many services may be a little different. We trust that you will show understanding whilst this essential work is carried out.

I will try to ensure that you receive regular updates of progress. However please do speak to me, or other members of the PCC if you would like further information.

Mary Henley, Churchwarden

All Saints’ Buildings and Grounds Sub Committee