On Friday 25th June, E G Carter & Co Ltd celebrated with JBKS Architects and members of St Mary’s Church in Purton, Wiltshire, as they officially handed over the project ready for their service on Sunday.

Over the last 27 weeks E G Carter & Co Ltd have worked alongside St Mary’s Church in Purton to refurbish and restore parts of the church to enable a greater multi-use space for the community.

Works to the church included the fitting of various glass partitions to the Lady Chapel and the Bell Tower which became a modern feature enhanced with a wooden cross on the front. Research and sampling of the original floor tiles were undertaken to ensure the floor tile repairs were matched to the existing tiled areas.

Replacement of the fixed Victorian pews with upholstered wooden chairs, and the construction of a kitchenette and toilet facilities now provide greater comfort and flexibility opening up the Church for a greater range of activities.

The magnificent exterior of the church did not change at all - all the work that took place internally were designed to enhance the appearance of the mediaeval architecture. Jeremy Bell, Architect for the project said “After years in the making it is really good to see the re-ordering of St Mary’s Purton finished. It looks tidy and beautiful. The new and the old are in perfect harmony. The church now has a renewed and flexible interior with toilets and a kitchenette, and separate spaces, all for a wide variety of uses. For the whole community today, the church is not just there for its history. Well done to the builders, and church authorities, the stalwart client team who have worked tirelessly to give this lovely Grade 1 church a new lease of life.”

The Church, which was thought to be built in the 13th Century holds stories and history throughout the last 7 centuries within its four walls. This also includes the famous “Last Supper” painting by Jacob Jordaens gifted to the Church in 1782 which was protected on site during the works. Peter Blanch, Associate Director said “This has been a wonderful project for E G Carter & Co Ltd to be involved with. It has been great to see both the Church Council and Architect’s vision become a reality and everything they had hoped for. The new environment and facilities giving both parishioners and the wider local community an amazing usable space for generations to come. We are proud to have become part of the history of this beautiful building”.

David Nettleton, member of The Parochial Church Council, said “We are delighted with the sensitive enhancement of our medieval church. The work from E G Carter & Co Ltd and JBKS Architects has adapted a magnificent but rather cluttered and faded space into a very clean and useable building with new facilities, at the same time heightening its architectural glory. The work was carried out efficiently despite difficulties of working through the Covid pandemic. We now have an historic church building suitable for contemporary and traditional worship, as well as for wider community use.”