Heytesbury Open Place

Mission Statement

Heytesbury Church is the physical heart of our village and our vision is to transform it into the spiritual and communal heart for the entire community. Since the great fire in the 18th century the church has served as a refuge for the village as well as for travellers and has been the site of national celebrations, moments of joy and times of sadness for the community. We have great expectations for our church, that it may become a vibrant hub for our community and its heritage, a place for friendship and activity and once again, its communal heart.

Tom Roberts, the Project Manager says "It all starts with the Needs Group seeking the thoughts of everyone in the community about what is needed to make our beautiful church best suited for today and tomorrow".

Latest News 1 June 2020
A Drainage Survey will be carried out in the churchyard to help with plans for plumbing, and a possible septic tank, as part of the start of Phase 4.

The repair and restoration of the chancel roof has now been completed. This project stayed within budget and concludes the end of Phase 3 of the four part HOP project.
The HB Allen Trust has awarded the church £11k for the chancel repairs & roof, so we have now covered our costs, along with the £10k recent award from the Churches Trust.

We were successful in our application for a grant of £5000 for the repair of the south aisle roof from the Warminster Area Board of Wiltshire Council. This amount was added to our previous grant of £100,000 for repair of the nave roof. The remaining money was raised by The Friends of Heytesbury, Knook and Tytherington Churches and local people, thus enabling the nave roof to be repaired and retiled. This work is now complete.

A donation of £150,000 from an anonymous trust has been granted for the renovation and conservation of the interior of the chancel. This is a much needed boost to our fund raising. The fundraising continues in our objective to create a user friendly interior which also celebrates a thousand years of heritage relating to the church and the remarkable village of Heytesbury. The restoration of the chancel interior was completed in August 2018 and the original polychromatic design of William Butterfield can now be seen once more .

Press Release 8 July 2016

The Church last week received news of an award of up to one hundred thousand pounds from the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund to ensure the building is watertight.
The total cost of the work covers professional fees, re-slating over the nave, new gutters and water pipes, and repairs and conservation to masonry. Perhaps the greatest significance of this award is that it heralds, and is part of, the Heytesbury Open Place (HOP) project. This relates to further conservation and repair works to the church (including the rest of the roof) plus provision of a small kitchen, toilet, and meeting space as a group of pavilions within the church to make it a vibrant hub for local people. It will celebrate both a wonderful past and an exciting future.
The Reverend Alison Morley, Team Rector for the Upper Wylye Valley Team (of which Heytesbury Church is a part) said 'I am delighted that the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund has granted its highest permitted figure in recognition of the need for these works, the importance of the building, the hard work by volunteers in moving the project forward, and the wonderful vision of the building as a new community heart for Heytesbury.'

On Tuesday 7th June 2016 a work party spent 3 hours removing 5 rows of pews from the western end of the nave, under a temporary licence from the Archdeacon. The large pews are stored in the Hungerford Chapel and elsewhere in the Church. The smaller pews have been re-arranged to provide sitting areas at the Produce Sales, Toddlers Group, etc. More space has now been created for functions. The carpet has also been lifted so that the Victorian tiles could be inspected. There was old adhesive and polish attached to the tiles which has mostly been removed. However advice is being sought on how to clean the limescale deposits from them and improve their look. It is hoped that exposing the tiles to the air will help to reduce damp.

The newly formed Steering Group, with members representing all the HOP Groups, met on Friday 10th June. Once again it was emphasised by everyone that this project is not in lieu of a Village Hall and the money held by the Parish Council for a village hall has no part in the Church project.

On Thursday 10th March 2016 the Salisbury Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) met with Rev'd Ali, Tom Roberts, Tina Sitwell, and others, in the Church. Various issues were discussed.

1. All present agreed that the importance of creating a space within the church as a meeting place for people was in keeping with the past. Throughout history churches have been used as meeting places, not only for the congregation but also for the surrounding community, and have been used for numerous events.

2. A Statement of Significance must be prepared as one of the important documents to be submitted to the Church authorities. It will need to record the significance of all aspects of our church (architectural, historical and social) and will provide information about the church's development and its changing life, both architecturally and socially within the community. In this document the physical impact of any proposed changes within the church will be considered whilst understanding the importance of retaining significant aspects of the present church.

If you are interested in further details from this meeting then please click here to go to the Building Group.

If you have any queries or wish to know more about the project, please email us at info@heytesburychurch.org.

If you would like to receive regular updates on the project by email then please let us know your email address.