ST BARTHOLOMEW'S, TONG
How will it be then?
What stories the building could tell! What faithful people, saints and sinners, have bent the ear of Our Lord. "If these stones could speak…”
St Bartholomew’s was built on the site of a previous church, so it can safely be said that the worship of Almighty God has taken place there for between 600 and 1000 years. It has survived Reformation, Civil War and more recently, spates of vandalism – as well as being the setting for the death of Dickens’ heroine, Little Nell. The Vision 2020 project aims to retain and build on this wonderful heritage for the benefit of today’s visitors and those of tomorrow.
Tong 2020 Vision Project.
For the 2020's and beyond.
In 2016, we launched an ambitious renovation programme to complete essential repairs and make important improvements to the church building. The vision was that, by the year 2020, St Bartholomew’s would not only be completely weatherproofed and structurally secure, but also a comfortable and welcoming place to visit.
More than 2,500 people visit us every year, and our aim has been that people would come not only for reflection, worship and learning but also to find inspiration, and feel welcomed to linger and appreciate its uniqueness.
The Tong 2020 Vision embraced:
- replacing the north and south aisle roofs with terne-coated steel, repairing damage caused by lead thefts and weather erosion
- securing external stonework including gargoyles and pinnacles,
- replacing guttering and improving drainage
- repairing draughty windows
- renovating the chronically damp vestry to become a serviceable parish office for meetings, to search parish archive records, and to store ministry items
- creating a new walkway to the ruins of the original alms-houses with interpretation boards to explain the links with Tong Castle (without which St. Bartholomew’s would not exist).
- overhauling the bells including the massive Great Bell
- preserving our JWW Walker 1877 organ fit for use
- telling more of our story pictorially – both the church’s history and heritage, but also of our worshipping life today.
Ideally, we also want to:
- renovate or replace the heating system
- install accessible toilets
- undertake necessary conservation of tombs and monuments
- install a small kitchen servery for offering hospitality, complee with a sink and drain.
The Church Council is keen to see the full vision realised, to preserve this wonderful building for future generations as a place of pilgrimage for those who love beautiful and ancient things and also for a church community which meets week by week to love and serve the Lord and His people.
Central to our vision for Tong 2020 and beyond is to ensure this place remains open to all who are seeking and asking questions about their place in God’s world.
Would you like to support us?
The Tong Vision for 2020 and beyond has a target to raise £500,000 over the next 3 years in order to fund urgent and essential restoration work, and to ensure that all visitors and congregations can continue to enjoy this unique building! If you can offer your support either financially, in-kind or otherwise, please contact Revd Pippa Thorneycroft.
You can find us on Facebook: Tong Church
For Just Giving links, please see below.