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Shipton Bellinger letter published in The Telegraph

A letter clarifying our position on the removal of the font from St Peter’s church in Shipton Bellinger has been published in The Telegraph.

Our letter clarifying our position on the removal of the font from St Peter’s church in Shipton Bellinger has been published in The Telegraph. The text is below:

SIR – St Peter’s church in Shipton Bellinger (“Church rector in unholy battle over 'showy’ Victorian font”) is almost entirely Victorian, having been comprehensively rebuilt in the 1870s by the respected 19th-century architect R J Withers. Nearly every element of the interior is Victorian, and it remains unspoilt.

The font, which shares important aesthetic similarities with the pulpit, lectern and communion rails, is a key element of that interior and an impressive work of decorative art in its own right.

The Victorian Society would have preferred to avoid a confrontation with the rector and churchwardens of St Peter’s church, but they have refused to consider compromise proposals such as removing the font’s plinth or relocating it within the church.

Finally, Christopher Clark, Chancellor of the Diocese of Winchester, is wrong to deny that the building is “nationally important”: it is Grade II-listed and all listed buildings are, by definition, nationally important.

Tom Ashley
Senior Conservation Adviser
The Victorian Society
London W4

Tuesday 14 April, 2015

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