A significant historic building

‘Leicestershire’s most sophisticated church, even before we go inside’

England’s thousand best Churches, Simon Jenkins

‘It is the stateliest and most impressive church in Leicestershire’

Buildings in Leicestershire, Sir Nikolaus Pevsner.

The Church attracts groups and individual visitors from all over this country and abroad. The church is open every day from 10am until 4pm (3pm in winter) and it is managed by a large group of volunteer ‘church welcomers’. Visitor numbers vary from day to day but we receive around 50 visitors a day at present.

The Samworth Centre is located adjacent to the church.  It was bought in 2004 and re-furbished to provide community facilities. Facilities include a variety of different sized meeting rooms, a café, toilets and offices for administration of the Parish and the Centre.  The Centre is owned by the PCC and is well used by the local community for a range of community meetings and community activities. Income from the Centre is used on the Centre so that the building is self-financing.

St Mary’s Church in Melton Mowbray has been at the spiritual heart of the local community in Melton Mowbray for almost a thousand years.  It is also a significant visitor attraction in its own right as one of the finest parish churches in Leicestershire and beyond.  In fact the image of the church appears on the signs marking the boundaries of the Melton Borough.  Tourism in the Melton Area contributes some £65m and around 2m visitors to the local economy with the town and the church at its centre.

More recently the church has opened its doors to other uses and embraced a wider audience some of whom might not otherwise have entered the church. An example of this is the Christmas Tree Festival, held at the same time as the Victorian Fayre in the town.  The event has become so popular that the Festival has had to extend beyond its original Sunday opening and attracts over 16,000 visitors.

The need for refurbishment of St Mary’s Church

As a building whose construction started almost 1,000 years ago, St Mary’s Church has served the worshipping community well.   The Church is open nearly every day of the year, is the ‘go to’ place for Sunday worship, midweek and civic services, baptisms, weddings, funerals and special services for the town, borough and deanery, hosts music and other events of local, diocesan, regional and national significance and provides a space for prayer and reflection.

The programme of works envisaged would not only benefit special events like the British Pie Awards but also make the church more accessible for other uses.  It would be of considerable benefit for the congregation of the church and for the increasing number of visitors coming to this busy town and for many of whom a visit to St Mary’s is the highlight of their brief stay in Melton Mowbray.

Issues that need addressing are as follows:

  • The floor is in poor state of repair
  • Changes in levels makes accessibility tricky for anyone with mobility issues or moving furniture etc.
  • The organ is wearing out and is in need of URGENT repair
  • The interior is gloomy and comprises a mixture of liturgical furniture
  • Radiators are around the walls with people in the middle
  • Facilities for refreshments are poor
  • Toilets are in the Samworth Centre
  • Space for crèche or quiet meetings are very limited
  • Insufficient number of power outlets around the church
  • Audio visual & sound systems need upgrading
  • Storage space for ‘housekeeping’ equipment is limited
  • Draughty
  • Poor sound quality
  • The majority of the existing lighting uses old or obsolete light sources which now require regular maintenance or lamp changing

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