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Work begins raising flagstones in the North Transept of St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, on Tuesday (January 3rd).

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Writing a new chapter

It's been a day that has been a long time coming. The wait for permission, and funds, has been at times frustrating. The planning has been meticulous and precise.

But now the waiting is over. A new chapter in our beautiful building that is St Mary's Church in Melton has begun. For some people it is bewildering. For some it is frightening. But for me... well, it is a time of great emotion and excitement that this new chapter is finally being written in our history.

When the church door creaked its way shut on New Year's Day I had a feeling of sadness that I would not be able to attend another service there for the next 10 months. I won't be able to just pop in to chat to a church welcomer or pick up a Weekly News or Parish magazine during the week either. I won't even be able to admire the beautiful building and its many treasures.

However, I also had a feeling of great optimism for what the future will bring with it. A warmer church, level floors, toilet facilities, a new servery, new lighting, the list goes on, but it must all be for the greater good. Right?

Oh, and before our Musical Director James Gutteridge reminds me, I mustn't forget the refurbishment of the organ. I think we are in for a real treat when that work has been completed.

church logo newjpgsmallMy wife Karen and I have attended numerous meetings over the years in the church about the proposed changes. So many, in fact, that I was seriously doubting that the ambitious re-ordering project would ever get the go-ahead. We've heard architects speak of the building, read reports on the work needed on lighting, heating, the organ etc.

But still that day has seemed a long way off. Until last year when things started to gather apace. When the project was officially launched in October the work still seemed a long way off.

I remember with fondness the many times we have been in the church building attending special occasions this last year... concerts by both St Mary's Church Choir and the Melton Mowbray Choral Society, including one to celebrate Derek and Janet Larder's golden wedding anniversary (proceeds from which went to the re-ordering project); several weddings (and funerals); our popular Saturday activities mornings, especially in June to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen's 90th birthday; Our Remembrance Sunday Service, which sees some 800 people pack into the building.  

Then, of course, I think back only four and a half weeks ago when the building was crammed with people and beautifully decorated Christmas trees for our Christmas Tree Festival. It was our biggest and best yet and it was lovely to see so many people inside the place.

I think back to some lovely services leading up to Christmas and the Christmas Day Service and, of course, our special service on New Year's Day. A time of out with the old and in with the new. A time when we must embrace change. One of the hardest things people have to deal with is change.


The enormity of the re-ordering project finally sank in on Tuesday (January 3rd) when I saw workmen in the church raising flagstones to reveal pipes lagged with asbestos and the organ being dismantled. Chairs and other furniture have been taken away for storage and the building is having a makeover. The building will be handed over to the contractor on January 16th and the major work really begins.

church logo newjpgsmallAnd so it is with a heavy heart that I realise change will be a good thing in St Mary's. The building will be better and, hopefully, more and more people will be drawn to it and come to use it.

The Team Rector, the Revd Kevin Ashby, when writing for the website, asked for everyone's support over the ten months when the Church is closed. He asked that we all pull together, and invite others to come along and join us and then let’s return to St Mary’s having been through a fruitful, enjoyable and spiritually uplifting experience.

He adds: "So, let’s remember that, as important as our building is, the Church is really the people, and so let’s join together as the family of God from St Mary’s and support one another. Then we can return to our newly refurbished building in October/November with a renewed enthusiasm to use our building more effectively for our worship and for our wider community."

From Sunday, January 8th, there will be 8am Communion at Melton Borough Council Chambers at Parkside, Station Approach, Burton Street and also at 10am. For the 10am service you can either go direct to Parkside or meet at St Mary’s door for a “chalking the doors” ceremony (a centuries-old Epiphany tradition) and then we’ll process to Parkside.

In general, St Mary’s 8am and 10am services will be held in Parkside. Evening 6pm services will be at St Peter’s RC Church on Welby Lane, Melton Mowbray. Other services such as Wednesday 11.15 am Litany and 11.30 am Communion, Thursday 8.45 am Communion and 10 am Tiny Tots will be in the Samworth Centre, Melton Mowbray. 

Ten O’Clock Praise will continue in the Samworth on the first Sunday in the month, as will Xpress. “Saturday Morning @ St Mary’s” will continue monthly from February 11th and will also be held in Parkside. Our Holiday Club will go ahead as usual and will be held at St Mary’s School, Melton Mowbray, from August 7th – 11th.

church logo newjpgsmallThe Book of Remembrance will be in the Samworth Centre for people to view, but, unfortunately, we won’t be able to provide a place for people to light candles until we return to the newly renovated prayer area in the Church building.

Details of services, changes to venues etc will be displayed outside the Church, in the Samworth Centre, on the website and in the Parish magazine and Weekly News.

January 29th will be a “Songs of Praise Service” at 10am at Parkside. Please let the Rector have any choices of hymns, songs, prayers or readings, together with your name and reason for choosing them, as soon as possible please. 

To view more pictures taken on Tuesday, January 3rd, of the work in progress click here.

To find our more about the re-ordering project click here.


A virtual tour of St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, is now available to look at. It has been organised by the church's Fabric Express Committee so a before and after comparison can be made after the re-ordering project has got under way. The tour was compiled by Chris Jones from LeicesterPhoto Limited, which is based in Littlethorpe, Leicester.
To view the tour click here.


A special website has also been created to keep people updated about the latest developments with the re-ordering project. If you would like to help sponsor a specific part of the project, hold a fund-raising event or provide goods or services in kind there is a form on the website where you can offer to do this. 
You can view the website by clicking here. 


 


Phil Balding, 03/01/2017

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£2,000 boost for project
The 'Heart of St Mary's' Re-ordering Project has just been awarded £2,000 from Tesco. A big thanks to everyone who put tokens into our local Tesco stores. More ...
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It's good to be back!
It's been almost a year since the workmen moved in so it was a fantastic moment on Wednesday (December 13th) to attend a Service of Praise and Thanksgiving to celebrate the re-dedication of St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray. More ...
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A beautiful sight, alright!
What a difference a few months can make. Website Editor Phil Balding stumbled across some pictures and a video taken on the Re-ordering Project work in February and the results are amazing. Read on to find out more... More ...
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Window is installed
For pictures which show the new stained glass window being installed in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, by Derek Hunt and Jon Greenaway on November 6th this year, read on... More ...
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A fitting tribute
Seeing is believing, or so they say, but I have seen and still find it hard to believe that stained glass artist Derek Hunt has created such a beautiful window for our refurbished church, writes Phil Balding. More ...
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Support our project
The re-ordering in St Mary’s Church, Melton Mowbray, is now almost complete. However, demands by the statutory bodies has meant that extra costs leave us £167,741 short of our target. To find out more, read on... More ...
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Welcome home!
THEY said they would meet the deadline and they've done it! Yes, Midland Conservation Limited handed the keys to St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, back to Team Rector, the Revd Kevin Ashby on Friday (November 24th). More ...
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The excitement is mounting
WITH just days to go before St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, is handed back after the amazing Re-ordering Project, the excitement is mounting. More ...
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All is calm, all is bright!
After months and months of hard work St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, is starting to look really impressive as the Re-ordering Project moves towards its final week. More ...
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Not long to go now!
The heat is on... and so are the sparkling new lights, the projector screen has been fitted and brackets for speakers have been fitted to pillars and the grill covers have been fitted to the heating pipes running along the sides of the building. More ...
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A fantastic effort!
St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, is a hive of activity as finishing touches are added as the November 24th deadline to complete the work fast approaches. More ...
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The big clean-up has begun
WITH just over THREE weeks to go before the amazing Re-ordering Project taking place in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, is finished, the building is a hive of activity and a big clean-up operation is under way. More ...
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Ian lays the last slab
THE amazing Re-ordering Project taking place in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, took another step towards completion on Thursday (October 26th) when Charitable Incorporated Organisation Trustee Ian Neale laid the last part of the floor. More ...
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A touch of glass!
WITH just under FIVE weeks to go before the November 24th deadline to finish the fantastic Re-ordering Project, St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, is starting to look even more amazing than ever. More ...
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Project's £21,000 boost
Funds for the Re-ordering Project have been given a boost with a £21,000 grant from the Allchurches Trust. More ...
The heat is on!
IT'S A funny old world, make no mistake! I well remember, long before the arrival of Midland Conservation Limited, the usual moans in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, on a Sunday morning, writes Phil Balding. More ...
What a finish!
WITH just under SIX weeks to go the doubters WILL be proved wrong and work on our beautiful Grade I Listed building will be finished by the November 24th deadline in time for this year's spectacular Christmas Tree Festival. More ...
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The light fantastic!
WOW, wow, wow! Absolutely amazing! Words can't adequately express just what a fantastic job the team of men from Midland Conservation Limited are doing as the Re-ordering Project in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, draws closer to its November deadline. More ...
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Shedding some light!
LET THERE be light! The eight new Flemish candelabra and some of the 25 pendant lights have been now been fitted in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, as part of the amazing Re-ordering Project. More ...
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The countdown has begun
THERE'S now just over SEVEN weeks to go before the amazing Re-ordering Project is set to finish in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray. More ...
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Hard work is paying off 
It has taken months of hard, gruelling work in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, but the fantastic effort by the skilled team of men from Midland Conservation Limited is paying off as they are making amazing progress on the Re-ordering Project. More ...
Phil Balding
Things are looking good! 
St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, is a hive of activity as the skilled team of men from Midland Conservation Limited are busy working towards the November deadline to complete the amazing Re-ordering Project which began in January this year. More ...
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Making amazing progress
THIS is the amazing progress being made as the floor is being laid as part of the Re-ordering Project which is taking place in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray. More ...
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Work on church is going well
THESE are the latest pictures of the amazing Re-ordering Project which is taking place in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray. More ...
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Guided tours prove a big success
More than 50 people got a glimpse of the work that has taken place so far on the Re-ordering Project in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, on Saturday (September 2nd). More ...
Chancel ceiling gets a good clean
It's a tough job but somebody has got to do it! For the past couple of weeks workmen have gone about their business almost unnoticed high above on scaffolding in the Chancel of St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray. More ...
We'll get there on time!
For the past eight months or so St Mary's Church in Melton Mowbray has gone through some massive changes. Website Editor Phil Balding spoke to Colin Lear, who has been overseeing the work of the stonemasons on the Re-ordering Project. More ...
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Catriona views project work
The Revd Catriona Cumming took the time on Tuesday (September 5th) to take a final look around St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, as she prepares to move to her new job in York. More ...
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Student Emily takes a tour 
Student Emily Danaher visited St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, on Thursday (August 31st) to get some information and pictures for her dissertation on the Leicestershire area during the Reformation Period (1517 - 1648). More ...
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Our patron is impressed
Fantastic, wonderful, incredible... those are the three words which summed up the £1.9m Re-ordering Project in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, when our appeal patron, Jennifer, Lady Gretton visited our beautiful building on Wednesday (August 30th). More ...
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Let there be light!
St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, should be nice and bright once the eight new Flemish candelabra and 25 pendant lights have been fitted during the £1.9m Re-ordering Project. More ...
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The high life for Alex! 
ONE woman who is now getting a taste of the high life while the £1.9m Re-ordering Project is going ahead in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, is conservator Alex Carrington. More ...
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Work is gathering pace
The floor being laid at a rapid rate as workmen press on with the amazing £1.9m Re-ordering Project in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray. More ...
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Work is looking good
Workmen have now started laying parts of the floor in the main body of St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, as they press on with the impressive £1.9m Re-ordering Project. More ...
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Work is taking shape nicely
WHERE has the time flown by? It seems like only yesterday that work was beginning on the £1.9m Re-ordering Project in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, but we are now seven months into it and things are really beginning to take shape. More ...
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A hive of activity
HERE are some more pictures, taken on Monday (July 17th), of the hard work that is taking place in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray. More ...
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Help us hit the target!
These are the latest pictures, taken on Wednesday (July 12th), of the work that is taking place in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, and the hard-working team of men from Midland Conservation Limited who are carrying it out. More ...
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A splendid effort so far
IT'S been a long, hard slog but the end is in sight with the fantastic news that we have now raised £1,700,985.71p towards our target of £1.9m for the Re-ordering Project in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray. More ...
Phil Balding
Work makes a good impression
Almost all of the floor has been laid in the North Transept and some of it in the South Transept as work on the £1.9m Re-ordering Project in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, is progressing well. More ...
Progress so far
Jonathan Wallace, from Henry Groves and Son Ltd, explains why they were delighted to receive the contract to rebuild and enlarge the Sir Malcolm Sargent Memorial Organ at St Mary’s Church, Melton Mowbray, and reports on progress so far. More ...
Fascinating glimpse of new window
Seventy people enjoyed a fascinating talk by stained glass artist Derek Hunt on Saturday night (June 3rd) in the Samworth Centre about the new window he has made for St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, as part of the ongoing £1.9m Re-ordering Project. More ...
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£1.9m work is taking shape
Things are starting to take shape as work on the £1.9m Re-ordering Project in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, moves forward. More ...
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£1.9m project is going very well
The sub-floor has been laid and things are moving on quickly with work on the exciting £1.9m Re-ordering Project in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray. More ...
Work is progressing well
Work on the exciting £1.9m Re-ordering Project in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, is going very well and is now moving on apace. More ...
Guided tours prove a big success
Ninety people got the chance to get a glimpse inside St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, on Saturday night (May 13th) and to see the work that has been done so far on the £1.9m Re-ordering Project. More ...
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Your donations count! 
Three leaflets are now available in the Samworth Centre detailing how you can help donate towards the Re-ordering Project which has started in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray. More ...
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See £1.9m work in progress
These are the latest pictures taken on Friday (May 5th) of the amazing £1.9m Re-ordering Project in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, showing the underfloor heating pipes being laid. More ...
Get a glimpse of the Re-ordering work
These are the latest pictures of the amazing £1.9m Re-ordering Project which is taking place in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray. More ...
Our generous benefactor
John Plumb was an Honorary Life Member of the Melton Mowbray and District Historical Society and a notable local historian who died in 2014 aged 74. More ...
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A colourful, vibrant design
Derek Hunt is clearly a man who loves his job. His enthusiasm and love of stained glass is obvious when you meet him. For more details read on... More ...
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Derek is top of the glass!
Work on the new stained glass window for St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, is nearing completion. Website Editor Phil Balding visited stained glass artist Derek Hunt to find out more. More ...
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Under the floor the truth revealed
Liz Craig visited St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, whilst the archaeologists were there and made some amazing discoveries under the floor in the North and South Transepts. To find out more, read on... More ...
Phil Balding
Exciting Re-ordering Project moves on
This was the scene in St Mary’s Church, Melton Mowbray yesterday (Tuesday, February 21st) as the exciting and ambitious £1.9m Re-ordering Project moves on. More ...
New window is coming along nicely
The stained glass window, which will be installed on the north side of the Nave in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, towards the end of the Re-ordering Project work, is coming along nicely. More ...
Phil Balding
Work is cracking on
Wow, what happened to the floor! This was the scene inside St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, on Friday afternoon (February 10th), writes Phil Balding. More ...
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Funny you should say that!
They say that a happy worker is a productive worker so it was heartening to hearwhat one worker said on Wednesday morning (February 8th) as I walked past St Mary's Church in Melton Mowbray, writes Phil Balding. More ...
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A clear view
Those of you who have viewed Phil Balding's pictures taken inside St Mary's Church, Melton, recently will have noticed the clergy vestry looks much bigger without the wooden screens which were only put there in the middle of the 20th Century. More ...
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Your help is needed now!
It's big, it's bold, it's ambitious and it's happening right now! I'm talking, of course, about the exciting Re-ordering Project in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, writes Phil Balding. More ...
Phil Balding
Amazing peek inside St Mary's
AMAZING... that's the only word to describe the scenes which greeted me on Friday (January 27th) when I was able to go inside St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, to take a look at what has been happening inside the building. More ...
Phil Balding
In for the long haul –a time for change
Preparations to carry out the planned improvements to St Mary’s Parish Church are finally under way. The building has been emptied in readiness for work to begin. It is an exciting but daunting prospect, writes John Craig. More ...
Phil Balding
Work is on schedule
Workmen are still busy in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, ridding the building of asbestos near the North Transept and dismantling the organ ready for its refurbishment. More ...
Phil Balding
Getting rid of asbestos
Workmen in special overalls and masks have been working in a sealed tent in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, on Wednesday (January 4th) as the task of ridding the place of asbestos takes place. More ...
Phil Balding