Old Honitonians infuriated

PUBLISHED: 09:44 06 June 2012

The sign at St Michaels Church in Honiton. Photo by Terry Ife ref mhh 4790-21-10TI

The sign at St Michaels Church in Honiton. Photo by Terry Ife ref mhh 4790-21-10TI


What will happen to artefacts from the former Allhallows School if St Michael’s Church is closed?

The potential closure of St Michael’s Church has infuriated members of the Old Honitonians club, who are all former students of Allhallows School.

Historically important artefacts from the school, which closed in 1998, are housed in the church - including a brass altar crafted by Herbert Reed and likened to a silver altar at Sandringham.

Alec Crawford, honorary secretary of the Old Honitonians, told the public meeting the altar is “among the finest in the country”.

He complained that his club’s annual memorial service, traditionally held in November, could not take place at St Michael’s because it was not open for services over the winter.

“We were surprised, to say the least, to hear that St Michael’s would be closed from October 1 to March or April,” he said. “It was the first possible sign of a move that could see the closure of the church.

“We were concerned about the conditions our artefacts would be kept in.

“St Michael’s has a place in the fabric of Allhallows that is absolutely vital.

“If the church is closed, where will those artefacts go? We want to maintain an association with Honiton.”

Old Honitonians recalled the “warm welcome” given to the artefacts, including memorial tablets to Allhallows’ war dead, by the former Rector of Honiton, the late Reverend James Trevelyan.

An electric organ had been donated to the church by the club and it was members’ desire to remember their war dead as “a duty”.

Churchwarden Lyn Thatcher assured Old Honitonians that the church had been inspected every week through the winter.

Roddy Long, president of the Old Honitonians club, asked what had happened to the quinquennial inspection at St Michael’s. He believed one was due to be carried out last year.

The Archdeacon of Exeter, Reverend Christopher Futcher, revealed it had not been carried out.

Old Honitonians want to know how much repairs to the building will cost.

The Rector, Reverend Sue Roberts, said the church was closed to worshippers through the winter because of the cold and because services had been led by a 94-year-old priest.

Parishioner Barbara Bartlett said: “That church has always been cold. Just put some thermals on.”

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