|1882 Shanklin, Isle of Wight
High Street, Shanklin, Isle of Wight PO37 6LA
Minister: Rev. George Avery
The Congregationalists of this rising town were induced, come time since, to make an effort to provide church and school accommodation for the increasing populating and for the large number of visitors who resort to it in the summer, as the building long used for public worship was without a schoolroom, and held only about 200 persons. In the year 1880 the members of the church, encouraged by the friendly counsel of many who were desirous of seeing suitable Free Church accommodation for the town, resolved to erect a new church with schools and classrooms. It was found, however, that the site would not admit of both church and school, consequently an additional piece of ground was secured within a short distance upon which a school and classrooms have been erected at a cost of about £900.
On the day of the laying of the memorial stones of the new church and clock tower, the Committee had the joy of seeing assembled at a public luncheon some distinguished members of the Established Church, who testified their approval of the project of giving the town the benefit of an illuminated clock.
The church, now in course of erection, consists of a nave and north aisles, seating 367 persons on the ground floor while an end gallery accommodates 72, making altogether a total of 439.
Spacious ministers’ and deacons’ vestries with conveniences are provided in the half basement at the rear, separate access to which is obtained both from the church and street.
At the principal corner is a tower and spire, 75 feet high, containing an illuminated clock, both partially provided by public subscription amongst the townspeople.
The principal entrance is also situated here while a smaller doorway gives access to the aisle and gallery staircase.
It being essential to provide for a congregation varying in number with the seasons, the seating has been so arranged that the aisle, gallery, and seats under same can be cut off temporarily by means of curtains without injuring the appearance of the interior.
The communion table is placed in the semi-circular apse, on the left and right of which are the pulpit and prayer-desk respectively, while the organ occupies a special chamber at the end of the aisle.
The arcade, separating the aisle from the main building, is also a pleasing feature, the columns not obstructing the view of the pulpit except from the passage. Acoustically perfect success, it is believed, is assured, as the proportions and construction of the building are favourable in every way.
The walls externally will be faced with local stone and internally with plaster relieved by Bath stone dressings. The roof is slated externally and boarded internally with the timbers showing, and, with the gallery front and joinery generally, will be stained and varnished. The windows will be filled with tinted glass in ornamental patterns.
The method of warming is by a system of small bore hot water pipes; the artificial lighting by gas pendants and brackets, and the ventilation by means of inlet shafts in the windowsills and ornamental pierced panels in the ceilings.
The combined expenditure on the lecture hall and school, already erected, church, clock, and tower, will amount to £3,500; and the work is now being carried out from the designs and superintendence of the architect, Mr, John Sulman, A.R.I.B.A., of 1, Furnival’s Inn, Holborn, London, E.C.1
Shanklin United Reformed Church (1972)
United Reformed Church
New clock tower built.
Major renovation and refurbishment project in 2005.
CY 1883, pp. 388-389 (Illustration preceding p.389).
Shanklin URC Website, www.shanklinurc.co.uk