The Original Building
St John’s Church was completed in 1875 at a time when the population of the West side of Spalding was expanding rapidly. Canon Edward Moore who was then Vicar of SS Mary & Nicolas, Spalding, was the instigator of the new parish. The land in Hawthorn Bank was purchased in November 1873, the foundation stone laid in February 1874 and the church was consecrated on St John’s day, 24 June 1875, by the then Bishop of Lincoln. The money to build the church was given by Miss Mary Ann Johnson and her sister, Elizabeth Ann, descendants of Maurice Johnson of Ayscoughfee Hall. They spent over £10,000 on building the Church, the School and the original Vicarage which is now a nursing home.
The church is built in Ancaster Stone with a Collyweston slate roof and is of the Early English Style.
The Nave and Chancel layout remained broadly in its original form until, following receipt of a significant legacy from a parishioner a few years ago, we were able to implement a major re-ordering project. Work started in April 2014 and, although initially scheduled to finish in 26 weeks, was eventually completed in March 2015.
Our re-ordering vision was to retain and restore the original Victorian style within the Chancel area whilst completely modernising the Nave and making it a fully flexible space for use by the Church, the adjoining School and the local community.
In the Nave we have removed the Victorian pews, laid a new Scandinavian Beech wooden floor, installed a new heating system, LED lighting, and a digital audio-visual system. We now have a primary stock of 150 Treske Church Furniture handmade oak chairs and a secondary stock of 200 “easy-to-move, stack and store” Alpha chairs together with 28 new Gopak tables and a portable staging system.
In the Chancel we have restored the Chancel Gates and the Reredos back to the original Victorian design and colours.
In the South West corner of the Nave we were able to create a new Lady Chapel and a separate Servery. In the North West corner of the Nave we created the Langford Room (named in memory of our benefactor) which is used as a meeting room, a Choir Vestry and a Parish Office.
Treske manufactured a new portable lectern and a new portable font for use in the Nave and an Altar and small table for the new Lady Chapel. These all complement the new oak chairs and beech floor.
Whilst this work was taking place the organ was stripped down and completely overhauled and re-built.
To quote our Architects, The Whitworth Co-Partnership of Bury St Edmunds,
Uses of the facility now
In addition to all our regular services and the Occasional Offices the Church is being used by our adjacent Church School for weekly Collective Worship and for two half days a week as a space for lessons. it is also used occasionally for their drama rehearsals, and other educational purposes. The whole building is flexible and lends itself to use as a training venue, notably by the Deanery and Diocese, another local Parish for their Developing Discipleship Away Day, by Trinity College London for music exams every summer, by the Church and the local community for concerts.
The Church Lounge sited on the South East corner of the Church is used by a number of groups such as Mothers’ Union, Drop-in Coffee Morning, Services, Study Groups and Church meetings, Rainbows, Brownies, Women’s Institute and Townswomen’s Guild.