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All Saints’ Fleet reopens after catastrophic fire

All Saints’ Fleet reopened at the end of April, eight years after it was gutted by fire.

Bishop Andrew reconsecrated the building in front of a congregation that included many who played a part in the rebuild and community representatives.

Although fully insured for rebuilding like-for-like,  a fundraising campaign was launched in 2018 to improve and upgrade the church. Plans included building an Annexe which will provide community facilities. 

Sadly, Covid intervened and escalating costs forced the project to be split in two. Phase One, the restoration and rebuild of the church, which is now almost complete. Phase Two, the Annexe will come later. 

“All Saints’ now has a porch and new West door, using bricks sponsored by local people,” says the Revd Mark Hayton, Vicar of All Saints’. “The Rose Window has been replace with a stunning new one, designed by artist  Amanda Winfield. The damaged pulpit was dismantled, cleaned, conserved, returned and rebuilt as before. Every brick has been individually cleaned and those too damaged were replaced with matching heritage bricks. It’s been a monumental task.”

Fire ripped through the building in June 2015. The roof and much of the interior was  destroyed. 

Originally built in 1863, All Saints’ was a Grade Two* listed building, designed in a Gothic style by the renowned architect William Burges. It was constructed in memory of Janet and Charles Lefroy at a cost of £3,323. 

“That’s a far cry from the several million it has taken to rebuild it,” says Mark.

You can read more on this in the latest article by the BBC 

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