Historic Interiors in Places of Worship
Historic interiors are often the parts of Places of Worship most vulnerable to change. Alterations to interiors, including seating and other potentially significant fixtures and fittings are commonplace and there is considerable risk of attritional or gradual loss and erosion of historic fabric and character.
We are carrying out or supporting work that will improve understanding and put into context historic interiors in Christian places of worship.
Parish church interiors in changing times
Historic England and the University of Leicester ran a two-day conference on ‘Parish Church Interiors in Changing Times’ dedicated to the exploration and significance of the protection and management of 19th and 20th century Church of England parish churches.
There were presentations and worskshops around the following themes:
- Introduction to the Conference
- Setting the Context: The Church’s Perspective
- Visions of Church and Churches in the 20th century
- Fixtures and Fittings
- Revitalising and Rebuilding
- Experiencing Change
- Debating Significance and Value
You can also see the following presentations from the Church Interiors Conference via Slideshare:
- Ben Stoker, Development Officer, Diocese of Lincoln. "Architecture as theology in theory and in practice at the parish church of St John the Baptist, Lincoln"
- Andrew More, Historic England. "An Historic Perkins Heating system reused"
- Eddie Tulasiewicz, The National Churches Trust: "The National Churches Trust and St Edburg's Church, Bicester Oxfordshire"
- Richard Peats, Inspector of Historic Buildings and Areas, Historic England. “The hardest working man in architecture, the godfather of Gothic: George Edmund Street".
- John Scott, Southern Buildings Committee Chair, The Victorian Society and C. Costelloe, Director, The Victorian Society. "The Challenge of the 19th Century Interior" (or “That bit doesn’t matter, its only Victorian”)
- Bridget Gillard, Registrar, The Devonshire Association. "The importance of considering use and making comparative assessments when determining the significance of Victorian and Early 20th Century church interiors: Reflections from a PhD study".
We also asked participants for their opinions on the conference and you can read a summary of their feedback via Slideshare.
Researching John Loughborough Pearson
Although many church interiors are the product of gradual change over time, the majority were re-ordered in the 19th century. Understanding the contibution and survival of work by church architects is an important element of evaluating significance. You can read a report on the work of John Loughborough Pearson written by Historic England staff.