Children playing in colourful tents, and enjoying storytime at All Saints Church in Hanley.
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Children enjoying storytime at All Saints Church. © Historic England
Children enjoying storytime at All Saints Church. © Historic England

Saved! All Saints Church in Hanley

A cathedral-like Arts and Crafts Gothic church in Stoke on Trent has come off the Heritage at Risk Register thanks to a determined vicar and a band of dedicated parishioners.

Eight years ago, All Saints was on the brink of closure until a small number of dedicated individuals began to see a new future for the building as both a place of worship and a welcoming place for the wider community. 

This magnificent Arts and Crafts Gothic church, designed by Gerald Horsley and built in 1910-13, is of almost cathedral-like proportions consisting of a nave with chancel, a north aisle and north chapel with adjacent vestry. All Saints has a beautiful east window with stained glass commemorating the dead of the First World War, through which light shines to create a stunning effect on the interior. 

In 2010, the church was on the point of closure. With a declining congregation, and a failed heating system, the building has problems with the roof and the rainwater goods were failing. In the winter, the congregation would use the adjacent parish hall for services because of the cold and uncomfortable conditions. Negotiations to lease the church to another Christian group failed, and All Saints was added to the Heritage at Risk Register in 2012.

Vicar Geoffrey Eze, with the support of Places of Worship Support Officer Pat Evemy, decided to make a final attempt to turn the church around. An application to the Heritage Lottery Fund was successful and work began with the aim of making the church warmer and brighter.

Between November 2017 and March 2018, a new tiled chancel roof, new rainwater goods and lead flashings were installed. Glazed screens were inserted to form a heated enclosure in the north aisle. 

All Saints re-opened at Easter in 2018, and it provides a more far comfortable space for worship along with a place for the wider community to use. The congregation is growing and the church plays host to many community activities.   

In the video link below, you can see Pat Evemy speaking to the Reverend Geoffrey Eze about All Saint's story - and its new life as a community hub.

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