We are very excited to have recently moved into our new office into St Thomas the Martyr church in Redcliffe, Bristol. This is an amazing space which as well as providing us with a beautiful office, also provides a wonderful opportunity for us to hold tastings and food events in a very inspiring space. Our first tasting here is on 24th August at 7.30. Contact us for more info
We are very grateful to The Churches Conservation Trust – the national charity protecting England’s historic churches at risk – who have allowed us to take on this wonderful space in such an important building.
St Thomas the Martyr is one among many significant historic churches that are no longer needed for regular worship. It was designed by James Allen and, with its handsome east end fronting onto a busy commercial street, has something of the style and impact of a church in Rome. James Allen’s design retained the 15th century west tower of an earlier, and by then dilapidated, medieval church. There is a fine ring of eight bells, all cast by local founders from the 15th to the 19th century. At the east end is a reredos of 1716 and at the west a gallery of 1728-32, both transferred from the previous church. On the north of the chancel is a superb 18th century organ case. Some of the other furnishings are 18th century, but most date from the 1896 restoration by H Roumieu Gough. They are excellently designed and all contribute to one of the best interiors in Bristol. The church was once at the heart of a wealthy merchant quarter and has links to the Penn family (of Pennsylvania fame) and to Reverend Thomas Clarkson and the abolition of slavery. It was to the Seven Stars pub, just across the alley, that the anti-slavery campaigner Clarkson came in 1787 and began to put together evidence later supplied to his friend William Wilberforce and used to support the Act for the Abolition of Slavery.
The charity saves these magnificent buildings for future generations by working with local people to bring them back into every day community use as social, tourism, educational or community resources. The charity has more than 340 historic churches in its care – the largest single collection of historic churches in the country. Uses range from circus schools and theatres to historic attractions and spaces for quiet contemplation. All CCT’s churches remain consecrated and are often used for occasional worship. The CCT is currently involved in over 100 conservation and regeneration projects ranging from planned repairs, major conservation work and multi-million regeneration and reuse schemes. The charity has an active fundraising programme to enable it to continue its work. Information about the Trust’s work and all its churches is on the website www.visitchurches.org.uk. The Chairman of the Trust is Loyd Grossman OBE FSA, who was appointed in 2007, and Crispin Truman is Chief Executive. The Churches Conservation Trust was established under Ecclesiastical Law on 1 April 1969.