A number of long-needed renovations of the church building have been undertaken in recent months. These include the following:
- Laying of a new wooden floor in the main porch, coupled with redecoration of the walls, provision of improved lighting and new notice boards, and the hanging of a beautiful painting of St John the Evangelist.
- Replacement of the vinyl flooring in the sacristy, together with redecoration of the walls and general tidying of the furniture.
- Replacement of the carpet in the body of the body of the church and the sanctuary.
- Repair and renewal of the choir loft woodwork and re-location of the organ sound system to provide more space within the choir.
The church is looking very fine, as befits the House of God. The new carpeting, in particular, is outstanding, and has received admiration from many quarters. Many, very generous, donations were received that allowed this significant refurbishment to go ahead.
A recent visitor to the Willows was Hugh Ellwood, an eminent [local] Architect and Historian. Hugh comments as follows: “St John’s church is of huge architectural significance. In the spring of 1840, Pugin’s ideas about church architecture became much clearer. He had been thinking more about history and he was more discriminating about Gothic details. The church is in simple, Decorated Gothic with a broad spire, built in Longridge stone. It was one of the first of Pugin’s English Gothic churches and was a model for the rest of the 19th century for both Catholic and Anglican parish churches across Britain and the Empire.”
Some images captured by Hugh Ellwood, and used with his kind permission, are presented below. Further high-resolution images will be added when available.