St John’s Windows of Opportunity Project

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Watch a video, below, as our Assistant Curate, Reverend Steve Jones, talks about our Windows of Opportunity Project and shows you around the building.

SINCE THE REBUILDING of the church following the 1976 fire, we have sadly already needed to replace the church roof, and also the worship area floor. Some of the areas where works will take place are shown in the photographs below:


We have been replacing of our side windows. These tall windows were originally set in a wooden sub-frame, secured by a fibre-glass window surround. Over the years, however, the fibre-glass surround has failed and allowed water inside, which has rotted all of the sub-frames. We were on Historic England’s ‘At Risk Register’ for several years, due to the poor condition of the windows and the potential that one or more of them may have failed.

In addition to replacing the windows, we also undertook a remodelling of one of the two interior blocks on the ground floor…

In December 2016, we were encouraged to receive a first-round pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund with a funding offer of £148,000. Since then, we have been successful in receiving the following generous grants:

  • £3,450 from the Allchurches Trust
  • £10,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation
  • £1,000 from the Alan Evans Memorial Trust
  • £2,000 from the 29th May 1961 Charity
  • £4,000 from the Devon Historic Churches Trust
  • £10,000 from the Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation
  • £5,000 from the Beatrice Laing Trust
  • £20,000 from SHDC Community Re-investment Projects Fund
  • £19,823 from Viridor Credits
  • £2,500 from the John S.Cohen Foundation
  • £1,000 from local councillors’ discretionary grants


To raise further funds, in January 2018 a Sponsored Epiphany Pilgrimage (pictured above) was held around the nine parish churches of the Totnes Team. This pilgrimage raised another £12,500. A further £16,000 has come from other fundraising events, and £4,500 has come from individual gifts.

We also received the second-round pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund and we have their permission to start the project. We plan that the work will begin in July 2018.

At St John’s, we are treating the Windows of Opportunity Project as a starting point for the renewal and upgrading of our entire building. We are currently developing a Five-Year Strategy to make the building fit for its present-day and future purposes.


• project in-progress reports
latest update: photos from Week 6 added (please scroll right down)

WEEK 1:  On Monday 23rd July we handed over the keys for St John’s Church building to Bovey Construction.  By the end of the month the construction compound had been put up, and the East Block (which will become our new kitchen and toilets) was completely gutted ready for the new internal layout.
[click the photos to view them full size]

above: Reverend Steve Jones handing over the keys to Matthew Gibbens, Bovey Construction Project Managerabove: the Handover Group on the first dayabove: Bovey Construction’s site compound and recognition of Heritage Lottery Fund funding for the Windows of Opportunity project at St John’s Church

WEEK 2:  Week commencing 30th July, the scaffolders have started erecting the access scaffold on the east elevation to allow the new windows to be fitted and our rainwater goods to be partially renewed. Internal drainage works are also in progress. It feels like the project has gotten off to a really good start.

above & below: scaffolding being erected to the east elevation for access to windows and roof, and for security of the site above: old kitchen and toilets removed ready for new drainage works and servery wall opening to right (marked out in pencil on wall)

WEEK 3:  Week commencing 6th August, real progress has been made this week on internal alterations to the old toilet and kitchen block. The servery opening has been formed and new drainage works are being installed. Scaffolding is now complete on the west side of the church, and with full access now available work can start on removing the first two windows next week – at last!

above and below: old kitchen and toilet block alterations in progress with servery opening viewed from inside the new kitchen and from the foyer area 
above and below: scaffold on the west side of the church now complete – site secure and safe access to all windows and rainwater goods now possible

above: rainwater goods accessible for inspection from east scaffold

WEEK 4:  Week commencing 13th August – kitchen works progressing, office plumbing being investigated, windows on east and west sides being removed and opening protected.

WEEK 5:  Week commencing 20th August – kitchen plumbing works, window sections delivery, first window installed above east entrance.

WEEK 6:  Week commencing 27th August

above: partition walls between new toilets and kitchen in progress

above: metal window sections and glazing for 5 windows on east side of church

above & below: East elevation: first floor new window fitted (kitchen end) and last old window (fire escape end) being removed

In December 2018 we managed to complete the long-awaited redevelopment and renewal work at St. John’s Church, Bridgetown.
• We now have ten new double-glazed windows, a beautiful and large ground-floor kitchen, and two self-contained toilet units on the ground floor (one of which is disabled-accessible). In the worship area we now have a five-metre projection screen and a cinema-style projector.
high speed internet will soon be installed.
• we have also managed to lay beautiful new flooring in the foyer.
The work has taken two years to complete, following the award of a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant in December 2016. We are now open for bookings.
full report and photographs of the completed works
contact details for boikings and enquiries

• read more about what we have been doing on our Just Giving page.

Welcome to St John’s | NewsHeritage | History
Services & Ministries
| Windows of Opportunity Project
Uplift Project |
Lettings & Information

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