Fullers Finer Furniture give Newcastle church a new lease of life

Published: Wednesday, April 11, 2018

 

Fullers Finer Furniture is a member of the National Churches Trust's Professional Trades Directory and has been creating quality church furniture for over 30 years.

They told us about one of their favourite “before and after” design projects for St. Bartholomew's church in Newcastle, where the vestry was given a new lease of life. 

Having fitted out his previous church’s vestry in his parish in Somerset, the vicar of St. Bartholomew’s church in Long Benton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne was keen to use the expertise of Fullers Finer Furniture once again for a similar project . The project commenced with site visits from Fuller’s premises in Weston-super-Mare to plan how to best use the then-unused vestry space.

The old vestry was in need of repair and extensive decorating. It hosted a very large altar frontal chest which took up a good proportion of the space along with other items of furniture in different states of dilapidation. Paul Fuller, who runs the business, planned how this could be changed into something that could be used not only for storing robes, but also as a meeting room with a kitchen area.

Old vestry in need of repair and extensive decorating

Plans were duly submitted and Fullers Finer Furniture was shortly awarded the contract.  The work was extensive. Much of the cabinet making and manufacturing was done at the Weston-Super-Mare workshop, but there was also a substantial amount of work undertaken at the church site itself. The old vestry was ‘ripped out’ and re-decorated.

New feel 

The next stage of the project was to create a half-glazed entrance lobby to the room. This provided a much needed “new feel” to the room, more welcoming to those using the space.

As the new room would be used for meetings a hot water supply was fitted for that much needed cup of tea. A sink unit and under sink water heater were fitted along with kitchen worktops that complemented the new kitchen cupboards, that were made in both solid oak and veneered boards.

New kitchen cupboards

Every vestry needs vestments!

Every vestry needs room to house vestments. The tall storage cupboards with solid oak frames blend in beautifully with the contours of the room and provide ample space for vestments, cassocks and the like. These were complimented by other lower cupboards and desks. The room was carpeted ready to host its centrepiece, a solid oak table designed and crafted with an elliptical top, enhanced by five matching solid oak chairs that adorn both the table and the rooms itself.

Solid oak table centrepiece and storage

The room was lit with low energy LED up and down lighters, incorporated into specially designed pelmets thus completing the project with a sophisticated ambience.

The final part of the project was to provide a storage solution for the altar frontals. To this end Fullers Finer Furniture designed a new high altar for the chancel, complete with a sliding top with hanging bars inside for the frontals to be stored out of view and conveniently kept both flat and clean.

Greatly admired

The whole project was greatly admired and more importantly ideal for use by those concerned. Fullers Finer Furniture was further commissioned to provide oak candle stands for the church in 2017.

Fullers Finer Furniture continues to work in churches and establishments all over the country and welcomes all new enquiries. Their website can be found at www.fullersfinerfurniture.co.uk.

The National Churches Trust's Professional Trades Directory connects churches with skilled contractors. We believe in the importance of protecting the many traditional craft skills which are essential for the building and conservation of church buildings. By supporting our Professional Trades Directory, you can help us to ensure their future.