St Mary Magdalene is a Grade II Listed church in the heart of Clitheroe, Lancashire. The church has served the community for hundreds of years with the first definite reference to St Mary Magdalene’s church made in 1122. In the early fifteenth century the structure was pulled down and rebuilt. The tower and the stonework of the east end from this rebuilding remain today. In the 1800s the population of Clitheroe was increasing, and the church could no longer accommodate all the parishioners. Rebuilding began in 1828 and the new building was consecrated in 1829.

In 2017, we were contracted to undertake repairs to the chancel and sanctuary at St Mary Magdalene Church, Clitheroe.

Health and safety signs were installed around the site area as part of the site set up. The monuments and carpet were protected. The remainder of the internal of the church was protected by Visqueen screen.

The sanctuary carpet, two communion rail pattress to sanctuary walls and skirting boards were removed. The raised sanctuary floor was removed by hand. The floor tiles, stone flags and stone block steps were removed and stored, and the handrail was returned to the client. The floor was excavated sub base to reduce the levels to suit the new sanctuary floor level.

The new sanctuary floor at lower level was constructed to bring it level with the chancel. Purbeck limestone was used for the floor which was bedded upon a custom-made lime mix from Masons Mortar. It became necessary to build a plinth to accommodate the existing pipework which was also clad in the Purbeck limestone to create a seamless finish.

New communion rails with bespoke brass fixings were manufactured and installed. Alterations were made to the existing altar table.

The existing inner wooden door was removed, and adjustments were made to the existing door frame to allow for an automatic door. An automatic Dorma door was installed. Two pews were removed. The floor underneath was levelled to be the same level as the adjacent aisles. The client requested that some of the stone flags from the sanctuary were used for the entranceway floor instead of reusing timber boards.

Midway through the contracted works we were awarded the church’s decoration package. We fully plastered and redecorated the walls to the sanctuary and chancel, matching the existing specification. This included the lower aisle walls, gallery walls and ceiling, west porch area and lobby. The decoration was carried out concurrent with the rest of the works and prior to laying the floor to ensure no damage was caused to the floor and completion date was not prolonged

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