The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Park Street, Devizes, dates from the Norman times and is one of the most important buildings in the town, with the church tower a particular landmark. The building is listed Grade I, putting it amongst the top 2.5% of listed buildings in the country.
Over the last months we have had new plans draw up to illustrate the options for the future and these have been shown to the Diocese. They have made a few comments and recommended that we talk to Wiltshire Council and other heritage bodies to discuss the external build elements of the plans.
The LEVELS OF CHANGE Options are:
Level 1 Redundancy. Which we are trying to avoid.
Level 2 Re ordering the inside of the church. This would make the church more comfortable but would not support the multi-use concept
Level 3 Reordering inside with external office and toilets. This option has no meeting rooms and does not appear economically viable.
Level 4 Reordering the interior with an external build of meeting rooms, toilets and kitchen area. This is the preferred option of the St Mary Future Group and supports the multi-use concept endorsed by the recent new use public forum. Two scheme ideas have ben put forward under level 4.
Leel 5 The Coister concept that was rejected by the planners.
A business plan has been prepared to give substance to financial outcomes for levels 3 and 4.
For an in depth analysis of these options then click for the Levels of Change document which gives an idea of what you get at each level together with number of Pros and Cons. Comments, questions and ideas on any St Mary Devizes document are always welcome.
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A Conservation Management Plan has been produced at the request of the Salisbury Diocese and a link to this is given. It has been passed to a number of consultees including the Diocesan Advisory Board; Wiltshire Development (Planning & Conservation) ; Historic England; The Church Building Council; Devizes Town Council and Trust For Devizes. We welcome responses to this document through the St John with St Mary Parish Office. (). Please comment on this plan and add any other remarks that will help us achieve something of benefit to the Parish and the town.
We have a Heritage Impact Assessment based on the Grading of Significance in the CMP for the whole church and churchyard, the interior and generic ideas for any external build.
The timescale we hope to achieve is for planning discussions to be held with Wiltshire Council early in 2019 and to have a working event space by the end of 2019. This does assume no further problems arise!
Thanks to our Supporters
We wish to thank all the members of the public who continue to support us, and those wonderful event organisers who have choosen to use St. Mary for their shows and meetings. A special mention must go to The Invitation Theatre Company (TITCo) who had put on major shows for a number of years to sell out audiences, not least the recent " The Armed Man", 'Sister Act' and the classic 'War of the Worlds'.
The aim is to take St Mary's from a closed building to a much visited asset to the town instead of merely an interesting background view.