Our Vision

... to transform the historic Church of St Mary, Devizes, into a new vibrant building


Update July 2021 - Dates from the DAC


These are the best dates assuming a perfect scenario.  That is all the information required has been supplied and that there are no new objections from "consultees"

16/07/2021: DAC recommend the application, no further adaptation or addition is needed and it is ready for formal consultation.
23/07/2021: 42 day formal consultation period starts. (42 days is maximum length and can be shorter if all consults are received) Week delay is to write the minutes and action feedback.
03/09/2021: Formal consult finishes and all feedback is positive. NOA can now be issued.
03/09/2021: 30 day public notice period start
03/10/2021: Public notice period ends and, presuming there is nothing massively negative, the Registrar can issue Faculty
08/10/2021: Faculty issued works can begin when ready.

Project Group Update



Now that there is focus on detail and a start date is in view, the aim is to get the support groups organised on a more formal basis.

• The breakdown of tasks/roles of a group is not fixed but should evolve to meet the real world.
• Each group needs a “Convenor” to pull things together
• Each group could work in a different way
• You could be a contributor to more than one group.

• Heritage Arts and Events                         Paul Morgan
• Technical Services and interior fittings      Paul Morgan
• Project Funding                                     Mike Sanders
• Business Plan and Running the venue    Alan Truscott
• Promotion of St Mary’s                         Ida McConnell
• Governance                                         Tim Coomer
• Zero Carbon and Churchyard                Mike McClelland
• Archaeological investigation                 Roger Giraud-Saunders
• Sweetland Organ                                Vacant
• Spirituality and use as church              <<PCC>>

Update: January 2021 - Volunteers & the Interior

As this initiative to regenerate St Mary’s into a valuable community asset moves closer to becoming a reality, there are a number of ways that volunteers can become involved in deciding and implementing what is delivered. These are the practical issues than can benefit from the experience of others.

Key Topics

  • Promotion of St Mary’s In order to fulfil the opportunities provided by a re-vitalised church, the need is to raise the profile of this unique event space. To make it part of a local centre of excellence that is Devizes town. The response to Covid-19 has shown that Devizes thinks and acts as a dynamic entity for the whole local area. Just think of the many other innovative projects in place and the huge number of groups promoting and supporting all aspects of life. These opportunities are highlighted by the plans for the Assize Courts; by the excellence of the performers brought to the town by the Devizes Arts Festival; the breadth of offerings by the Devizes Food and Devizes Beer Festivals, as well as all the activities initiated by the hugely popular Devizes Outdoor Celebratory Arts group

    Read more ...

Update: December 2020 - Under the Floor...

Encouraging words from the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC)

Our Church conservation architect, Chedburn Codd, continues to provide the DAC with information supporting the exciting plans for the future of St Mary’s. In a communication from the DAC received earlier in December we received very positive comments;

“This is an exemplar re-ordering scheme. The DAC committee were impressed by the detailed consultation checklist and the applicant’s answers. All appropriate documentation has been submitted.”

We know there are a number of more minor points still to be agreed but answers to these will become clearer as more detailed work is undertaken.

Read more ...

Update: November 2020 - Planning Approval

We are delighted to report that Planning Application 20/03841/FUL has been approved subject to a number of conditions about the detail of the materials to be used, other regulatory approvals that wil be required and the protection of the significance of the building.  This is the permission required for the external building that will provide, toilets, meeting room, offices and a small kitchen. What we are doing to meet these conditions can be downloaded here.

What Next?

The next step is to present this information to the DAC for their Formal Advice to the Chancellor of the Diocese of Salisbury.

After long consultations between Chedburn Codd - the St Mary’s Church Architect - and Wiltshire Conservation, Historic England, Wiltshire Diocesan DAC and other consultees, we have arrived at a design for the new build that seems to be acceptable to all parties. Click this link for a PDF of plan view of the proposed external build (January 2021 issue). 

Read more ...

Short List for Future Use Seminar - Feb 1st 2018

The Parochial Church Council of St John with St Mary undertook an evaluation of all suggested new uses and have produced the short list given below.

The Parish has been told that there must be informed and objective consideration of the issues and constraints in any proposed new use. The problems of implementing that use must be acknowledged, as well as the opportunities it would give to the parish and the community. These deliberations should lead to an optimum future being identified that allows St Mary’s to become part of the community again and cause the least harm in both the short term and long term. A seminar should go a long way in achieving these aims.

A Future Use Seminar was held on 1st February 2018 7:30pm in St Mary's and the results used in the proposal documents.

The top eight new uses examined were:

  • Art gallery
  • Café
  • Central home for different charities
  • Church for another congregation
  • Craft workshop
  • Dedicated theatre
  • Drop in centre
  • Dual Use Church and community event space
If none of these can be implemented the it will be:
  • A Redundant church

Pew Removal Faculty Granted

July 7th 2017   - We have now removed the first three rows of pews.  If you would like to puchase one of them, then contact the Parish Office of St John's with St Mary's, Long Street, Devizes SN10 1NP. Open 10 to 12  Monday, Wednesday and Friday.   01380 724389.  They are around 2 or 4 metres long and can be adjusted by a competent carpenter.  This view shows the space now available at the Chancel end of the nave.  There is now 15.75 square metres of moveable "unistaging" available in St Mary's using 750mm square units   


Quinquennial Report

The latest draft Quinquennial Report contains a large number of maintenance recommendations. The bulk of them relate to the inspection and renovation of the rainwater and drainage goods. The most expensive work will be on several areas of the roof, including the north aisle, the tower roof, associated with the lead work. Stone repairs are suggested to the statue of St Mary and its roof; likewise the topmost stone of the south west tower finial needs investigation. The metal work around the window glazing also needs attention. The most intrusive work will be the recommendation for a complete overhaul of the entire pew platform within the next two years.
The most urgent work in the churchyard will be a complete overhaul of the entrance gates and a safety check on a number of box tombs and gravestones.