Appeals: Bringsty Mission Church

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The Independent Online
Bringsty Mission Church, a Church of England place of worship near Bromyard, Herefordshire. Built in 1891, the corrugated-iron clad church has been closed for the last six years and is now under threat of being demolished. The Avoncroft Museum of Buildings, in Worcestershire, wants to move the church to its own site and renovate it: the museum has plans to use the church for occasional services, organ recitals and educational purposes. It needs to raise pounds 23,000 to complete the project and to plant a small wood around the church.

The church's interior is plain: the walls and ceiling are lined with pine planks; there is a little carving on the oak lectern and on the iron altar rail; the organ, which needs some restoration, dates from the mid-19th century and came from a church in Peterstow, in the same county, in 1927. All of the interior furniture, including a font with a stone basin, has been rescued and will be replaced when the church moves. Corrugated-iron churches and village halls were produced in great number in the late-19th century, many being shipped to New Zealand and Australia; the material was cheap, utilitarian and easy to build with.

Avoncroft Museum of Buildings was started when it rescued, at the last moment, a 15th-century merchant's house in Bromsgrove in the early 1960s; it re-erected the house and opened it to the public in June 1967. Ever since, the museum's aim has been to rescue buildings of historic interest from destruction. Since then the museum has expanded: now 22 buildings, representing architecture over seven centuries, stand on a 15-acre open-air site. They include the Cockpit, an 18th-century cockfighting arena from Shropshire; the Perry Mill, a late 18th- century horse-driven mill from Redditch, used to press apples and pears for cider- and perry- making; and a 1946 prefabricated house, with period furnishings, from Birmingham.

For further information, contact: Avoncroft Museum of Buildings, Stoke Heath, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 4JR, telephone 0527 831363.

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