CONSEcRating the PERMANENT Church

September 27th 1917

From the Church Times, Friday 5th October 1917,
a report on the consecration of the permanent church

Consecration of All Saints’ Church 

THIS church was dedicated by the Bishop of Winchester on Thursday in last week. Only a f few days before the Bishop was ill in bed, and it was a great joy to the congregation to know 1that he was well enough again to come among them, and dedicate their new church.

The church, designed by Mr. Temple Moore, is the gift of the Rev. Alexander T. Hall, of Combehurst, Basingstoke, and formerly vicar of Appleby, Lincolnshire. For the last fifteen years All Saints’ has been an iron mission church, where the Faith has been steadily taught, and offering of the Holy Sacrifice has been the chief act of worship each Sunday.

The church is built of stone in the style of English Fourteenth-century Gothic, and its conception is of the lofty and dignified nature that is found in all Mr. Temple Moore’s splendid churches. The interior is richly decorated with a pointed wagon roof, an oak rood-beam with painted figures of our Lord, St. Mary, and St. John, and two Seraphim, and a gilt and coloured reredos containing painted panels representing our Lord vested as the Great High Priest, and the Twelve Apostles. The painting is the work r of Mr. Charles Head, of Colchester, a church decorator whose skill and devotional painting is t known to many. The great east window is filled with glass by Messrs. Burlison and Grylls, and contains twenty-five episodes in the Gospel story, the whole. window forming a mosaic of. colour which blends with the general scheme of rich decoration. The Lady-chapel has been furnished by the congregation, and its hangings and frontal are of our Lady’s blue and the ornaments of hammered brass. The three-light east window of the Lady-chapel, containing 1 figures of our Lady and the Holy Child, St. Elizabeth and St. John the Baptist, and St. Mary Magdalene, is the gift of Mr. R. Blencowe, late of Basingstoke, and is in memory of his wife. The whole scheme of the decoration of the chancel has the note of lofty and gorgeous worship, and the Lady-chapel quiet repose and devotion. The building work has been well carried out by Messrs. Benfield and Loxley, of Oxford. Owing to so many of the congregation being engaged in important work, it was thought best to divide the service. The dedication of the church was at 5 p.m., and the Bishop completed the rite by saying the first Mass next morning at 6.30, at which there was a very good number of communicants.

The Bishop, vested in cope and mitre, and assisted by the Rev. Dr. Cooper Smith, a former vicar of Basingstoke, as chaplain, conducted the usual service. Owing to an unavoidable delay the legal instrument for consecration could not be prepared in time, and the Bishop or one of his suffragans hopes to conduct the service of formal consecration at a later date. There were present at the service the Arch- deacon of Winchester, the Rev. Dr. Fearon, the Rev. J. Carpenter Turner (rural dean) and many visiting clergy; the Rev. Dr. Boustead (vicar of Basingstoke), the Rev. J. F. Fuller (priest-in-charge of the church), the Rev. A. P. le Maistre and the Rev. A. T.-Hall (priests- associate of All Saints’) - the latter being the donor of the church - and the other members of the parish staff, the Rev. R. O'G. Power and the Rev. G. Healey. The Mayor and Corporation of Basingstoke and several of the local Nonconformist ministers were also present.

The Bishop gave an address which pointed out the grave responsibilities which are in the hands of the Church to-day, and showed how every member of the congregation, priests and people, must share and bear these responsibilities.

As the Bishop left the church the new peal of nine bells, the gift of Lieut.-Col J. May, rang out. Col. May, who has been several times mayor of the borough, and who for many years has taken a leading part in the affairs of the town, was able to be present in spite of his late years of illness. Several gifts have yet to be placed in the church, and among them the silver crucifix and prie-dieu for. the confessional, the gift of the local ward of the Guild of the Love of God.

It was a wonderful day for a devoted and united congregation, moving, with the blessing of God, given by His Bishop, from a simple but much-loved little church to a great and noble sanctuary.