Supporters celebrate end of first phase of historic Kingston church refurbishment (From Surrey Comet)
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Supporters celebrate end of first phase of historic Kingston church refurbishment
Kingston's historic All Saint’s Church has a stunning new entrance, following the completion of phase one of its refurbishment works this week.
The Market Place church has been undergoing a refurbishment which is expected to be completed by next summer.
All Saints rector Reverend Jonathon Wilkes was joined on Tuesday by supporters including presenter and Surrey Comet columnist Angellica Bell and councillors Barry O’Mahony and David Ryder-Mills, to celebrate the creation a new north entrance, a vestry and restored the toilets in the ancient church.
Keith Long, company secretary of All Saints Kingston, which is running the project, said: “It looks great compared to the rest of the church at the moment. The rest of the church is still a building site.
“We have been dreaming of refurbishing the church for decades and this is the first stage in achieving that dream – and it feels marvellous.
"It is very special but it will be even more special next year when it is completed.”
Rev Jonathan Wilkes gives a speech inside the newly refurbished vestry
Rev Jonathan Wilkes, Louise Duggan from the Outer London fund, Heritage Lottery fund's Wesley Carr, Angelica Bell and Mike Hellings from Viridor Credits outside the new entrance
The next phase of the refurbishment is expected to be completed by February next year.
All Saints churchgoer for more than 20 years, Mr Long said: “It’s all on track but we still need to raise some more money.
“We are still having Christmas services in the church – it will be a bit more crowded than usual so be sure to get there early.”
Inside the newly refurbished church
Rev Jonathan Wilkes, Louise Duggan and Wesley Carr admire the work
Supporters gather to celebrate the completion of the first phase of refurbishment
He added well-wishers including the Surrey Comet had already bought 1,300 tiles to go towards revamping the 1,000 year old church and the people of Kingston had donated £150,000.
Other fundraising events such as quiz nights, fetes and bake sales also generating £65,000.
Councillor David Ryder-Mills said: “Phase one looks superb – it is really nicely done. It is going to look really good once it is completed.
“The entrance - it has got so much more accessible. You have got a road through the Horse Fair in the area from John Lewis and the Bentall Centre rather than having a scuffle through the outside.”