The Old Baptist Chapel in Tewkesbury, part of the John Moore Museum, is set to benefit from handmade oak and toughened security glass baptistery covers, thanks to funding awarded by Tewkesbury Borough Council.
The Old Baptist Chapel resides in the shadow of the Abbey and is said to be one of the oldest Baptist meeting houses of its type in existence.
In 2015/16, this unique building underwent significant renovation with funding coming from a range of sources including Tewkesbury Borough Council, Tewkesbury Town Council the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Abbey Lawn Trust.
Improvements included a new audio tour, interpretation panels, replica historical items and an interactive touch screen. Also installed were new lighting, heating, DDA compliant toilet and a kitchen, which has considerably enriched the visitor experience and made it suitable for use by other groups.
Now, thanks to a further grant of £3000 from the borough council, the Old Baptist Chapel is able to replace its baptistery covers. The rare 5ft deep baptistery is sunk into the floor and the funding has meant that bespoke covers can be created. The new design enables visitors to walk over and yet still see into the chamber.
Simon Lawton, the John Moore Museum curator said of the new covers ‘The baptistery is a crucial part of the history of the building and the addition of these bespoke covers allows our visitors to see this important spiritual and architectural gem in all its glory. We are very grateful for the support and the vision of Tewkesbury Borough Council in allowing us to bring the rich heritage of the Old Baptist Chapel even more fully to life.’
The borough council is proud of Tewkesbury’s heritage and is keen to find opportunities to support the maintenance and protection of the town’s historic assets.
It has a dedicated resource to assist groups and organisations in obtaining funding and grants. Martha Mundy, the council’s Community Funding Officer said: ‘Obtaining funding is often perceived as a daunting prospect, but we are here to help. If you feel you may be eligible for grants or funding we really do encourage you to explore the options available by getting in touch”.
Members of the public can reach Martha at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Old Baptist Chapel welcomes visitors throughout the year; summer opening times are as follows:
1 April to 31 October: Tuesdays and Saturdays plus bank holidays, 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm (last entry at 4.30pm)
Weds – Fri: If staff are available they will happily open the Chapel for you, please ring before you visit. Tel: 01684 297174