Forest Church auctioning Victorian pews

THREE Victorian pews from Forest Church are being auctioned to raise money for the creation of a church community area, similar to those in the parish churches of St Saviour’s and St Peter’s.

Left to right: Keith Bienvenu, Rev. Claire Claxton and Andrew Ozanne. (Picture By Sophie Rabey, 30083877)
Left to right: Keith Bienvenu, Rev. Claire Claxton and Andrew Ozanne. (Picture By Sophie Rabey, 30083877)

The removal of the pews will result in a peaceful space for creative activities and social gatherings.

‘The church has a phenomenal history and has gone through various expansions – this is part of its ongoing story,’ said church management board member and chartered architect Andrew Ozanne.

‘In terms of mindfulness and wellbeing, the community benefits from this quiet space.’

The pews have been in the church since 1891 and Mr Ozanne said they would be delivered to the highest bidder.

‘The wood is very adaptable but also robust as it has stood the test of over a hundred years,’ he said.

He hoped the work would inspire people to visit the church and see it as a community building.

‘This is part of a big project which is really important to us but there are limited funds and all these initiatives require expenditure.

‘We hope people will embody the spirit behind this which is the community.’

The Rev. Claire Claxton said the church was the second oldest in the island and would benefit from the project.

‘We also want to make the area around the church more environmentally friendly – this church is very much the centre of the Forest community I feel.’

Mr Ozanne added: ‘There’s something timeless about a church, whether you have faith or not is immaterial as this is about opening the doors.

‘It’s also good for young people who are often on a screen to have a little bit of time where you can enjoy yourself – the church is about peace.’

For the 50 years she has lived in the parish, Fiona Roland has been part of the church community.

‘It’s something we have been thinking about for quite a time,’ she said.

The area was cramped and had accessibility issues for people in wheelchairs, added church community member Vivien Rees.

‘It would be nice if the pews were used by somebody.’

  • Email to place a bid. The auction will be posted on Facebook. Anonymous bids can also be made.

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