The Building

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EXPLANATORY NOTE
Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011
Draft Pastoral (Church Buildings Disposal) Scheme
Closed church building of St Paul, Highmoor Cross
Diocese of Oxford
This Note explains the contents of the attached draft Pastoral (Church Buildings
Disposal) Scheme, a legal document produced under The Mission and Pastoral
Measure 2011 which is statute law. The draft Scheme provides for the future of St
Paul’s and its churchyard.
Anyone who wishes may write to the Commissioners either in support of or against
any of the proposals in the draft Scheme or to request further information.
The Building
The church of St Paul is situated in the village of Highmoor, which is located one mile
south of Nettlebed and four miles north-west of Henley on-Thames. The church was
built in 1859 to designs of Joseph Morris of Reading in the Decorated style. Built of
knapped flint with Bath stone detailing, the church consists of a nave with shallow
west porch, chancel, south vestry and vertical emphasis provided by a west bellcote.
Most of the furnishings and fittings date contemporaneously with the building. There
is stained glass by J F Bentley and the O’Connor brothers. The building stands within
a churchyard containing burials, including four Commonwealth War Graves.
St Paul’s was the parish church of Highmoor and was declared closed for regular
public worship with effect from 1 June 2012, when the parish of Highmoor became
united with Nettlebed.
The church is listed Grade II and situated within an Area of Outstanding Natural
Beauty.
The views of the Commissioners’ statutory advisers
In its early advice given in July 2011, the Statutory Advisory Committee of the Church
Buildings Council (SAC) advised that the church was a building of moderate heritage
value with some scope for change to the interior. The SAC advised that the church
should be preserved by conversion to a suitable alternative use. The church’s
contents were deemed of interest as an entity and the stained glass of moderate to
high quality. The SAC will be consulted on the detailed conversion plans produced in
connection with the proposal.
The Proposal
Following a period of marketing, the Oxford Diocesan Closed Churches Committee
has recommended to the Commissioners an offer to purchase the building for
residential and studio use, as a live/work unit by a small architectural practice.
The sale will include the church building and the surrounding churchyard, which has
for some time been closed for burials. The prospective purchaser’s conversion plans
have been submitted for planning permission to South Oxfordshire District Council
(and will shortly appear on their website for inspection). A mezzanine floor is
proposed for part of the interior with the ground floor remaining largely open plan. A
small extension is proposed on the south side (thereby not visible from the road) and
widening of the current churchyard gate to enable vehicular access to the property.
These alterations will be in areas of the churchyard that are known not to contain
human remains. It is not proposed to disturb tombstones in the churchyard. Any sale
will not take place until planning permission and listed building consent have been
granted.
The draft scheme
The Commissioners now consider it appropriate to publish a draft Pastoral (Church
Buildings Disposal) Scheme providing for the Commissioners to sell this closed
church building and its annexed land for residential and studio use. Anyone who
wishes has the right to make a representation for or against any provision of the draft
Scheme. If no representations against the Scheme are received and planning
permission and listed building consent are granted, the Commissioners shall make
the Scheme
Anne Griffiths
C/o Diocese of Birmingham
1 Colmore Row
Birmingham B3 2BJ
Tel: 0121 426 0436
Email: [email protected]
25 April 2013
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