From old to new
The original All Saints’ Church was consecrated in 1861. Just over a hundred years later, in 1967, the Victorian-Gothic building was demolished. It had become dangerously unstable. The congregation moved to the Mission House (also later demolished) then to the old school (part of which is now called ‘The Contact Centre’ – images above). Finally, in 1989, a brand new church building was consecrated.
Preserved from the old church
Part of the original mosaic reredos (the decorated panel/screen at the back of the high altar) now adorns the new church’s foyer.
The memorials from both World Wars are to be found in the new Lady Chapel.
The first All Saints’ Church had a peal of eight bells. When the church was demolished in 1967 they were taken to John Taylor’s of Loughborough for storage. We now know that reluctantly All Saints’ finally gave permission for the bells to be melted down.
Fortunately Taylor’s have stored carefully the records of the original 8 bells. In summer 2018, with permission from Taylor’s, Warwick County Records Office digitally recorded the many documents. This means that many more people can get access to this intriguing part of the first All Saints’ story.
The Renown Bell
A local history display on Emscote and the 1st World War, the re-dedication of the HMS Renown bell, the reading aloud of the names were part of the centenary commemoration at All Saints. It was a very special time for all involved.
The bell featured is from HMS RENOWN. ‘Renown’ was a battle- cruiser commissioned in 1915 and decommissioned in 1946, thus serving in both world wars. The Renown bell was acquired for use by All Saints’ after the old church was demolished in 1967 and there was no longer its tower with peal of eight bells.
In 2018 the congregation raised money for a frame for the Renown bell so that it could be brought back to life. The famous bell foundry, Taylor’s of Loughborough, made the frame.
Below is a newspaper account of the re-dedication of the bell at All Saints’ Centenary Commemoration of World War I, 2018:
“Churchgoers in Warwick were called to mark remembrance by the sound of a ship’s bell that once belonged to one of the Royal Navy’s most famous battle-cruisers.
HMS Renown was sold for scrap in 1948. but in the 1960’s her bell was loaned by the Navy to All Saints’ Church in Emscote. The loan of the bell was secured by the aptly-named Reverend R W Barnacle, himself a former Royal Navy Officer, who had served in World War II.
The church invited Lieutenant Commander Marie Whitehouse to ring the bell in the church of her home town on Remembrance Sunday, marking the first time it had been heard since its restoration. Marie, who serves in the fleet operations headquarters at Northwood, said “It was an honour and a privilege to be asked to ring Renown’s bell for the first time in its new home. As the sound echoed around the church, it provided a moment of reflection on all those who had previously served in the ship and the sacrifices they made in their time on board.”
Renown was the head ship of her class of battle-cruisers built during World War I, although she did not initially see combat. It was not until World War II that Renown found herself recommissioned and on front line patrols, joining the hunt for the Bismarck and transporting Winston Churchill to conference meetings with Roosevelt and Stalin.”
Extract from ‘Navy News’ December 2018
Lantern Repair - 2022
In 2022 repair work was undertaken on the lantern, resulting in beautifully cleaned – and intact – glass. The work was extensive but the results are brilliant, both literally and figuratively!