All Saints Church, Portland
All Saints Church is a 20th-century Anglican church, located in Easton village, on the Isle of Portland, Dorset. It was consecrated in 1917 and has been a Listed Grade II building since September 1978. The church succeeded to the rights, privileges, registers and silver of the St George's Church. It has been described as the finest ecclesiastical building on Portland – though somewhat hidden at its position. The church remains active to date, as part of the Portland Parish - a host of three churches; St. John's Church (St John the Baptist), All Saints Church and the Avalanche Memorial Church (St Andrew's Church).
During the early 20th century plans for a new Portland parish church were put forward to replace the nearby Georgian-styled 18th century church St George's Church. By the time the plans were given approval in 1913 St George's had long become poorly-attended, and this was due to the church being both unheated and uncomfortable. Another major issue was the pews, which having been sold to local individuals as private freehold property, this allowed owners to reserve the pews for exclusive use. St. George's closed in 1914, and fell into disrepair, until it was restored in the 1960s. To raise the funds for the construction of a new parish church, various fundraising events took place across the island, including a fete in the grounds of the Gothic-revival mansion Pennsylvania Castle in July 1912. This saw a party of people embarking onto Church Ope Cove below the mansion, from a paddle steamer.
In May 1914 the foundation stone of All Saints Church was laid by Bishop Dr F. E. Ridgeway. The chosen site for the church was a field donated by Mr J. Merrick Head of Pennsylvania Castle, situated close to the settlement known as Straits, part of Easton village. This site was seen as a much more accessible location for a new church, compared with St George's, especially as Easton village was continuously growing. With the outbreak of World War I in July 1914, the majority of public building projects in Britain were postponed, however the massive support from local civilians allowed the construction of All Saints Church to continue, without halt the majority of time. Completed in 1917, the church was consecrated by the Bishop of Salisbury on 6 May 1917. It had been designed by architect George Crickmay, and built by Crickmay and Sons for a total cost of £13,000. The architect had schemed to attach a tall spire to the church, however this never came to fruition.
Built of Portland stone ashlar in the Perpendicular style, the church is of a very confident design, with meticulous detailing, retaining most of the original fittings. The church consists of nave, chancel, transepts and a Lady chapel. The church windows are mostly in Perpendicular style, but to chancel are late decorated. The Windows in S chapel by Clayton and Bell were dedicated to Canon John Augustine Beazer (1872–1909), of St George's Church. The stained windows of the Lady chapel were designed to represent the visit of the Magi, St. Andrew, St. Augustine, St. George and St. John. The great east window was created in memory of those who fell in the Great War, as well as representing Our Lord's Ascension, for a cost £380. Beneath the east window is Axel Ender's picture of the Resurrection, the side lights comprising the Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles and Martyrs. On the chancel roof is a hand-painted panel forming the 12 signs of the Zodiac. The choir and clergy stalls were all hand carved, and designed to represent the world of Creation. The seating capacity of the church can hold 650 individuals.
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