Winchcombe church seeks permission to light up tower
'LET there be light' is the appeal one church is making to councillors as it seeks permission to once again illuminate its tower.
St Peter's Church in Winchcombe wants Tewkesbury Borough Council to approve plans to replace the lights that used to illuminate the whole church from the edge of its grounds on Gloucester Street.
Chairman of Friends of St Peters, Christine Lainésaid: "Those lights were vandalised, so we pulled the plug, literally. Now we have upgraded our systems and can illuminate just the tower.
"We were given a legacy by someone some time ago who lived directly opposite the church and we thought this would be an excellent way of using that money for the benefit of the whole town."
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The application says the lights, which would illuminate all four sides of the square tower, will use low-energy technology and not cause a disturbance to neighbours.
Permission to light the tower up to 11pm on no more than 100 days a year is being sought.
Mrs Lainé said: "It is unlikely to be as many as 100 days. In summer we won't be illuminating it, but we want to do it on high days and holidays.
"Many much smaller churches in the county are illuminated and this is one of the most important in Gloucestershire and it will restore it back to how it used to be."
She added that the lighting consultant used by St Peter's was the same as used by Tewkesbury Abbey to advise on its illumination.
Mrs Laine said she was particularly appreciative of Winchcombe resident Patrick House who had worked particularly hard on the project, securing permission from English Heritage and also getting the go ahead from the Diocese of Gloucester.
The planning application will be discussed at the planning committee of Winchcombe Town Council next Wednesday. It will make its recommendation to Tewkesbury Borough Council, which will make the final decision.
Mrs Lainé said that Friends of St Peters was not a group for members of the church only, adding: "St Peter's is such an asset to the whole town, we want everyone to benefit from it, not just the worshippers."
The first known reference to St Peter's Church – where the Reverend John Partington is the rector – is from 1175. The current church was built in 1468 and remains, externally, much as it was in the 15th century.
For more information on the Friends, visit fostpw.org.uk