St Barnabas, Box
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The building of the stone St Barnabas Church was started in 1951 and completed and dedicated on 24th October 1952. The 60th Anniversary was celebrated with a "Jubilee Songs of Praise" on 10th June 2012 to coincide with the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.The new Church was designed by |Mr Peter Falconer, Chartered Architect. who lived in Minchinhampton, and was the first Church of England church to be built after the Second World War. Later an almost identical church was built atTrevone in North Cornwall.
"A Historynof St Barnabas" writtenn by Alcie Daniel, a resident of Box, relates how the new church replaced the previous "tin" Box Misssion Church which was built in 1880 for use as an infant school. It was made of corrugated iron and was very hot during the summer and freezing cold in winter. From 1918 it was used by the Church for a Sunday School and for weekly Evensongs on Sunday evenings. There was no altar in the church and no celebrartuin of Holy Coimmunion. During the week it was used for social functions such as concerts, whist drives and parties. At this time the Church faced west. Loyal Church workers worked very hard cleaning the Church, seeing to the paraffin lamps and struggling with the most unsatisfactory tortoise stove which was in the middle of the building. Often the Church was full of smoke and always had a smell of paraffin.
The music was provided using a very old harmonium with volunteer singers from Minchinhampton. On more than one occasion, the harmonium had to be mended before it could be used.
In 1928, The Reverend Rex Hodson became Rector of Minchinhampton Parish and took a great interest in Church life in Box. He started Holy Communion celebrations using his own portable altar which he had used when in the Royal Navy.This aroused great interest in the commmunity and donations were given for a small altar, embroidered altarhangings, a Cross and a piano to replace the harmonium. Financial donationbs enabled a small sanctiuary to be built on to the existing church in 1931 and it was then that the Church was turned to face east. The Church flourished with a Sunday School of 40, a childen's choir and packed congregations.
In 1937, because the deterioration of the roof made it irrepairable, it was decided to save up funds for a permanent stone church for Box. Fund raising events were started to reach a necessary target of £1000 - £2000. Then came the war and building plans were put on one side. But fund raising carried on and Church life continued with many evacuees becoming involved. Another outcome of the war was the starting of Christmas Midnight Mass in Box Church in 1942. This was because the Parish Church in Minchinhampton coukl not be blacked out. It was a great success and people came from all over the Distrfict, many having to stand throughout the Service.
In 1945, meetings were held again and new plans prepared for a Cotswold Stone building at a now estimated cost of £4300. In October 1951 The Rector, Canon Rex Hodson sat in church for Gift Day which resulted in enough money for building operations to begin. By 8th Dedcember 1951 sufficient building had been completed to enable the foundation stone to be laid and the Bishop of |Gloucester, The Right Reverend Clifford Salisbury, came to lay it in a gale force wind and lashing rain. All the outside ceremonies had to be cancelled and only the Bishop, the Rector, the Architect and the Builder could go outside to lay the Foundation Stone.
The building continued and was very cleverly done. Half of the new Church was built at the East end and the old Church was used until the East part wsas practically completed and then, from Easter Day 1952, the old Church was demolished. For the next few months, Services were continued in The Studio , a cottage near the Church kindly lent by the then owner and tenant.
BY 24th October 1952, the new Church was complete and ready for Dedication by Bishop Woodward. However, Canon Hodson was not content with simply a Dedication, and the next Bishop of Gloucester, Bishop Asquith, agreed to a full Consecratioin which took place on 21st June 1958 with a full sung Mass. Canon Hodson was always the driving force behind the building of the new stone St Barnabas in Box. When he retired in 1959 he came to live at "Dormers" in Box where he continued to assist with the ministrations in the village.
St Barnabas contains three noteworthy stained glass windows designed and made by the celebrated local artist, Edward Payne, who llived in the village and was a stalwart of the congregation for many years.
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The current editor is: Michael Gwilliam