Oakley: St John's Church demolished

Oakley: St John's Church demolished

St John's Church site, after demolition

How the church used to look

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A CHURCH which has stood in the community for nearly 100 years has been demolished.

St John’s Church, in Oakley, was knocked down following a review by Winchester Diocese and The Church Commissioners in London.

The church, in St John’s Road, was built in 1914 as an extra place of worship, but The Church Commissioners decided that the building should be demolished after it was made redundant in June 2009 because of a dwindling congregation.

A group of villagers fought an unsuccessful battle to save St John’s but gave up their fight after realising the challenge of raising enough money to save it in time was too great.

The church has been carefully demolished to protect graves and memorials.

The churchyard will be landscaped to include seating for families visiting the graveyard and be renamed St John’s Garden of Remembrance. It will still have space for burials until it becomes full.

The war memorial will also be refurbished and relocated to where the communion table used to be inside the church. It will also have additional names of men from the village who died in the Second World War.

The Bishop of Basingstoke is expected to dedicate the new garden of remembrance later this year.

The Reverend Jeremy Vaughan, rector of Oakley with Wootton, previously told The Gazette the church was constructed as a temporary building with short-life materials.

Comments (11)

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7:27am Sun 8 Jul 12

klorane says...

Wasn't this a listed building?
Wasn't this a listed building? klorane
  • Score: 0

1:37pm Sun 8 Jul 12

klorane says...

At one time it had a local listing as an example of Arts and Crafts architecture. The church authorities would have needed to ask permission from the borough council to demolish it. If they didn't do this they will have to rebuild it.
At one time it had a local listing as an example of Arts and Crafts architecture. The church authorities would have needed to ask permission from the borough council to demolish it. If they didn't do this they will have to rebuild it. klorane
  • Score: 0

3:38pm Sun 8 Jul 12

rufus_bolt says...

It was a single course concrete block building of weak construction. It had a congregation of about 4 on a busy weekend. It looks like the Church made the right choice - but the loss of any place of worship is emotive.
It was a single course concrete block building of weak construction. It had a congregation of about 4 on a busy weekend. It looks like the Church made the right choice - but the loss of any place of worship is emotive. rufus_bolt
  • Score: 0

4:00pm Sun 8 Jul 12

klorane says...

It achieved the listing only a few years ago, so I think it must have still had it, and anyway I don't know if you can remove a listing.
It achieved the listing only a few years ago, so I think it must have still had it, and anyway I don't know if you can remove a listing. klorane
  • Score: 0

1:18pm Mon 9 Jul 12

rufus_bolt says...

It had no listing at all.
It had no listing at all. rufus_bolt
  • Score: 0

6:37pm Mon 9 Jul 12

klorane says...

Well, it certainly did.
Well, it certainly did. klorane
  • Score: 0

11:02pm Mon 9 Jul 12

klorane says...

It's possible to apply for a review to have a listing removed, or it is for a national statutory listing. However this article mentions a review by the church authorities viz. their requirement for a building, not a review by the council, so I would guess the building was still listed when they demolished it.
It's possible to apply for a review to have a listing removed, or it is for a national statutory listing. However this article mentions a review by the church authorities viz. their requirement for a building, not a review by the council, so I would guess the building was still listed when they demolished it. klorane
  • Score: 0

8:39am Tue 10 Jul 12

rufus_bolt says...

The building was NEVER listed.
The building was NEVER listed. rufus_bolt
  • Score: 0

9:33am Tue 10 Jul 12

klorane says...

I don't know how you can be so sure it wasn't. I'm sure it was as I saw it on the borough council website. It can be removed if it is deemed to no longer be of sufficient architectural merit or interest, or demolished if its maintenance would be too costly. Both these instances are not mentioned in the article, and the presumption is against demolishing a listed building. I'm trying to get some more information about it.

It became listed after then Cllr Cecilia Morrison put through a petition from campaigners.
I don't know how you can be so sure it wasn't. I'm sure it was as I saw it on the borough council website. It can be removed if it is deemed to no longer be of sufficient architectural merit or interest, or demolished if its maintenance would be too costly. Both these instances are not mentioned in the article, and the presumption is against demolishing a listed building. I'm trying to get some more information about it. It became listed after then Cllr Cecilia Morrison put through a petition from campaigners. klorane
  • Score: 0

10:14am Tue 10 Jul 12

rufus_bolt says...

No it didn't. It was never a listed building.

To answer your question, how can you be so sure it was!

A few local oddballs suggested trying to get it listed when the Reverend Brian Nicholson brought up the thorny subject of demolition, but it never happened.

You can search yourself here:

http://list.english-
heritage.org.uk/
No it didn't. It was never a listed building. To answer your question, how can you be so sure it was! A few local oddballs suggested trying to get it listed when the Reverend Brian Nicholson brought up the thorny subject of demolition, but it never happened. You can search yourself here: http://list.english- heritage.org.uk/ rufus_bolt
  • Score: 0

10:30am Tue 10 Jul 12

rufus_bolt says...

If you are referring to it being LOCALLY LISTED, then yes it was.

However, the planning application to demolish it (BDB/74878) shows that 'conservation' had no issues with it being demolished, and B&DBC - who could have issues a BPN (Building Protection Notice) chose not to do so. So effectively local listing is worthless in terms of protecting a building, and totally irrelevant.

It is also noted that Oakley Parish Council (aka old people with pitchforks and the board self interest preservation society), had no comment on the matter - which is incredibly unusual for them.
If you are referring to it being LOCALLY LISTED, then yes it was. However, the planning application to demolish it (BDB/74878) shows that 'conservation' had no issues with it being demolished, and B&DBC - who could have issues a BPN (Building Protection Notice) chose not to do so. So effectively local listing is worthless in terms of protecting a building, and totally irrelevant. It is also noted that Oakley Parish Council (aka old people with pitchforks and the board self interest preservation society), had no comment on the matter - which is incredibly unusual for them. rufus_bolt
  • Score: 0

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