History: St. George Church, Buckland
Around 2000 it became evident that the Parish, with a total Sunday Mass attendance of just 120 could no longer sustain the maintenance of its two church buildings. Following a diocesan review of the state of the buildings in 2001/02, revealing the need for much remedial work, a series of Parish meetings were held, a committee set up to examine the options, and, in July 2004, a Parish ballot held to choose which of the two churches will close and which will remain open and become the centre of our Parish worship.
The result of the Parish ballot was that we would recommend that the church of Bl. Hugh Faringdon would remain open. Bishop Crispian accepted this recommendation. Parish Masses at St. George, Buckland ended in June 2005, with Bishop Crispian celebrating the final Mass together with other local clergy on 29th June.
St. George’s church was sold in October 2005 and became a private chapel to Buckland House.
Regarding the refurbishment of Bl. Hugh Faringdon, Bishop Crispian requested that, in addition to the remedial work, a re-ordering of the sanctuary should be done to make it suitable as the centre of Parish worship for the foreseeable future. Thus a significant refurbishment of the church was planned, the cost being met by funds accumulated by the Parish from donations, together with some of the proceeds of the sale of St. George’s church, Buckland.
An architect was appointed to oversee the remedial and refurbishment work on the church and the hall. Detailed plans were drawn up and submitted to the Historic Churches Commission. The approval process was a long one, but eventually the proposal was agreed.
The buildings and refurbishment work, including a complete re-ordering of the church, and extensive upgrading of the hall, was carried out between April and November 2007, with the church re-opening for regular Masses on 4th November 2007.