A RESTORATION of the chancel has taken place at Hentland’s St Dubricius Church.

The church of St Dubricius over the past five years has carried out a comprehensive restoration of the chancel decoration, which will delight those who have not already seen it.

The original, dated 1853, was a very rare work of the architect John Pollard Seddon (1827-1906), whose main oeuvre was as an architect, including the design of the Grade I listed St Catherine’s Hoarwithy in the same parish.

The whole programme, which cost nearly £200,000, in addition to the revival of the decoration, included a new roof, complete dismantling and rebuilding of the 1869 J W Walker organ and improved drainage, was mainly covered by a grant from Heritage Lottery of £115,000, Hereford Cathedral under its historic Chancel Repair Liability, the Jordan Charitable Foundation and the parish’s own resources.

The time the project took much longer than scheduled, which had been estimated at being between four to six months.

In the event Covid-19 appeared along with its associated lockdowns preventing anyone being allowed near the place, except for the presence of a family of bats nesting and raising their young in the chancel roof.

The church is required by law to inform Natural England who came at once and confirmed that as a protected species, the bats must be left totally undisturbed to live and raise their young, except two five-week periods in April/May and October/November. This meant that the project took over two years.

To mark this restoration the Musical and Amicable Society bring their period instruments to Hentland on Saturday 15th June to perform Fiddlers Three, a programme of pieces by several composers of the period, some well-known, others less so.

musical group
CONCERT: The Musical and Amicable Society will be performing Fiddlers Three on Saturday, June 15. (Submitted)

The three fiddlers each have a solo number of brilliant virtuosity, while the other instruments, including a guitar, bass viol, harpsichord and spinet all have a chance to show off solo or in ensemble. Among the composers featured are Henry Purcell (1659-1695), John Jenkins (1592-1678), Gottfried Finger (1655-1730), Thomas Baltzar (1631-1663) and Lambert Peitkin (1613-1696). The concert has been generously funded by the Alan Cadbury Charitable Trust.

Fiddlers Three is at 7.30pm on Saturday 15th June at St Dubricius Church HR9 6LP. Tickets are £20 each (free to under 18s and full-time students) available from amicables.co.uk  and on the door. There is a glass of wine or other refreshment and canapés in the interval. Enquiries 01989 730439.