St Swithun’s Church

St Swithun’s Church
MGH Architects
Final Contract Value
Completion Date
December 2016

Project Brief

St Swithun’s Church is a Grade II listed heritage building, located in Retford, Nottinghamshire. First built in 1258, most of the building structure that remains visible today is due to restoration work that took place in 1658.

The church hosts a number of social gatherings such as weddings, funerals, christenings and other social functions, and as one of the three Anglican churches located in the Parish of Retford, St Swithun’s was in desperate need of further conservation work.

The renovations included the need to provide warmer meeting areas within the church to host social gatherings. To achieve this, it was decided to thermalize one of the interior enclaves so that when the church hosted small meetings and social gatherings, only this room would need to be heated instead of the whole church.

The essential solution

Contracted by Mark Goodwill-Hodgson Ltd, a specialist conservation architect, Essential Projects was asked to design and install a steel and glass structure that would help seal off an enclave from the main nave of the church, making it easier and more cost efficient to heat.

After visiting the site and accurately taking precise measurements, Essential Projects manufactured a glass and steel structure which rose from the flagstone flooring to the church roof. This structure was affixed to the ornate stone masonry and church pillars. This involved precise measuring of each curve and ledge to ensure the finished structure was well sealed, as well as consideration of the uneven flagstone flooring.

In order to replicate the structure required, MDF templates of each glass panel were made and prefixed to the masonry. This enabled the installer to take notes on any measurement changes that would be required on the final glass panels.

In total three glass panels used in the main arch and four used in the quad arch which also included a glass double door.

Stainless steel spider brackets were used to affix the glass panels to the masonry, in addition to silicone sealed joints that helped to maintain acoustics and ensure thermal insulation.

The church now has a warm and inviting enclave that is suitable for hosting ceremonies and community gatherings or events.


“I am very pleased with the service Essential Projects provided. Having previously worked with them on other church restorations, I knew they were perfect for the intricacies involved in this project. As always they delivered in timely and professional manner, and I have no hesitation in using Essential Projects on other projects that require the manufacture of bespoke metal and glasswork.”

Mark Goodwill-Hodgson, Owner, MGH Architects

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