Church choir stalls and stands renewed

The new oak choir stalls and stands at a church in Rotherfield Greys were created by a man who was married there.

Cabinet maker Bradley Visser, 31, who lives in Stoke Row, married his wife Annabel in St Nicholas Church three years ago, shortly before the old furniture was removed.

Freestanding oak two-seater benches and three-seater benches have replaced the old benches which dated from the Norman times, and a distinctive Rector’s chair and prayer desk have also been created as part of the project.

In 2009 Mr Visser, who set up White Rose Cabinet Makers in Stoke Row with his late father-in-law, created a stand to hold the cross carried into the church before each service

Money was raised for the £20,000 project by a concert which raised more than £3,000, private subscriptions, a plant sale and other donations.

NEW oak choir stalls and stands have been installed at St Nicholas Church in Rotherfield Greys.

Master craftsman Bradley Visser, from Stoke Row, was commissioned to make the replacements.

Mr Visser and his wife Annabel Ward were married at the church in 2009 immediately before the old furniture was removed because it was suffering from dry rot. The £20,000 replacement project also included a distinctive rector’s chair and a prie-dieu.

Mr Visser, 31, said it was essential that the new pieces were appropriate and sympathetic to the church, which dates back to Norman times.

This entailed a long and detailed design process in which many drawings were submitted and considered before the final designs were agreed and given permission by the Oxford diocese.

Mr Visser said he was delighted with the new four two-seater benches and four three-seater benches, all of which are freestanding.

In 2009, he made a stand to hold the cross carried into church before services. Previously it had been fixed to the former choir stalls.

Money for the project came from a concert that raised more than £3,000, private subscriptions, a plant sale and donations from parishioners.

The church’s chancel floor has also been renewed and the electrics modernised.

Mr Visser and his late father-in-law set up White Rose Cabinet Makers in Stoke Row in 2010.

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