Christopher Thompson of Furniture by Design
Holy Trinity Church, Minchinhampton is a grade 1 listed historic building which underwent a major reordering project between 2017 and 2018 during which time new boilers, heating, a beautiful new stone floor were installed and new stackable oak chairs purchased. This was a major project costing £800,000 which also involved an in depth archeological investigation into the original medieval church which lies beneath the floor. All of the work had to be planned with careful attention to the aesthetics and historical nature of the building.
On the advice of the architect, Antony Feltham-King, also the architect at Gloucester Cathedral, Chris Thompson was asked if he could look at making some furniture that the church needed which should be in keeping with the work being done. Antony had seen a sample of Chris’s work at a member of the Project Team’s house which led him to this advice. Chris was commissioned, in the first instance, to make 12 bespoke choir stands. Following the success of this work Chris was then asked to make a bespoke cupboard and a table for the Sacristy: a room where all of the church plate, robes and other items are stored. The unique design of this fitted cupboard which incorporates shelving, shelves, a drawer and space for a sink was carefully worked out by Chris in conjunction with the main users of this area. Similarly the two large storage cupboards in the main body of the church designed to accommodate 180 of the 300 chairs on trolleys taking stacks of 30 at a time.
Every piece that has been made by Chris and his colleagues at Furniture by Design has been expertly made with great attention to aesthetic and practical detail incorporating the finest materials: the oak choir stands were made from the same oak tree sourced from the Forest of Dean. Chris has been a pleasure to work with in terms of: his enthusiasm for and enjoyment of working with wood; his attention to detail; determination to get it just right and his ability to listen and interpret the needs of the client.
The church has many thousands of visitors attending services, concerts and simply enjoying a wander around a church which remains open in the day. The feedback regarding the changes to the building has been almost consistently positive and regarding the new furniture always consistently very positive. We thank Chris and his team for their major contribution to some major changes in this beautiful historic building in the heart of Minchinhampton. Please do come and see for yourselves the newly refurbished building and the beautiful bespoke furniture supplied by Furniture by Design.