Streat Church, Streat
THE STORY OF STREAT CHURCH
Streat Church (Streat Lane, Streat, BN6 8RU) stands on the greensand ridge just south of the nearby Roman road and was, in its original form, begun soon after the compilation of the Domesday Book, to replace two Saxon churches, and almost certainly on the site of one of them.
Streat Church stands on the greensand ridge just south of the nearby Roman road and was, in its original form, begun soon after the compilation of the Domesday Book, to replace two Saxon churches, and almost certainly on the site of one of them. At first it consisted of the present nave. Two pieces of it remain - the north wall and the core of the west one. It had two Norman doorways, one where the door now is, and the other in the south wall exactly opposite, where the arch to the south aisle now stands.
There was probably a porch to the north door, though not the one which is now there. The chancel was added in the 13th century. Of this the south wall remains. It may have replaced an earlier apse. About the same time it became customary to dedicate churches to saints or aspects of the godhead. For some reason Streat did not follow the fashion.
Since many of the windows in the present church are Victorian, how it was lighted is a matter of conjecture. No doubt there was an east and a west window, and one in the south wall. In addition there was a lancet window where the present window is, in the south wall of the chancel. In the sixteenth century some changes took place. A wooden altar replaced the stone one and a lectern and Bible as well as a pulpit were introduced. Subsequently there were minor additions and alterations.
The first restoration of the Church was commenced between 1840-1850 by the Reverend W.A.FitzHugh, Rector, who lengthened the Chancel and put in East and South windows. In 1854 a thorough restoration of the remainder of the building took place. The West Gallery (approached by external brick stairs) and tumbledown high pews were removed. The South Aisle, North Porch, several windows and new pews were added. In 1882 the burial place or Dormitory of the Dobell and Lane families, on the North of the Chancel of the Church, was connected with the Chancel by an arch and partitioned by a wooden screen for a Vestry.
Some other alterations were likewise made in the body of the Church, namely the Pulpit raised and its position altered, choir seats remodelled and the Font placed on a stone plinth.
When exactly the tower was built is unknown, but the Church had one bell, dated 1520. In 1900, found to be cracked, it was recast and replaced by the present three bells. Of note is the large iron slab in the floor of the nave below the Chancel step which was made in Kent and is the largest in England weighing about one ton. It is a memorial for members of the Gott family.
In recent times, the south aisle has been re-ordered to provide adaptable use of the space primarily for the Children's Church.
ACCESS FOR DISABLED PEOPLE
It is the fervent wish of Streat Church to make everyone feel welcome both in the church and in the activities of the church.
Every possible effort has been made to meet the requirements of disabled people so that they may share in all aspects of church life. With regret, however, there are some areas where this is not yet possible. This is due in large part to the church being an ancient Grade 1 listed building which is not easily adaptable. We hope, in due course, to raise funds to meet those requirements which are currently not available.
We hope these notes will help anyone with a disability to enjoy being part of the life of Streat Church.
FOR THOSE WITH A PHYSICAL DISABILITY
Wheelchair access is possible by parking just off Streat Lane (Post Code BN6 8RU) and approaching via the Lychgate.
Please open both gates outwards.
The first step is about 6” but the next three steps are only 4” and have ample distance between each of them for a wheelchair to rest.
The path is smooth, and at the top of the gentle incline access to the church is through the main entrance door whenever the church is open, with a 1” step.
Access to the chancel is reached by a step and so we regret that this is not easily possible.
At Eucharist Services the Vicar is happy to bring communion to anyone who cannot gain access to the chancel.
For seating within the church, sidesmen will guide you to the best place for a wheelchair.
Those with moderate walking or sitting difficulties may find the pews difficult to sit in. There is unrestricted leg room in the pew against the south wall or, alternatively, chairs are available.
At present there is no toilet, but plans are well advanced to build a new disabled toilet in what is now the Vestry. This will be accessible from outside the church. At the same time, improvements will be made to the step at the Lychgate.
There are no disabled parking spaces reserved, but if you would like to advise the Churchwarden in advance, we can reserve you a location close to the Lychgate.
FOR THOSE WITH A VISUAL IMPAIRMENT
The sidesmen will help you to find an area of the Church where the lighting is the most suitable for you.
FOR THOSE WITH A HEARING IMPAIRMENT
The church is fitted with an induction-loop system which is in use at all services.
Anyone experiencing problems with the loop system during a service should speak to the sidesmen.
FOR THOSE WITH LEARNING DIFFICULTIES
Anyone with a learning disability is most welcome in the church.
They should make use of any of the above listed facilities which may be helpful.
If there is any other problem in accessing information, they or their companion should speak to the sidesmen or the Vicar or Churchwardens.
ACCESS TO OFFSITE CHURCH ACTIVITIES
Some church activities or meetings are held in other venues, including private homes. Disabled people are most welcome on such occasions, but we cannot guarantee that all private homes will have the necessary facilities.
Most such activities are ‘advertised’ well in advance, either in the Beacon or in the weekly service sheet, usually with a contact telephone number. We would strong advise anyone requiring special facilities to contact the number to establish whether or not these are available.
If anyone has any suggestions for improving our existing facilities for disabled people please contact the Parish Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact one of the church wardens.