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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 March 2008, 08:15 GMT
Pew plan sparks conservation row
St Edmund's in Mansfield Woodhouse
The church has been heavily remodelled throughout its history
A Nottinghamshire church is at the centre of a conservation row over plans to modernise its interior.

Rev Allan Scriviner has said he wants to create a more flexible space for worship at St Edmund's Church in Mansfield Woodhouse.

But this means the removal of a number of antique mahogany "poppy head" pews, believed to be unique in the area.

The Victorian Society and English Heritage have lodged objections, saying the pews should be preserved.

There has been a place of worship on the site since at least the 11th century but the building has been regularly rebuilt.

'Sympathetic development'

Modernisation work to install a toilet, a kitchen and disabled access would mean a third of the pews would be reused to create a screen at the back of the church.

Each pew has an individual, hand-carved, stylised poppy head on the end.

Mr Scriviner said the church was being reasonable: "It tries to respond to the age in which it finds itself, not just maintain a monument from a previous age.

"But that is where we feel ours is a sympathetic development, in that a substantial amount of the previous ages' developments will still be kept exactly as they are."

The plan is currently being considered by the diocese authorities.

Minster restoration work finished
19 Mar 08 |  Nottinghamshire

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