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Project background


Proposed Holiday Accommodation in Turnastone Church

The parish church of St Mary Magdalene in Turnastone is part of the Herefordshire Churches Tourism Group’s Virtuous Circles project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to design and develop overnight visitor accommodation within a church building, whilst retaining and sustaining the space for regular worship. See the article "Pods and Pews" by Wendy Coombey and Tim Bridges in Historic Churches magazine.

The Turnastone project was a national pilot, proposing the installation of a low-energy and reversible holiday accommodation unit in the nave at St. Mary’s. The project aimed ultimately to generate revenue to safeguard the future upkeep of the historic fabric, and to encourage a wider spectrum of visitors to enjoy the benefits of peaceful time spent in this beautiful medieval building located in the heart of the "Golden Valley".

Through the design the project included well-appointed overnight accommodation space, along with supporting facilities that would be shared by the congregation who worship at Turnastone, improving the comfort, convenience and continued enjoyment of the space for all. It proposes an innovative, low-energy and low-impact solution, introducing a complementary new use into a historic church in order to generate revenue, and take a positive step toward financial sustainability.

Progress to date: Design architects Connolly Wellingham along with Project Manager Sam Hine were appointed in 2019. They worked closely with a Steering Group that included representatives of Vowchurch and Turnastone PCC, the Diocese of Hereford, Herefordshire Churches Tourism Group and the Churches Conservation Trust. Various design concepts have been discussed and outline proposals were agreed by the PCC in July 2020. A full Faculty Application was submitted to the diocese in February 2021. Ongoing project reports can be accessed through the links below. Sam left us for another position and we welcomed Liz Mackay to help drive the project forward from July 2021.

For further information, including more details of the designs, please use the "Contact us" button above.