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Vicar hides Victorian tiles in his church

A Lancashire vicar has carpeted his church despite opposition from the Victorian Society.

Grade II listed buildings are prevented from making significant changes to their structure, but this does not apply to the floor coverings. The vicar of St Lawrence Church in Barton decided that he wanted to cover the church floor in carpet because he thought that soft flooring would make the church more accessible for children.

The original floor is covered with tiles made by Minton, a decorated tile manufacturer from the Victorian era. St Lawrence Church was built in 1896 and designed by Richard Knill Freeman, who specified the use of Minton tiles.

The Victorian Society argued that the tiles should not be covered up. Instead, it suggested that children could be provided with mats to sit on. These could be easily removed when children were not present.

The Team Rector of St Lawrence, Stephen Cooper and the churchwardens presented a petition for covering the tiles to the Consistory Court of the Blackburn Diocese. John Bullimore, the Chancellor of the Court, ruled in favour of the carpet and went against the wishes of the Victorian Society. He concluded in his judgement making the building welcoming and comfortable to children was more important than displaying the decorative tiles.

Unlike St Lawrence church, for many public areas, carpets are not the best choice for covering floors. Nonslip floors that are durable and easy to maintain can offer the best solid flooring in Cheshire, Lancashire and other public areas in the North West.

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