Campaign to save Ryde’s St Michaels and All Angels Church

A campaign has been launched to save an historic Ryde church that is in danger of permanent closure.

Supporters of St Michaels and All Angels Church in Swanmore are hosting several events in the near future to try to save the church, which was built in 1857 and is cruciform in shape, with the central square tower nearly 90 feet high.

The painted ceiling in the Lady Chapel on the south side depicts the nine order of angels.
But despite its beauty, the church has been in sad decline.

Congregation numbers have fallen over the last decade, and the last full-time curate left 18 months ago. It was then overseen by the Canon of All Saints Church, who has now also moved on.

St Michael’s Ryde

The church is currently being opened and closed by a committee of local key holders and its future is being discussed at present with a proactive group about it becoming a festival church.

A Remembrance Day gathering will take place at the church on Saturday (November 10) from 10am until 2pm, and a Christmas songs and carols event will be staged on Saturday (December 15), from 3pm to 5pm.

Ryde Town Councillor, Karen Lucioni, a member of the campaign team, said: “The aspiration is to bring new life back to the site for the community, and support has been tremendous. We have the Remembrance Day celebration and a Christmas get-together planned, although currently no services can take place.

“Haylands and Dover Park Primary School pupils are making poppies to cascade down from the alter at the Remembrance Day event.”

The councillor added that the Royal British Legion has donated poppies, which each represent a name on the church’s role of honour – all names will be added to the Island’s new book of remembrance.