Benefice of Ropley, Bishop’s Sutton and West Tisted

Frequently Asked Questions about the Situation

My question is not answered here

For questions related to St Peter’s Church Ropley or the fire, and not answered here, please email

Is it known what started the fire?

One of the first people into the building was a forensic officer. Unfortunately he was unable to reach a definitive conclusion on the cause of the fire, and stated this in his report, “due to the severe and extensive nature of the damage, there was no remaining physical evidence to assist in determining precisely where the fire originated within the church or its cause”.

I would like to see what’s happened to St Peter’s – can I visit the church?

The area immediately surrounding the church remains dangerous and is surrounded by a security fence.  The majority of the churchyard is open and can be visited at any time. Please keep children under close supervision and away from the security fencing.

What has happened to the Church’s valuable silver?

Certain historical items of silverware, because of their high value, were secured in a bank vault and are safe.

I was married at St Peter’s – what has happened to the record of my wedding?

Duplicate wedding records are lodged by the church with the Registrar of Marriages.

I was christened in St Peter’s – is that still recorded somewhere?

There is provision to rebuild the records from other sources outside of the destroyed church records.

7. My parents ashes are buried in the churchyard – is there a record of their location?

There are complete records of the places of burial and cremated remains.

8. What has happened to the marble War Memorial tablets? / How much of the organ has survived?

Both War Memorial tablets were damaged – one much worse than the other. There is effectively nothing remaining of the organ.

Is there a good record of the contents of the church?

Yes. There is a complete record of the church contents.

Are the bells still in place and are they salvageable?

The bells have been removed and taken to secure storage offsite. Two were significantly damaged by the heat and fire-fighting water – one of them will almost certainly have to be recast.

What about the embroidered kneelers that so many villagers contributed?

Unfortunately all of the kneelers were destroyed in the fire. There are, however, pictures of all of them. There has been enormous interest in making new kneelers for the Church. The original ones were designed by Rosemary Bray, & sewn by a wide range of parishioners to commemorate family or village events, and many people will want to contribute in some way to replace them. Royston has asked us to delay until we know how the Church will look when rebuilt or restored, as this will affect the design/numbers needed.

How can I donate money to assist in the rebuilding?

Please see this page

I would like to run a charity event in aid of the rebuild. Who do I contact?

For any questions relating to fundraising events, please contact Andy Bonner

Was the church insured?

The church was covered by insurance and the Diocese is liaising closely with the insurers.

When do you expect the church to be rebuilt?

Now that structural surveys have been largely completed significant progress has been made by our appointed architects. A number of statutory bodies have to be consulted prior to any design decisions being finalised so it is not possible to speculate on a start date at this point.

Can the remaining structure be incorporated into any rebuild?

Due to the extensive structural damage – much of which is not visible from outside the church – it has taken a significant time to determine how much of the remaining structure can be used. This work is ongoing.

Will any of the remaining rubble e.g. slates be available as mementos?

Nothing can be taken from the site without the permission of the insurers.

With the church destroyed, where are services being held?

Regular services are now held in Ropley Parish Hall – about 200 yards downhill from the Church. There is plenty of parking and facilities are good.