Charles Hodgson Fowler  

1908 - 1910

 

Considerable changes were to be made during the twentieth century, which would transform the Gilbert Scott church and give it the appearance that we see today.   The architect chosen was Mr. Charles Hodgson Fowler of Durham, and the cost was  estimated at £3000.   The church was to be considerably enlarged and extended at the east end.   The east wall was to be taken down and rebuilt to make a much larger chancel.  The faculty for the alterations specified that each dressed stone was to be numbered to help in the erection of the new east wall.   A new side chapel at the end of the south aisle was to be made, and on the north side there was to be a new organ chamber and new clergy and choir vestries.   The long awaited north aisle was to be built, and the font moved from the west end of the nave to the west end of the north aisle.

 

A daunting task lay ahead.   Amid all of the alterations allowance had to be made for the continuation of public worship.   Most of the internal fittings were to be carefully removed for reuse in the new building, with special attention being given to the stained glass windows, in particular the large east window.   In April 1909 the "Chronicle" reported that St. Nicholas would have to be closed for public worship as the building work had now reached a critical stage.   Finally, in 1910, the alterations were completed, and, on 10th March 1910 a crowded congregation assembled to witness the Consecration of the transformed St. Nicholas.   The service was conducted by Bishop Charles Corfe, the first Bishop of Korea, who officiated in the absence of the Bishop of Lincoln, Dr. Edward King who, sadly, had died two days earlier.  The Church of the 1840's had been enlarged on an extensive scale and "it had become the building which we still cherish today" wrote Henry Wilson in his history of St. Nicholas in 1987.