Millennium Plaque Unveiling at Wareham’s Historic St Martin On The Walls Church

Millennium Plaque Unveiling at Wareham’s Historic St Martin On The Walls Church

PRESS RELEASE – 16/05/2022

A Millennium Plaque to celebrate the 1000-year anniversary of Wareham’s St Martin on the Walls Church is to be unveiled on Wednesday 1st June 2022, at 12.00pm at the Church, North Street, Wareham, BH20 4AG. The plaque has been designed and carved by local Sculptor, Jonathan Sells, and depicts the famous story of St Martin cutting his cloak to share with a beggar.

The plaque is carved in Purbeck Stone supplied from W.J Haysom stone quarry, St Aldhelm’s Head, Worth Matravers, Dorset. All are welcome to attend the unveiling and it has great educational value for the community.

St Martin’s Church has stood on the walls witnessing 1000 years of the history of Britain from the time of King Canute. He is reported to have rebuilt the church in 1020 after an earlier place of worship at the site, believed to have been built by St Aldhelm in the 7th century, was destroyed by Vikings.

The millennium anniversary of St Martin’s is therefore an important occasion for the community of Wareham. The idea for the plaque came about when local resident, Malcolm Lewis, who helps run the not-for-profit initiative Art4Action, noticed the little sign on the tower while out on a walk with his family during the first lockdown in 2020. The sign gives the Church’s probable construction date as 1020. He said: “I thought a sign should be erected to mark our fantastic Saxon church’s 1000-year anniversary, so I contacted a member of the Wareham Church of England family about organising it. However, they told me that while they had planned to have a little celebration party that year, there was no budget to pay for a stone plaque.”

So, just before Christmas 2020, through the second of their Art4Action auctions that year, they managed to raise a substantial portion of the funds needed to pay for a plaque, alongside a number of other important causes for the local parish. One of the other causes was to raise funds for the homeless, and the reason for this lies in the history of the Church.

Malcolm Lewis, had previously stated in a 2020 Art4Action article “St Martin would have been very important to the people of Wareham from Saxon times right up until the late Middle Ages, as he was across Europe. So it’s not surprising that our earliest church was dedicated to him. St Martin lived between around AD 316 and 397. When he was a Roman soldier, he one day saw a freezing beggar in the street. He cut his cloak in two, and gave half to the beggar. Afterwards he had a dream that the beggar was actually Jesus, and the experience was life-changing. Martin became a Christian and resigned from the army. He later became Bishop of Tours in France.”

In 1760 Wareham had its own Great Fire, similar in proportion to the great fire of London. It was during this time that St Martin’s Church housed the homeless people of the town for 2 years.

The Sculptor, Jonathan Sells, has lived and worked in Corfe Castle for 35 years. Jonathan has produced a number of public pieces locally and is probably best known in Wareham for his Cottees Auctioneers Statue, created as a double celebration of 700 years of Wareham Market and 100 years of Cottees Auctioneers. He also has public sculptures in Christchurch, in the Priory Gardens; in Bournemouth, outside the BIC, in Plymouth, Somerset (Highbridge) and London (Queen Mary University Hospital).

Jonathan also has an extensive record of teaching Stone Carving and working with disadvantaged groups and those with disabilities. As someone who has lived with cerebral palsy and hearing impairment all his life, he has a passion for helping others to develop their confidence in the creative sphere.

Speaking about his opportunity to design and create the Millennium Plaque for St Martin’s Church, Jonathan said that it was “a great honour to create something to commemorate a church of such importance to Wareham, with such benevolence in its history, both with being named after St Martin, and it’s assistance for the homeless during the Great Fire.”

Stone Carving Gift Vouchers – 1 or 2 Day Lessons

Adult stone carving gift voucher. for Dorset stone carving lessons

(N.B I can also travel to you to teach! Download my stone carving leaflet here for more information)


Join Jonathan Sells for 1 or 2 days of stone carving tuition. Buy a voucher as a gift, or why not treat yourself?

These are practical, friendly stone carving lessons, enabling you to create your own relief carving.

Each day takes place at Sandy Hill Studios, Corfe Castle BH20 5JF, from 10am to 4pm.

N.B. Vouchers are valid for 1 year from date of purchase and are redeemable against scheduled courses only. Vouchers are available for adults and children.

NEW LESSON DATES TO BE CONFIRMED, AS THEY ARE SUBJECT TO COVID-19 RULES.


Facilities

We have a kettle and a microwave, or you might want to bring a cup-a-soup.

Wear warm clothes and/or you can work indoors too.

You might also want to bring some fingerless gloves.


Directions: Turn into Sandy Hill Lane from Corfe, and take the first right to the Boilerhouse Gallery, just after the bridge. Drive up the track and turn left, just before the bungalow. You will see Sandy Hill Studios ahead of you (right behind the Boilerhouse Gallery).

Prices

1 Day: Adult: £80 | 2 Days: Adult: £145 (save £15)

1 Day: Child: £55 | 2 Days: Child: £95 (save £15) (N.B. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult)


Booking & payment

There are three ways you can book and pay:-

  1. Pay securely via PayPal (below), using your debit or credit card. N.B.  We will post your voucher to you within 2-3 business days after payment (excluding Bank Holidays). This will be sent 1st Class, Signed For. IMPORTANT – please make sure that we have an up-to-date email address for you, plus your phone number. Please also let us know who the voucher is for, and we’ll need their contact details too. Once you have received the voucher check the website for new lesson dates and contact Jonathan to book.
  2. Pay direct by bank transfer to a/c number 62054272, sort code 40:37:36. Account name is: Jonathan Sells t/as Jonathan Living-Stone. Please use your surname as a reference if you’re paying this way. N.B. We will post your voucher to you within 7 business days after payment (excluding Bank Holidays). This will be sent 1st Class, Signed For. IMPORTANT – please make sure that we have a postal address for you, plus your email and phone number. Please also let us know who the voucher is for, and we’ll need their contact details too. Once you have received the voucher check the website for new lesson dates and contact Jonathan to book.

T: 01929 480978 | M: 07749 667120 or info@jonathan-sells.com


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Stone Carving Lesson, Sunday 8th March 2020

Stone Carving Lesson, Sunday 8th March 2020

Join Jonathan Sells for a day of stone carving tuition.  This is a practical, friendly stone carving lesson, enabling you to create your own relief carving.

The day takes place from 10am to 4pm, at Sandy Hill Studios, Corfe Castle BH20 5JF. If the weather is nice we can carve outside, but if it’s cold we’ll be inside.


Facilities

We have a kettle and a microwave, or you might want to bring a cup-a-soup.

Wear warm clothes and/or you can work indoors too.

You might also want to bring some fingerless gloves.


The lesson takes place at Sandy Hill Studios, Corfe Castle, BH20 5JF.

Directions: Turn into Sandy Hill Lane from Corfe, and take the first right to the Boilerhouse Gallery, just after the bridge. Drive up the track and turn left, just before the bungalow. You will see Sandy Hill Studios ahead of you (right behind the Boilerhouse Gallery).

Prices

1 Day: Adult: £70 | Child: £45


Booking & payment

There are two ways you can book and pay:-

  • Pay securely via PayPal, using your debit or credit card. (IMPORTANT – please make sure that we have an up-to-date email address for you, plus your phone number). 
  • Pay direct by bank transfer to a/c number 62054272, sort code 40:37:36. Account name is: Jonathan Sells t/as Jonathan Living-Stone. (IMPORTANT – please use your surname as a reference. Also, please email or ring to say who you are and the date(s) you want to book. I will also need your contact phone number).

T: 01929 480978 | M: 07749 667120 or info@jonathan-sells.com


 

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Stone Carving Lessons – March 2020
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