St. Stephen’s Church is a 1000-year old consecrated building in the heart of Exeter. During its lifetime, it has survived the Norman Conquest, the Reformation, the English civil war and the Blitz of 1942.
It has been repaired countless times (not always sympathetically) and remains as a beacon of continuity in the centre of a modern city.
With the regeneration of the city centre, the church decided it was time to bring St. Stephen's into the 21st century with extensive repairs and upgrades to basic facilities, creating a unique community space amidst the bustle of the city. Five phases of work were required in order to meet the project aims, and also to give time for the church to raise the vast sums needed to renovate this old building (full funding was only achieved in early July 2012). Included in the phases were roof and tower repairs, internal community facilities, disabled access and even the exploration of a Saxon crypt!
Donations from parishioners and the general public went a long way to securing valuable funding, but it was the award from Viridor Credits that really allowed the project to go one step further than basic repairs, creating a modern, accessible space for worship and community activities. Included in the works was an interactive history of St. Stephen's and Exeter, as well as a Heritage Centre in the bow.
On 19th July 2012 the vision of St. Stephen's Project was realised, and the Church was formally opened to the general public.