Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Sailors lend their support to church renovation

15 January 2016
Sailors from HMS Raleigh have lent their support to a project to renovate one of Plymouth’s oldest churches.

Five sailors from the training base in Torpoint spent the day at Stoke Damerel church helping to remove furnishing ready for renovations to begin.  

Stoke Damerel has embarked on a major fundraising campaign to re-order the church and create a modern versatile environment for community use.  

Work will start shortly to replace the flooring and heating systems, which will take approximately six months to complete.  In the meantime the congregation will use the adjacent centre to worship. More fundraising is required to replace the lighting.

The sailors work was overseen by church wardens Marilyn Goldsbrough and John Steere.

The church is really quite nice and has a lot of Navy history so it’s good for us to be involved and be helping out the community

Chef Submariner Mark Macaulay

Marilyn said: “We have an aging population in our congregation that are not able to lift. We are looking to grow our church to get a lot of younger people involved, but of course if we had younger people they’d all be at work.  

"The young people from Raleigh have done an immense community service because without their help we would have had extreme difficulty in shifting everything. It’s very stimulating for us all to work together.”

The church dates back to the 1300s and has strong links with the Royal Navy. Stoke Damerel expanded with the dockyard and the beams supporting the ceiling are timbers from ships. There are also a number of memorials to local people who have served in the Royal Navy and the Army dotted around the church.

Chef Submariner Mark Macaulay was one of the sailors lending a hand. He finished his professional training just before Christmas and will move to Faslane shortly to start his submarine qualification.  

He said: “My previous job was asbestos removal and demolition. There was a lot of heavy lifting in that, so I’m used to this type of work. We’re also used to working as a team because of our training. The church is really quite nice and has a lot of Navy history so it’s good for us to be involved and be helping out the community.”

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.