Holy Trinity Church, Buckfastleigh was closed for worship for over two years in the mid 1840s for what was considered at the time – a long overdue restoration.
The local press of the time made little out of the reopening ceremonies at the church on Thursday, 23 July 1846 but the ultra-Protestant newspaper – the Plymouth and Devonport Weekly Journal, of 23 July 1846 reported (rather scathingly) :
BUCKFASTLEIGH. – The parish church of this place has just been repaired at an expense of £1,300 – and will be opened today by the Reverend Prebendaries Woollcombe and Luney. The interior of the church has been fitted with open seats, and has a new open roof. It has also been provided with a new “altar”; and the steeple, which has for the last 120 years, according to tradition, been in a damaged state, has been raised.
This has all be done partly by subscription, and partly by the mortgage of the church lands, on which £900 has been raised. The appropriation of a fund left for the purposes of the poor, as well as for the repair of the church, will have a serious effect upon those who have no power to help themselves. For some years the poor have been in the habit of receiving considerable assistance out of the funds arising from the church lands of the parish; but these funds are now mortgaged, and will probably remain so for generations to come. The parishioners do not appear to have had anything to do with this part of the arrangement, the trustees of the charity having thus appropriated the money on their own authority.