First clean in decades at Ipswich St Clement's church

Cleaning St Clement's

Specialist cleaners from Shirley Shelley have been at work at St Clement's church. - Credit: David Vincent

One of the best-known churches in Ipswich has had its biggest internal clean for more than 25 years as it prepares to welcome more visitors in its new role as an arts centre.

St Clement's Church is near the Waterfront and the University of Suffolk and has recently had a new floor installed to make it more attractive as an arts venue.

St Clements church

St Clement's church in Ipswich is being converted into an arts centre. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

It is now raising money in a bid to install public toilets but is seeing an increase in the number of bookings it is getting for events.

Now The Ipswich Historic Churches Trust has brought in professional cleaners to give the top of its walls their first deep clean in 50 years.

Some parts were cleaned when the roof was replaced after the fire in 1995 but this was the first time the whole inside was cleaned since that restoration.

Cleaning St Clement's

Specialist cleaners from Shirley Shelley have been at work at St Clement's church. - Credit: David Vincent

Last week a specialist team from Shirley Shelley Industrial Cleaners was in the church with ladders and extendable brushes to get to all those difficult places.

The church is in the care of the Ipswich Historic Churches Trust and chairman Peter Brooks said: “This is probably the first time it has been done in more than 25 years. We are absolutely delighted with the result. It is a big step forward for us bringing it back into use.”

The historic church is one of the largest performance/events spaces in Ipswich town centre and it is now easily accessible following the installation of a marine style timber floor, on a single level.

Peter Brooks. in St Clement's church

Peter Brooks in St Clement's church - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The team from the Ipswich-based commercial cleaners completed a high level clean, reaching the vaulted roof and upper windows, the first time it had been done in decades.

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Peter Brooks added: "This is another important step forward in bringing this beautiful building back in use. There were an awful lot of spiders' webs and also dust up there. It is looking great now.

"We are getting a lot of interest from people who want to use this building. We do need grants and donations to make it happen though, and sooner rather than later."

St Clement's floor

St Clement's has a new floor to make it more accessible. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Another £100,000 is needed to install the toilets because as well as the toilets a new water supply and sewerage needs to brought to that area of the church.