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Fonds de Rénovation
Acconnt Number: 18-3172-2
Work on the construction of St John’s designed by the famous Victorian architect, George Frederick Bodley began in 1875, and the church was dedicated on May 24th 1877. Since then there has been the addition of the side chapel towards the end of the 19th century as well as the porch…The decoration of the Lady Chapel and Chancel were fine examples of …..but over the years these were covered by different layers of paint and the original beauty of the building was lost.
In the latter half of the 20th century, the number of English-speaking residents in the area declined, and with it the congregation at St John’s. It was no longer possible to meet the expense of maintaining the fabric, and a leaking roof led to extensive rain damage within the church, and very nearly led to closure of St John’s. It was at this time that a renovation committee led by Mrs Marian Green looked for ways of raising money, first of all to pay for a new roof, and then to restore the interior of the church to its original beauty. It was clear from the beginning that the restoration could not be funded by the congregation alone, so it was thanks to Marian’s tireless efforts that donations came in from many local benefactors, including the Commune de Montreux, Les Monuments Historiques du canton de Vaud, Nestlé, La Société Vaudoise d’Aide Sociale et Culturelle (Loterie Romande), and the ‘Friends of St John’s’. However the first step, funding the replacement of the roof, was nothing less than a miracle. A painting of the Madonna and Child, which had hung in Church House for over 50 years and was thought to be a copy of an old master turned out to be an original work by the Italian renaissance artist, Andrea Previtali (1470-1528) The proceeds of sale by auction of the painting at Southerby's in London provided the bulk of the funding needed for a new roof in 1995, and thereby saved the church from closure.
a copy of the painting now hangs in church to remind us that miracles really happen!
Much more remains to be done, not only to remove the traces of rain damage in other parts of the church but also restore our unique 19th century Anglo-Swiss Organ. Once again we look for funding from organisations dedicated to the protection of our listed monument, part of our Anglo-Swiss heritage.