Hiring the Abbey for a Celebration or Banquet

Thank you for your interest in booking for your celebration.  We have regular bookings for Abbey dinners, including the annual Mayors and Chairs dinner, and have an increasing number of personal celebrations from people wanting a more unusual space to host their friends, some with organ or string quartet recitals. For a more active evening, some have organised a ceilidh – a country dancing band with everyone joining in.

For smaller celebrations we have the more intimate space of the Abbey Guest House Upper Room, which comes with its own kitchen.

Venue Spaces

Here is a to scale floor plan of the Abbey, which you can use to plan a dinner in the West End of the Abbey.

The West End

est endAn open area without pews, the West End of the Abbey can easily be set up as a banqueting area, seating up to 100 around tables for dinner.

The Abbey has 170 chairs available to hirers which can be flexibly arranged to allow for different styles of celebration .  Small performance groups can easily be accommodated on the People’s Chapel steps.

The Guest House Upper Room

GuestHouse8This upstairs space is extremely versatile and has a beautiful high vaulted and beamed ceiling. The room dimensions are: 5m wide, 10m length, 3.2m height to the first roof beam (roof void is above this). The capacity is between 30-40 seated and 70-80 standing.

The room can be used with different layouts for parties, receptions and celebrations – either standing, or laid out with individual tables and chairs.

Hirers have use of six 6’x 2’, two 2′ x 2′ tables and 40 chairs, there is also a piano and a large serving table. There is heating, a kitchen and toilets on the floor below.

Facilities and Support

Instruments and Music Stands

The Abbey has a very good grand piano (Yamaha), recently rebuilt Walker organ (with over 2000 pipes and the latest computer-assisted registration changes) and a chamber organ, which can all be hired for a reasonable rates and an electric piano that can be used free of charge. Hirers must bring their own music stands.  It is not possible to move the grand piano to the West End of the Abbey.

Concert & Event Managers

Charlotte009The Abbey provides a volunteer Concert Manager to assist all hirers during the period of their event at the Abbey. The Concert Manager meets the hirer on arrival to ensure that organisers have access to all they need for the set-up period, then remains on call during the rehearsal period, and looks after the venue at the concert/event.

Sound system

The Abbey has a state-of-the art sound system, including lapel, hand-held and lectern microphones, all included in the hire. With notice we can also set up an additional 12 microphones but these may require the hirer to pay for set up and sound management for the event.  CDs may also be played over the system.

Abbey Kitchen

At the back of the Abbey behind the West End of the Nave. This area is suitable for serving but is not a fully equipped kitchen and does not have an oven just a warming cupboard.

Guest House Kitchen

This is next to the Upper Room in the Guest House and has a cooker, sink and fridge and 40 covers of crockery and cutlery.


The Abbey has recently finished a complete refurbishment of its lighting system, providing us with modern, controllable and efficient lighting which enhances the building.  Replacing the old sodium lights in the building with over 200 modern LED lights has transformed the way that the Abbey looks at all times of day and the new lights are much more controllable, through simple one button settings on a wall pad and also through an iPhone app, providing us with the capability to switch on and dim any light for an event or service.
Customised lighting for specific events must be requested and arranged in advance