Restoration Update

Many of you will be aware that little work has been carried out recently. There are two reasons for this. As planned, the void below the nave was filled with hardcore and then concrete laid. Nothing else could be done until the concrete had set firmly.

The original plan was to complete the work in the nave and deal with the chancel later. However, the second reason for the delay was that the excavations up to the boundary of the chancel revealed a retaining brick wall in rather poor condition and tree roots penetrating through towards the nave. These roots come from trees on the east side of the church building. As those who have taken communion will be aware there was evidence of subsidence, especially in the chancel area close to the altar rail. It became clear that this area had to be dealt with now, rather than delay as originally planned.

Talks have been held with the DAC (Diocesan Advisory Committee), various experts and structural engineers as the best way to proceed. The DAC has to approve the action to betaken to start the work in this area. The choir stalls and pulpit will need to be removed, and then the tiles carefully lifted and removed to expose the area underneath. The tiles are of considerable importance in returning the chancel to, as close as possible, the original state. It is important that the patterned tiles are rescued with as little damage as possible, as these would be very difficult to replace. Suitable tiles can be sourced to replace any plain tiles that are damaged in the process. Once all the tiles have been lifted the next stage of work can be assessed and agreed following discussions with the DAC, church architect and structural engineer. At this stage it is uncertain whether the organ will need to be removed.

Quotes are also being obtained for the complete redecoration of the church, which ideally should be completed before the pews are returned.

Melvyn Bradshaw (Church Warden)