A SCAFFOLD TOUR FEBRUARY 5th, 2018
On a beautiful clear day parishioners could see at first hand the extensive renovation works being undertaken by the Churches Conservation Trust in which the church is now vested. The six story scaffolding is an outstanding feature of the project: inside a skeleton and outside an exoskeleton. The marvel was that neither touched the building at any point, nor were any attachments of any kind allowed, yet both were as strong and unmoving as if they had been made of brick. The structure has allowed stonemasons close access to walls and roof, working secure and unhindered as if they were at ground level. Many people find ladders wobbly and unnerving to climb: these were rock solid and fixed, allaying the fears of even the most cautious.
Walkways and safety barriers might have been the ramparts of a castle such was their strength and security. The whole was a tribute to the scaffold designer, a specialist in his profession. Climbing to the top brought wonderful views of the local countryside and those parts of the church normally well out of sight. At the very top lead work bore the outlines of the shoes of workmen who, many years before, had also made repairs.
At this level damage and weathering to walls, ornaments, gargoyles, crosses, etc, and repairs made were clear to see. One section of new mullion had been beautifully remade.
Inside the church a plasterer was at work, pews and treasured items were well covered for protection. The whole project is an extraordinary one, exciting to see and we look forward to its completion.
A WORD FROM THE ARCHITECT:
Repair work has progressed well with most of the external pointing and stonework repairs complete to the tower and main body, the chancel roof repair newly finished and the wobbly parapets rebuilt. The clerestory windows have been away to the workshop for re-leading of the same glass panels and repairs to the supporting metalwork and are now ready to reinstate. The wonderful east window is currently ‘on the bench’ in the glazier’s workshop being carefully repaired. The clock face has been repainted and gilded in gold leaf. The gilding of the clock hands is underway. Cast iron hoppers and downpipes are being repaired and redecorated before refitting. Major repairs to wall plaster are nearly finished. Structural repairs to the floor supporting the clock chamber in the base of the tower are complete (new stainless steel strengthening beam and oak lath and lime plaster ceiling) All the new wiring is in place throughout the church. The aisle pews are soon to be repaired and reinstated and the walls painted a bright white colour – similar to the ceilings of the nave and chancel where the plaster panels have been painted white.
The scaffold will soon be ‘struck’ (taken down, at least in part) and the lower levels of the walls repaired. The drainage work can be completed and the replacement of the concrete path across the field to the west door. We hope by the end of April Current works will be complete.