As we enter a period of interregnum, with the departure of Chris Turner, after his ten and a half years of very special ministry, we are trying to maintain communication by continuing the monthly news sheet. The aim is to continue the established monthly pattern of one service of Holy Communion in each church, by using retired clergy living in the area.
As some of you may know, I am leaving for a new post. I have been appointed as the vicar of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Borough Green, near Sevenoaks in Kent.
I would like to take this opportunity to say, thank you. It has been a great joy and privilege walking alongside you in your faith journey. This was not a part of the country Lorraine or I knew before we arrived, and we found a wonderful welcome and generous hearts. Over the ten and half years we have been here, we have made many friends, and sadly lost some too, there have been some great successes and some things that didn’t go to plan, but through it all I have seen God at work.
My last service in these parishes will be Sunday 30th April at 11:15 in St Edith’s Grimoldby. After the service there is a bring and share lunch at the Grimoldby and Manby village hall. Everyone is welcome to join us.
I will be licensed at the Church of the Good Shepherd on Wednesday 24th May, at 7pm, by the Bishop of Rochester. It is a long way down to Kent, but if anyone does want to come to that service it would be great to see you there.
Before all that we will be celebrating Easter. This is the season when we think of endings and new beginnings. The cross brought an end to the old order, an end to slavery to sin, and the resurrection brought a new creation, new life in Christ. So as we reflect on the cross and the empty tomb, we remember that God can make flowers grow in the desert, water flow from the rock, turn death into life. So, changing us and our future is a relatively small task for the almighty.
Have a blessed Easter.
Just a quick update on the work at St Edith’s.
Firstly a big thank you, to all those who came and helped with the clean up before Christmas. Lots of moving, dusting, hoovering and mopping involved, but it was great to be able to have our Christmas services in the Church.
The nave and aisle roofs are now finished, along with the associated timbers and stonework. The porch roof needs to be completed, but the scaffolding will be coming down very soon. Inside, the tower has been ‘opened up’, so that we can now see the west window, and the new toilet facilities have been installed.
The final part will be to fit the servery along the west end of the north aisle. The last part of the project will be to produce some information boards and leaflets, telling people about the church and the work done.
This all means that we should be back in church for March, with the regular worship and with our Saturday Shop up and running. There will still be work we need to do, but that will be for the next project. Thanks to all those who have taken such an interest in the church, and for your patience while it’s been going on.
The ‘Hard-hat day’ on 15th October proved a great success and was greatly appreciated by all who attended. Here are some of the highlights.
Architect Chris Mackintosh-Smith (in the high-vis) showed the many visitors what wonders are being achieved.
The nave is scaffolded to support a crash deck below the roof.
Where, usually, only angels dare to tread.
Beneath the tower, the new accessible facilities are taking shape.
The north-aisle roof is already reclad in stainless steel.
While the nave roof is undergoing extensive reinforcement.
Ben Peek showed how custom-made stainless-steel supports are bolted into the sound parts of the historic timbers, to preserve as much of the original structure as possible.
While the thirteenth-century angels get a well deserved rest, awaiting conservation.
More photos will be added to this blog post, as we gather them.
The scaffolding is all up. Those of you who saw the array of scaffold-laden lorries will have an idea of how big a task that has been. They need to go high enough to allow them to construct secondary roofs over the church roofs, to keep the elements out when they remove the slates, etc. Also the inside of the church is now filled with scaffolding to provide a crash deck in case anyone puts a foot wrong! This all took some time, and in its own way is a thing of beauty, but now the work proper has started, hence the skips being filled and taken away as old material is removed. The base of the tower has been cleared, removing the old kitchen, toilet and screen. This has allowed us now to see the west window and has created a wonderful space, and given room for proper disabled facilities to be installed.
The work on the roofs, timbers and stonework has uncovered a few surprises, some good, and some not so good. The roof timbers the nave (the main part of the church) are not in as good a condition as we hoped and in places, where they connect to the walls, we will need some steel plates made to provide extra support. On the plus side, the roof slates are in a much better condition than first though, and nearly all of them can be reused. These plusses and minuses mostly cancel each other out, so we are still on track to open before Christmas.
Thank you for your patience while the work is taking place. I know people are interested and wanting the church open for business again. We’ll keep you up to date and look forward to a grand reopening.
Revd. Chris Turner
Hopefully by the time you are reading this St Edith’s Church will be covered in scaffolding so what’s happening? Well we are finally carrying out the work that we have been planning for over two years. This has been possible thanks to a very large grant (£180,000) from the Heritage Lottery Fund and is the result of lots of hard work from many different people in helping us secure that grant.
So what are we actually doing? The project includes:
• Re-roofing the aisles (including the roof from where the lead was stolen)
• Re-roofing the nave (the main part of the church)
• Sorting out a lot of high level stonework
• Restoring the roof timbers and preserving our wooden ‘angels’
• Opening up the area behind the font by removing the screen that is currently there
• Installing a modern toilet with disabled access
• Moving the servery to the west end of the south aisle We will also be producing some new signs, leaflets and a website for visitors to learn more about St Edith’s. In total the work is costing £250,000.
While the work is going on the church will be closed for safety reasons, but we’ll be open again as soon as possible. When we are closed our Saturday ‘shop’ gatherings will take the form of various coffee mornings around the village and we will be enjoying some house worship on Sundays.
If you want more information about the project, or if you would like to contribute in any way, either by offering help, or by making a donation, then please get in touch with me.
Revd. Chris Turner 01507 327667