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