This year is a year of refurbishment of the Church building. It’s been about twenty years now since the church was redecorated and there are significant signs of wear and tear. So, as part of a wider programme of work, we shall be doing the following later in the year:
- Relighting the Church. This major investment is to improve the quality of the lighting in church, which is now obsolescent. There are particular challenges for the choir in the chancel that we wish to resolve and the advent of LED lighting will bring both improvements in safety and energy efficiency. The final details are awaiting approval, but we intend to interview a contractor in early May, with a view to beginning the work as soon as Thomas’s Kindergarten begin their summer holidays in the second week of July. The work will take about 8 to 10 weeks.
- Refurbishing the Pews. The Church Council took the decision to retain the existing pews last year and they now need to be reconditioned. As well as that, we have agreed that pew runner cushions will be added to improve the level of comfort. The pew refurbishment will also create two spaces for wheelchair users.
- New Coffee Station. There will be a brand new coffee point at the back of the church in the area currently used as something of a dumping ground. This will provide simple kitchen facilities, on-demand boiling water, a servery and storage for refreshment items.
- Resanding and resealing the floor. The floor will be improved and areas where woodblocks are loose will be attended to.
- The church will be redecorated throughout – including the vestries and vestibules in the same colours as currently are in place. The donor boards on the gallery front do not need attention.
We plan to commence the non-lighting aspects of the project as soon as possible after the relighting begins. Some parts, though will necessarily have to wait until the relighting is finished. We therefore anticipate that the church will be partly-scaffolded for much of the autumn. We will still be able to use the church at weekends, but we expect the church will be out of use during the week from September to November. We are planning to finish the work for the beginning of Advent.
The entire project is costed in the region of £300-350,000, which we will pay for from the former Fabric Trust funds, which are now part of the PCC’s assets. The intention is then to rebuild that fund over the coming years to form a pot for the next major capital project.
Details of the entire work can be obtained from the Parish Office.
Canon Simon Butler
Chair of the Parochial Church Council