News of activities and events connected with your church, that may be of interest to those across the Community. Please forward details via your churchwardens, or send to this EMAIL
uPDATE on ROOF REPAIRS TO ST. MARY MAGDALENE (October 2017)
During the spring and summer, work on the roof has progressed, both inside and out.
During this time all the slates were removed from the roof of the south aisle and transept. Until this was done, the extent of any damage caused to timbers through water leaking in could not be accurately determined. Whilst the problem could easily have been far worse, the rotten timbers exposed have involved far more work than originally expected. The Parochial Church Council (P.C.C.), who have responsibility for maintaining the building, report that the cost of the project has grown accordingly.
Equally important has been overhauling the means by which water is removed from the roof, and this has included specialist lead work which forms a part of this system.
Gradually, as remedial work has been completed, the roof has been re-slated. Where possible existing slate that was in good condition was replaced. This has been used where the roof is most visible from the ground. Where new slates have been fitted, the impact is less likely to be apparent.
The nature of the work is such that you will see little difference, and whilst this may be disappointing after such a major, and expensive project, it is of course what is envisaged when repairing a Grade 1 listed building.
Our timetable for this project has inevitably lengthened as more timbers had to be replaced. Work on the roof, and removal of external scaffolding, should be complete by the beginning of November. We have worked with our architect and the contractors to minimises disruption as we head into a busy time of the year for our church. We have therefore delayed making good the internal plasterwork until the New Year. This means that most of the church will be available for use through November and December, with only the scaffolding over the south entrance left in place.
However the P.C.C. now have another problem in that a number of pews in the church are suffering from dry and wet rot, and require expensive remedial work. This does mean some pews will remain unusable for the time being.
We are very grateful to all those who have helped us raise £75,000 towards the cost of the roof, and to the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund for a grant of £100,000. However the end cost of the repairs will require a very considerable input from the Parish Church finances. Add to this an equally daunting bill for repairing the pews, and the P.C.C. are facing something of a financial headache.
The PCC has nevertheless decided to confront the challenge of providing a toilet in the church. This was always part of the aim for the Protect Appeal. They have started the planning process. We have a number of hurdles to overcome, not least raising sufficient funds. We are determined to move forward with this, but in the circumstances it is impossible to estimate a time frame for this.
South molton church at heart of north devon's relief effort for Grenfell tower victims (26th JUNE 2017)
The organisers were overwhelmed by the response. People came from all over North Devon to donate, but the majority of donations were from South Molton residents keen to be of practical support. A local chemist offered to sell toiletries at a reduced price, if donated to the cause and Community Connections South Molton also helped collect donations.
People told of their reasons for donating, including a lady who had lost everything in a fire only 12 months ago, so was able to understand some of what the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire were suffering.
Rev Dr Michael Grandey, Rector of the Parish Church, said: “Our hearts and our prayers go out to the hundreds of people whose lives have been affected by this awful tragedy. Our town has pulled together and at very short notice been able to provide at least a little bit of practical and much needed help. Our thanks go to all those who generously gave donations and helped organise the collection and delivery.”
Bishop Robert opens new church primary school