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Church Building Project Updates

Church Building Project Updates

“The current condition of the church fabric is seen as an issue which needs to be addressed urgently. While the full list of fabric issues are noted elsewhere, the largest and most compelling issue is the condition of the North Aisle roof. This important 15th century timber structure covered in copper is in a dangerous condition and is currently supported off internal scaffolding. It needs to be sensitively, but comprehensively, repaired and re-covered to allow the North Aisle space to be brought back into use. Without this repair, it will be hard to take the building and parish forward.”  

John Bailey (Architect) May 2021

A Way Forward – January 2024

Quite clearly there is significant remedial work to address to preserve the heritage of this Grade 1 listed building, and to remove it from the buildings “At Risk” register. Essentially our plan is to restore the failing Tudor roof structure over the north aisle and create a new community space beneath, with a small tea station at the west end of the church footprint

It may not seem that much has been done to repair St Andrews but the story so far…..
2019 Roof collapse (Oct 2019)
Taylor’s make safe and explore issue in conjunction with David Ferguson (quinquennial architect)
2020 March 2020 LOCKDOWN
Scaffolding and additional investigations and work done to secure the roof etc (Oct 2020)
Structural engineer report (Nov 2020)
Meeting with Archdeacon (Dec 2020)
2021 Sarah Odell, diocesan heritage advisor on board (Jan 2021)
Building put on Historic England ‘at risk register’ (Jan 2021)
Project team formed
John Bailey – New architect appointed (March 2021)
Architects produced plans A-H
Architects and Sarah produced statement of need and significance
Heritage Lottery Fund grant sought and received for heritage weekend
Heritage booklet and banners designed and produced
Heritage weekend held (Sept 2021)
Numerous community engagement and consultation events at different times and in different places plus boards up in church with responses taken. (Sept 2021 – May 2022)
2022 Informal Diocesan Advisory Committee visit (March 2022)
Proposed plan agreed
Expression of interest prepared and sent in to Heritage Lottery Fund based on £1.5m bid
Response – please return with a phased version of the project and look at focusing activity programme, concerns raised over management structures and expertise
Rough alternative plans drawn up by architect (Sept 2022)
New expression of interest submitted
Meeting with John Spence – advice on restructuring team and support offered
Locality funding provided by John Spence (Sept 2022)
2023 Heritage Lottery Fund offer support and invite us to apply for large grant (around £1m) (end Feb 2023)
Sarah provides proposed new structure which has been suggested by John Spence and lottery funders
Some individuals in wider community identified and tentatively approached
Next steps Meet with existing project team (and possibly PCC) to explore changes to structures
Alter statement of need and significance. To reflect new rough plans
Application to Heritage Lottery Fund by August 17th
Response in December
Visit other projects
Hold a village – wide information event in the village hall
Actively share the vision and info at all our events


Building project timeline September 2022

Building project update January 2023

Building project update February 2023

Building Project – paused September 2023, following village questionnaire indicating insufficient resources

Whilst the physical needs of the building have been documented above, the questionnaire (July 2023) highlighted a very positive regard the local community have for this fine historic church at the centre of their village. In terms of significance, since the church dates to Saxon times with proximity to a major Roman road and the original village water supply, the building encapsulates evidence of most periods in English history, in which the Tudors feature strongly with links to the then nearby Royal Palace now New Hall school. Thus, “Saving A Church For All Seasons.”  

Building Project December 2023 – scaled down version of the original plan was formulated with John Bailey (Church Architect) in December 2023, and going forward to 2024 and 2025. Meanwhile, PCC decided on 24th January 2024 to accept the new plan and also to conflate the current scaffolding, so that it no longer intrudes into the nave and so make the church more aesthetically pleasing. This was endorsed at an open project information evening on 7th February 2024.

Building Project Update March 2024 – Temporary permission granted for the scaffolding work to go ahead from Archdeacon Jonathan; Ecclesiastical Ins. informed accordingly. It is hoped the work will be undertaken in March 2024. This work was completed om Friday 8th March 2024.

Regarding the overall revised plan, consists of the north aisle roof repairs and removal of north aisle pews to create a more open space for group activities whilst maintaining the historical integrity of the nave and surrounding areas.  It is hoped to meet with John Bailey and Sarah Odell in the near future.

Roof Project Update – 2nd April 2024

Following receipt of some very generous donations, it has been possible to conflate the existing scaffolding into a much less conspicuous single tower tucked behind the white hoarding, making the view down through the main part of the church more aesthetically pleasing.

The Project Steering Group met again on 18th March 2024 with the church architect John Bailey to identify the stages in the revised plan to tackle the North Aisle roof repairs and creation of an open flexible floorspace space below. The organ will remain untouched until final completion of the building work.  To join the cycle of the NLHF. we were advised that the timetable to enact both the development and delivery stages of the submission would have to take the project completion estimate into the summer of 2026. We were also reminded that any submission to NLHF. represents a competitive bid and all may not run smoothly, therefore detailed preparation is important.

Although we have put aside some money for seed funding, very soon we will have to begin seeking significant corporate and local funding in earnest. We would appreciate any offers of administrative help e.g. writing letters and minute taking – please contact the churchwarden.

Overall Project Key Milestones 

The project is dependent on gaining most of the funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Because of this we need to work with set deadlines and milestones set by the lottery.  There is also a much larger and more widely representative team drawn from church and community. The timetables below are based on these deadlines:

Action Projected Timeline
NLHF First Round Bid Submission

Bid for Development Phase funding

By 15th August 2024
Decision from NLHF on First Round Bid Mid December 2024

 The Project Team are currently endeavouring to prepare an application for NLHF to meet the August 2024 deadline.