Progress Report - March 2017
The Church has had two big projects in this millennium - the renewal of the covering on both the nave and chancel roofs, and other important repair work in 2006 (about £150K), and the bells project in 2009 (about £85K). The PCC has been planning the next big project for some years, principally to make sure that the plans were the best solution to our need to provide modern facilities in the Church, but in keeping with the beautiful Grade I listed building. Some good progress has been made in the last two years with the appointment of architects, consideration of a range of options for positioning the new toilet in particular, reaching a decision on the best one, and obtaining faculty approval (the Church equivalent of planning permission), both for the improvement plans, but also for a range of important repair work.
The faculty approval granted at the end of last year had taken more than six months from the application, and in that time there was a routine 5-yearly architect's inspection of the Church. This inspection revealed some urgent repair work needed to the stone mullions on the two medieval windows that wasn't previously known about. This had obviously not been included in the faculty application, and a further faculty application will have to be made to cover this extra work. This will be submitted soon after a specialist survey to determine if there is any other work required (probably to the stained glass) on these windows that it would be sensible to carry out at the same time.
By the time you read this there should have been two further significant developments. Firstly, tenders for the whole project should have been received from three contractors experienced in work on heritage buildings like our Church, and these will give us the first realistic appreciation of the total cost of the project. Secondly, the initial outcome of a funding bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund should be known. With both of these, the funding strategy can be drawn up. However, it is already clear that the ‘local' Friends contribution will be a key element in securing grants from major funders, which the Bardwell Grant Getting Group (the BGGGs) will be applying for over the coming months.