Fundraising and Building Work 2016-18

St. John’s Northington – Fundraising and Building Work 2016-2018

In 2015 the Architect then acting for the PCC reported on his Quinquennial Inspection of the Church.  This report drew attention to three areas requiring attention within two years.  These were:- (i) the roof, which, for various reasons needed to be stripped and re-tiled, (ii) the boiler chimney, which required repair, or rebuilding and (iii) various parts of the stonework, particularly round the Apse, which also required repair.

Early in 2016 the PCC applied to the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund for a grant to cover the balance of the cost of re-roofing, after allowing for financial commitments by The Friends of St. John Northington, (the Friends), and the PCC.  In June 2016 the PCC was told that it had been awarded a grant of £99,500.

In August 2016 The Friends launched an appeal to raise sufficient money to complete all the work requiring urgent attention.  The appeal stressed the reduction in cost if all the work could be done from the same scaffolding.  Every household in the local community was given a copy of the updated and illustrated Visitors’ Guide to emphasise the importance of the building.  The generosity of the response reflects great credit on the local community.

In November 2016 the PCC applied to the Trustees of the Garfield Weston Foundation for a grant towards the cost of replacing the boiler chimney and repairing stonework, particularly in the area of the Apse.  In February 2017 the PCC was informed that it had been awarded a grant of £10,000.

The Architect who carried out the Quinquennial Inspection retired.  He was succeeded by Fiona Hudd, of Seymour & Bainbridge.  She was responsible for the conduct of the tendering process and the supervision and project management of all the building work that took place in 2017.  She will also supervise some of the work that remains to be done.

St. John’s was completely re-roofed by TM Roofing.  They were able to remove an undamaged original ridge tile.  This was used by Forterra to create a mould in order to make a complete set of ridge tiles matching the original design.  One of the problems making re-roofing necessary was that many of the old tiles had lost their original thickness as a result of ‘lamination’.  A decision was taken to replace all the old tiles with new.  Because a small number of Bats had been seen, when a survey was conducted, some special Bat entry tiles had to be incorporated in the new roof.

Thanks to the response to the appeal and the grant from Garfield Weston the PCC was able to arrange for Colin Avery (Stonemasons) to remove the brick boiler chimney and replace it with a stone chimney, built, as far as possible, to the original design.  Importantly re-roofing, the replacement of the boiler chimney and the repairs to the Apse stonework, was all done from the same scaffolding, save for a small addition to provide access to the chimney.

On completion of all this work the interior of the Church, including the space between the inner and outer roofs, was professionally cleaned by Richfords, Fire and Flood.

When the dust-sheets covering the North Aisle pews were removed some water damage was found.  The Church has had to remain locked until this and other remedial work is completed.  Further work is planned for 2018.  Unfortunately St John’s will have to be locked, once again, while some of that work takes place.


Michael Brodrick, Churchwarden

1st March 2018