The project has taken the congregation on an interesting journey, revealing new historical features of the church and the impact of time on the fabric and fittings of this beautiful C17 church, one of a few remaining complete churches built in the reign of Charles I. But all the hard work has now been completed and the church reopened with new toilets, flowerer arranger’s area and kitchen along with the new vestry and screening to the back door area.
it has not been straight forward and although finding the Barrington burial vault (the family were major benefactors of the Church) was exciting it did cause a slight delay . However, the biggest problem that needed to be overcome was the void below the old flower arranger’s area. This was much larger than expected and not until the old raised wooden floor had been removed was the full extent of the problem revealed: structural engineers were required to come up with the solution for moving pipework and identify ways to support the new toilets. There was a lot of central heating pipework to be changed and ways found to connect the existing cast iron pipework to modern copper ones. These connectors needed to be designed and purpose made. Not only did all this increase the cost but along with the vault it also extended the completion date by four weeks with the added cost involved of not completing the project on time.
Nevertheless, It has all been worth it though as the result and detailed workmanship of the carpenters is of exceptional quality, using solid oak for the majority of the work was a requirement for us to obtain the necessary permission. Like generations before us this work leaves a mark on the history of St Andrew’s for the future enjoyment of those yet to experience these new facilities.
The restoration and improvement project doesn’t stop just yet though as we now move outside again as having restored the porch parapet, also with an OHCT grant, we need to restore the stonework around a number of windows along with repointing areas of stonework.