The successful completion of the twenty year project
to restore the church building is marked by a
Service of Celebration together with
a concert on Sunday 16 October.
The Restoration Project
draws near its completion with the organ shortly to be re-installed
and the south transept windows refurbished. Many thanks
to all who have contributed to this important work.
It is hoped to begin
the Third Phase of the Restoration Project at the end of
July or beginning of August 2010.
The South Transept
will be out of action until almost Christmas, with no organ
until the New Year. On a practical note, the Font will not
be available for Baptisms, so I use this letter to make
an appeal for anything that you may possess that could act
as a temporary Font - no birdbaths please!
Historic Cheshire Churches Preservation
Trust has given us a grant of £10,000 towards our
The penultimate phase of
the work - the tower and other stone work - is due to begin
on 20 April 2009.
There is an important
update on the situation with the church roof in the News
The Restoration Fund
Two years ago we undertook
repairs and redecoration to the chancel, north transept,
crossing and vestry of the church.
We had hoped
that by now we’d be underway with similar work on the next
phase – the south transept and organ chamber. However, we
have been held back somewhat by our church architect suddenly
moving abroad! His replacement is unfamiliar with St Paul’s,
and therefore not yet able to draw up plans for the work.
The work may now have to wait until next year.
in the meantime, we are doing well with our Restoration
Fund. We’ve pretty largely got the funds required
for that next phase described above. The total now raised
is very close to £300,000, which is 75% of the profected
final total of £400,000.
After the south transept
phase, there will still be some residual repairs to be done
on the tower and high-level stone-work, but at least the
visible insides of the church will all be completed!
Let’s all keep up the good work on fund-raising, and
regular giving. On this topic, it’s also worth reminding
ourselves that if we’re making or altering a will, a legacy
to church is always a good thing to include, and can be
an enormous help with our financial commitments!
It’s been a bit of
a time of snakes and ladders on the restoration front recently!
Earlier this year we had some disappointing financial
news, in that English Heritage turned down our appeal for
financial support with the next phase of our restoration
They helped us significantly last time round,
and we were hopeful that they would do so again, but sadly
there were just too many applicants for limited funds, and
we missed out. So we are having to delay the next phase,
which we had hoped to tackle at the beginning of next year.
On the positive side, our new boilers are now working
well. We had a teething problem when the new, more efficient
boilers ruptured a weak joint on a pipe under the floor
in church, causing steam to rise from the grating (a little
alarming to those who were unaware of the cause!) But at
the time of writing, that seems to be all sorted out!
On 26 February,
we celebrated the completion of the penultimate phase
of our restoration programme. This was marked with a
service on the Sunday morning, at which the Bishop came
to preach and preside, along with the Archdeacon of
Chester, and the Diocesan Secretary. With impeccable
timing, the last of the external scaffolding came down
on the Friday before, and the last skip was taken away
on the Saturday!
It was wonderful to gather
together in church - there was a congregation of around
230 - and give thanks for the work which has been successfully
carried out over the last 5 months, and to enjoy again
the sight of newly refurbished chancel and north transept.
Just the south transept to
go now! We’ll be embarking on that just as soon as we’ve
raised the money still needed. Our current estimate
is that the final phase will cost around another
Restoration Fund has now reached
We are nearing the completion of
this phase of the project. Inevitably, at this time of year,
the weather has created the odd hold-up and hiccup, but
the contractors are predicting a finish around the turn
of the January. So sometime in February, when the contractors
have departed and we have put the church straight again,
we should be back in business in the whole church.
It will almost seem strange to be
in the big church again, after a few months of intimacy
at the back! The only thing that isn’t due to be ready until
the end of the month is the organ, which will have some
work done on it during the week beginning the 20th.
The PCC have decided that we’d like
to honour the wonderfully dedicated work that Iain Frith
put into the restoration project (and so many other aspects
of church life), until his death last year, and so we’re
planning to put up a plaque in his memory, probably in the
North transept. It seems a fitting way to remember a marvellous
man. The wording on the plaque is expected to be:
In loving memory of Iain
former Churchwarden of St Paul’s,
so much to the
restoration of our church.
I’m writing this having just
come down from the church roof, after another site meeting
to monitor the progress of the restoration work on the
building. (The site meeting, you understand, was in
the church, not on the roof!) The updated projection
for a finish to the work is now early to mid February.
Originally, it was scheduled to finish by Christmas,
but that proved to be a little optimistic, given the
restrictions of daylight hours and bad weather at this
time of year. One or two other unexpected things cropped
up to delay progress a little, but all being well, we
should be back to normal by mid-February.
Someone asked me again the
other day what exactly the work is that is being done.
In a nutshell, repairs are being carried out to the
north transept and the chancel. Externally, the contractors
are repairing the roof (replacing timber where required
etc) and re-slating it (using partly old and partly
new slates). Internally, they are re-plastering (those
who’ve seen the church in recent years will remember
the gaps in the plaster!) and re-decorating. When this
work is done, we will be left with only the south transept
and organ chamber area to restore. That will be the
last phase - which we’ll hope to be able to address
in another couple of years’ time - and then we should
once again have a sound church building!
Fund passes £209,000
mark. Work on the next phase of the restoration project
In June it was
announced that our Restoration Fund had topped
That means we're
half way to the total we anticipate we'll need to do
all the remaining restoration work. And in the mean
time, we're ready to proceed with the next stage of
the work. We've been suffering this year from delays
outside our control, and the work scheduled to begin
in the late spring is still not yet underway. However,
we were recently given to understand that the architect
and contractor expect to be ready to start by late August
or early September.
It's been frustrating for
everyone having to wait, but we're confident that we'll
get there in the end. Please keep praying for these
projects - including those in the churchyard. God hears
our prayers, and will honour our perseverance
At the end of December 2004, the Restoration
Fund had reached a total of £184,246.
It is hoped to start work on
Phase 1 of the Restoration Project after Easter 2005.
This part of the project involves repairs to the chancel,
vestry and north transept roofs along with associated
high-level stonework and timbers. (The south transept
and organ area will be the subject of Phase 2 and will
require us raising a further £200,000).
A Maintenance schedule for
the church building and churchyards has been developed.
Party of this will be the keeping of a log book to record
any concerns about the building which need to be addressed
and to prevent small problems growing into larger and
more costly problems. The log book will be available
at the entrance to church.
Restoration Fund now stands
grant applications bring in over £60,000 for the
Restoration Fund. See
News page. Fund stands
at £152,469 at the end of April
Restoration Fund reaches £109,889
Restoration Fund reaches
Restoration Fund reaches £86330
Restoration work begins with repairs to bell
tower. Work expected to be complete by end of
September 2003.Application for grant to fund repairs to chancel,
vestry and north transept made.
Restoration Fund reaches
Restoration Fund reaches £75000.
Landscaping of church
yard nearing completion.
Tenders for roof works
Survey of safety issues
including an audit for disabled people to be
Report on condition
of tower expected : programme of works to be
Heating system checked.