The St. Nicholas Parish Church was closed to the congregation and the public for over two years. The restoration of the Church had the overwhelming support of the Community, noted at a public meeting.
Tower and spire repairs were needed, including the part rebuild of the spire and dry rot related repairs in the tower. Lime mortar re-pointing and masonry repairs were necessary to the west elevation of the tower. The dry rot repairs included replacement of two timber levels within the tower. When the walls dried, they needed re-plastering in lime plaster and re-decoration. The Nave lime plaster ceiling, which was failing due to a defect in the spacing of timber laths, needed replacing. Ceiling supports needed strengthening. Before the repair works could commence, the Laycock Organ, which is located directly under and in close proximity to the failing ceiling, had to be dismantled and protected to enable scaffold access. Water ingress to three other areas involving drainage, re-bedding stone copings and re-pointing also needed dealing with.
After a meeting of the PCC along with our architect, a main contractor was appointed.The next stage was to provide English Heritage with all drawings, costs tender documents etc for their approval and verification. The start date for the restoration was May 2013. Final costings were in line with the original budget.
We received the final grant offer from English Heritage on behalf of the National Lottery Heritage Fund to enable the church to progress to the next stage. Approval of all drawings and specifications was approved by the DAC and Faculty was applied for. Contracts with the chosen contractors were signed before the end of March 2013 with restoration work commencing early May. Completion was early October and the re-dedication service was held on October 8th, 2013.
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