Wambrook Parish Church

Fabric Report

Since the last fabric report, much has happened during the past year. The first of the previously reported bat surveys, in support of the planned works, took place at dusk on the 25th May 2016. This was followed by two early morning surveys, one at 3.45 a.m. on the 29th July and the third at 7.45 a.m. on the 17th August. I extend my thanks to the Captain of the Tower who was in attendance at both these early morning surveys. His efforts really are appreciated. A ‘Heritage at Risk’ survey, took place in mid June, by a representative from Natural England. The outcome of this survey, is not known at this stage, despite several representations.

On the 28th June 2016, we were informed by the department for Culture Media and Sport a department of the N.H.M.F. and under the L.P.O.W. scheme II, that our application for funding, to carry out the planned repairs to the roof had been successful. It became clear to the Repair Steering Group, that this was the end of the beginning of the project and that much preparatory work lay ahead. The previously agreed community  donation was finally cleared to the Church accounts in September. It is worth noting, that this donation weighed the funding application heavily in our favour. On behalf of all those involved, I unreservedly offer my deepest thanks. Work carried on in the background to obtain a faculty for the works, which was awarded on the 9th November.

Tenders for the works were invited from four contractors in early October. The repair group considered all of the tenders received and in late November a decision was taken based on best value for money and advice from the Church Architect. During this time the PCC were kept fully informed.

In parallel, updated project plans and cash-flow spreadsheets, culminating in our request for the first 70% of the funding award, were submitted in early December and the first tranche of funding, was received in the Church account, 3 days before Christmas.

A ‘bat licence’ application was submitted to Natural England on the 16th January 2017, we are yet to receive notification of the application, before works can commence on the main roof.

Scaffolding was erected around the Tower in late March 2017 to carry out repair works to the said Tower as reported in the Q.Q. report of 2014 ahead of the main works to the roof of the Chancel, Nave and Vestry slopes. These current works will not infringe the terms and conditions of the pending bat licence.

I take this opportunity, of thanking all members of the Repair Project Group whose professionalism and expertise they collectively brought to the table, is in my experience, unparalleled and I am extremely grateful for their help, support and guidance, without which, this project would not have come to fruition, the first major works to the roof since circa 1892….

Disappointingly, nothing has been done in respect of repairs to the West Door, a concern which will have to be addressed before the coming winter. In turn, the planned notice-board has not materialized and will have to be re-visited shortly.

Work is still outstanding, on the completion of the the Church inventory, as reported in the previous Churchwardens report. It is hoped that this will be completed during the coming months.

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The Churchwarden’s Annual Report to the Annual Parochial Church Council Meeting of the Blessed Church of St Mary the Virgin, Wambrook,.

Tuesday 4th April 2017.

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