Restoration


AUGUST 2017  When things were getting a bit strained mid-project someone said, “It’s only a roof…” 

And, on balance, when all’s said and done and at the end of the day, if you take the timbers, stone tile covering and leadwork above the nave and aisles of All Saints’, Bolton Percy collectively that’s all they amount to.  A roof.  So how has that roof managed to occupy so much of the time of so many people over the last four years?

As the construction work on the roof draws to a close its worth reflecting on the amount of effort that has gone into the project as a whole and the purpose behind it.  And also to acknowledge the contributions from all who have supported it.

Protection  Of course, it’s not just any roof.  That’s because it protects the building of All Saints –a special building, a special place.  The physical characteristics of the building are widely known.  It is reputedly one of the finest examples of the English style of perpendicular architecture. Its stained glass windows attract visitors from all over because there are few buildings that contain such a broad range of styles from medieval through Victorian to the modern day Millennium window.  Its furniture and artefacts just bristle with heritage.   But its appeal transcends the physical structure and its contents.  You only have to read the entries in the visitors’ book to understand how much the church means to so many.

And, lest we forget, it has been a place of worship at the heart of its community since it was built in 1424.

The need for a new roof had been highlighted by architects for at least 10 years and possibly longer.  Any previous attempts to deal with the issue had been thwarted by the daunting cost of the exercise.  All credit, therefore, to those plucky pioneers who took the first tentative steps to enquire about grant funding from the HLF, Heritage Lottery Fund, in 2013.  That started a process which has not just involved the acquisition of funding and the execution of major building works; that has only been a part of the story.   The process ignited (and in some cases re-kindled) an interest in the history of the church and the place it has occupied at the centre of the community for the last 600 years or so.  

Emblem   A pre-requisite of any major HLF grant is that the underlying project leaves a lasting legacy.  The roof became an emblem of that legacy.  Along with the building works the Steering Group has also been focusing on a range of activities to promote the heritage of the church building for now and for the future.   This has depended less on finance and more on the commitment and creativity of numerous willing volunteers.  Examples include video guides of the church supported by ‘phone apps, web site development, digitisation of parish registers going back centuries, continuous cultivation of the Cemetery Garden and more besides.  Over 40 volunteers have contributed in excess of 250 man days in the last 6 months alone.

 Stimulus The roof project has also stimulated other similar projects such as the bell restoration work due to be undertaken early in 2018.

Others which will follow, subject to funding, include

  • Stained glass conservation work

  • Refurbishment of interior building finishes and monuments

  • Restoration of sun dial

Acknowledgements

At the time of writing, the roofing work is due to be completed in two weeks;  delayed by about 2 months mainly because of late delivery of roof tiles from the suppliers but, thankfully, within budget.   

The acquisition of the HLF funding represented a major landmark not just because of the funds that became available.  It provided a platform for applications to other external funders who recognise the rigour of the HLF application process and are therefore prepared to acknowledge the likely credibility and viability of the plans when agreeing to their own financial contribution.  We have expressed our thanks to funders on these pages before but, as we approach completion, it is appropriate to do so again and the identities of all external funders are shown below.   We also thank the Friends’ of All Saints’, Bolton Percy for their financial support and everyone who has provided their contributions at individual fund raising events.

There are others to be acknowledged and thanked also; the residents who live close to the church for their forbearance through the extended period of the work on site; every one of the volunteers who continue to give freely of their time; and the architects and contractors who have been at pains not to disrupt church services, and weddings in particular, whilst completing their work activities.

Last but not least, congratulations to the members of the Steering Group for doing what it says on the tin and steering the project through to satisfactory completion.

So you see when push comes to shove and all things are considered and taken into consideration, it’s not just a roof but also a protector of a priceless asset, an emblem for the building’s heritage, a stimulus for other projects and so much more.

Words by Phil Heron

JUNE 2017

South roof re-tiled and ready for the last few finishing touches. Work now well under way to re-tile the North roof and complete the Tower roof restoration works.


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MAY 2017

Still making good progress with re-tiling the South roof.


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APRIL 2017

The weather since the start of the project has been kind. In April both North and South roofs were repaired and re-felted. Work then turned toward re-tiling the South roof :-


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MARCH 2017

Work commences !!!!

The Contractors arrived on site 27th February 2017 as planned. Here are a few photos taken in March 2017 showing how the work progressed:-


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FEBRUARY 2017

You will doubtless be aware that for some time now we have been planning extensive re-roofing works to All Saints, Church. 

The works are due to start on Monday 27 February and are expected to continue until at least 14 June.   

For the duration of the works the north and front elevations of the church building are likely to be covered with scaffolding and the contractors will establish their site cabins probably within the north east corner of the churchyard.

Their work will only be undertaken during normal working hours Monday – Friday and our intention is that this should cause as little disturbance as possible. 

If you need to know more specific details of the working arrangements please contact any of the following:

 

Phil Heron - Churchwarden                        01904 744621

Tricia Davis - Treasurer                             01904 744439

Ian Connolly - Friends of ASBP Treasurer    01904 744611


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If you want to see the process that we have gone through up until now then take a look at our
Restoration Archive page.