Great news! This year has been a very successful one in terms of fundraising to restart and complete our Repair & Refurbishment Programme. Early in 2021 our Buildings Committee began preparing an application to the Provincial Building Grants Fund for submission in early April. By the end of May we learned that we had been awarded £47,000 towards our programme which is 50% of the total required to complete all remaining phases. Matching funding would be required to draw on these funds.
The month of May started well as Bishop Anne Dyer had informed us that £21,000 would be forthcoming from the Anderson Trust for St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral building repair works. Bishop Anne then very helpfully directed us to seek further funds from the Viridor Credits Environmental Company. So, this time Mrs Freddie Stephens led our application for funds with support from our architect, treasurer and other members of the Buildings Committee and Viridor Credits Environment Company awarded St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral a further £19,339 in August. I believe I can speak for us all when I say how grateful we are to these bodies for their generous assistance.
With all these new funds now at our disposal for the project the Vestry committed to the relaunch of the Repair & Refurbishment Programme in October this year. Depending on the weather conditions we should have our building contractors, Graeme W. Cheyne, active on the remaining phases of the project in January 2022. With good weather and progress we could complete the project by the autumn of 2022. The project activity schedule is shown in the Gantt chart below.
The repair and refurbishment works will continue to focus on repairs to roof coverings, including slatework, leadworks and ironwork and joinery repairs. When the weather makes it possible, we will also be working on repointing where mortar to the stonework façade is friable or missing. Finally, we hope to have sufficient funds for repairs to our external doors including the decorative ironwork.
The good news continued later in the year when we were successful with an application to the Provincial Recovery & Renewal Grant scheme with an award of £5,000. We are hoping to use this money to create a landscaped garden in the area to the west of the church. So, look out for further news on this project in the near future as we plan to involve the congregation in the selection of a design for the landscaped peace garden.
The Vestry has also now instructed our architect, Dave Chouman, and our building contractors, Graeme W. Cheyne, to carry out internal repair and redecoration work on the toilets, hallway, and Choir Vestry. This work can now proceed as the earlier Phase 1 and Phase 2 works have successfully repaired the leaks in this area. We are also taking the opportunity of renewing the vinyl in the toilets and hallway.
Finally, once these internal repairs and redecoration are completed, we are planning two upgrades for the Choir Vestry. Firstly, we are going to replace the fluorescent lighting with new eco-friendly LED lights. We are also hoping to replace the carpet with very nice, engineered wood flooring – which should be much more easily kept clean and will certainly please our Pilates classes! All of these improvements have really only been possible due to the diligence of Bishop Anne Dyer in arranging for Anderson Trust and Allchurches Trust funds for St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral.