Since our last LAST article things really have moved on apace. Those who get to church regularly will see how dramatic has been the progress on this project week by week: as the back pews were taken out, the floors were taken up and re-laid, the old screen was taken down, the new walls were put up, the Toilet, the Store Room, the Services Cupboard, the Kitchen, and the Community Room took shape. Those who can’t get every week will be even more impressed with the progress to date and the clear shape of things to come.
Over the last month the Development Team have had weekly Site Meetings with Rebecca Gilbert-Rule, the Architect from Lloyd Evans Prichard, to see and discuss progress and the questions which arise as the work goes on. (Like will it look all right for the long planned wedding on May 7th and will we be able to host the United Whit Sunday Service on 15th? The contractors played their part but the church team also worked extremely hard to ensure that the church looked really well and building-wise both events went off without a hitch.)
From this morning (19th May) we saw the heating system had been laid - with pipes and points for the radiators, the electrics were in, awaiting the plug sockets, the walls had been plastered, the floor coverings in the Toilet and Kitchen had been put down. Within the next couple of days we expect the Kitchen fittings (kindly donated by Emannuel Whitaker) to arrive and be fitted.
One big job this week has been to strip back the long old panelling from where the pews were – thought to be the original – so that it can be incorporated into the new design, lightened to fit in, and used to front the new walls facing the church. Fortunately we have a very skilled man working on this who is having to take off years of stain, paint, varnish to bring it from very dark to its original natural light colour.
By the time you read the June edition of Voice we expect that further progress will be visible. The Contractors work is expected to be ready for handover on or around the 8th June, and we will then be ready for work to start on the final touches such as tiling and decorating by our volunteers.
Further fundraising will be needed for the finishing touches. We have the Queen’s Birthday event on the 11th June, the Big Band Gala Night on the 2ndJuly and the Parish Boundary Walk in September and we hope that these will be well-supported. Donations to the Development Fund will also be gratefully received.
Though we have had our share of set-backs along the way and the project has seemed a long time coming the last few weeks have been a really exciting and rewarding time with the whole church and indeed the local community on-side and willing the work forwards with great encouragement, magnificent financial and tremendous practical help.
The Development Team are sure that the project is one of which everyone will be very proud!
Mel Farrar, Secretary to the Development Group.