How are we doing? The 6P’s campaign – protecting the past, preserving the present, planning for posterity.
The main news is that we’re still on schedule for Advent!
A great deal has been achieved since 29th August when work began on the church so much so that we felt it important to share developments with all of you who have and are supporting the 6P’s campaign.
Protecting the past:
Chiz Harward, the archeologist, has been investigating the uncovered floor area left by the Victorians which has all been documented and recorded for a final report. His blog at http://urban-archaeology.blogspot.co.uk). or through the church website www.minchchurch.org.uk makes for fascinating reading. Selected artifacts are taken for careful analysis, dating, photographing and eventual storage. One of particular importance is the “Mason’s setting out drawing inscribed on a limestone slab, the drawing appears to match the finished tracery of the side windows of the mid 14th century south transept.” The hope is that this will eventually be on display in the church. Prior to building up the floor, the architect, archeologist, structural engineer and builder have been collaborating very closely to ensure that tombs and graves in the floor are protected whilst a firm base is developed over them on which the floor and heating system can be installed. The Past is being Protected.
The pews have mostly been re-housed locally including 26 in Minchinhampton Rugby Club changing rooms! We’ve asked people to send us photos of their relocated pews for the scrap book.
Preserving the Present Water water everywhere! You will be familiar with the extremely high levels of damp in the building recorded over the last couple of years. Of the contributory factors there are two recent discoveries:
- a blocked drainage culvert found running under the church which, it has been decided, will act as a useful route for rainwater disposal from the north to the south side of church. The disposal of rain water from the north side of the building has been a problem under discussion for some time now; the culvert provides a neat and cost effective solution which does not involve any additional digging into sensitive areas. Left unattended this blocked drain would probably have eventually led to the collapse of the stone floor above it.
- a cistern has been discovered under the sacristy. This will be drained and safely investigated towards the best solution.
October and November will see the building up of the floor and the installation by Jupiter of the new heating system. The layers of material under the stone floor will include a substantial amount of insulation to ensure the effectiveness of the system. The terracotta tiles, which go on top of the heating pipes, will assist in providing the radiant type of heat recommended for the preservation of ancient buildings. All of this will contribute to reducing the extreme dampness and the damage to the fabric that this has been happening: preserving both past and present.
Planning for Posterity
The Architect, Antony Feltham King and Nick Miles, the builder, are in close liaison with the Church Wardens and Building Group. Applications for grants are ongoing. With the new more welcoming entrance porch in mind, Fund raising continues, overseen by the Fund Raising Group, but in some cases instigated independently by interested people: the (shared with Horsfall House) Open Gardens in July raised £1,275 for the church; yoga classes on Monday afternoons continue and have now raised nearly £1,000; promises from the promises Auction are still being fulfilled. Other events include the Rectory tea in July which raised £483 whilst future events include: a coffee morning (cake and bacon butties) on Saturday 18th November 10.30 – 12 noon; a wine/cheese tasting evening in January/February 2018; the possibility of a medieval banquet later in 2018 when we’re back on our feet!
The Porch room currently hosts 40 of the 300 new chairs with the rest due to be delivered at the end of November including the recommended 5% of chairs with arms. Sponsorship has been received for 150 chairs 64 with plaques. The chair sponsorship campaign has been taken out to local businesses and organisations with some success. Much discussion has gone into the design of the choir stands with Chris Thompson, a well known local furniture maker. At £835 each, they accommodate two people, will be movable, oak laminated and with the Holy Trinity sign, so apparent throughout the church and church yard, being carved on the front. The prototype looks very beautiful. Sponsorship for two choir stands has been received and more is hoped for.
We will be back in church during December, albeit with a red terracotta floor: the beautiful limestone flooring, again with the pattern of the Holy Trinity inlaid into it, will be laid early next year: the church gradually returning to normal ready for Easter. Following this: a dedication service and celebratory party is planned; weddings are being booked and requests for the church as a concert venue are coming in. There is much to look forward to: the planning for posterity has only just begun!
Thank you again to all who have supported the 6P’s campaign. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any queries. Updates will continue to be given on the church website, in the Parish Magazine, and in the weekly church news (green sheet). The last two can be collected from the Porch room at almost any time along with the 6P’s campaign leaflets (yellow); chair sponsorship forms and reordering gift aid envelopes (white). These items are all on top of the cupboards at the back of the Porch room for people to help themselves.