Since the last update the church has been completely cleared of the old flooring – a good thing because, as we had been advised, there were signs of rot in some of the joists and floorboards and a lot of the original rubble had turned to dust.
In the process of removing the floor it was discovered that the pillars on the north side had insufficient base support …
and that the west wall needed underpinning. The pillars have now been done and the process of filling in the old sunken boiler house and underpinning the west wall is in progress. Unfortunately these activities have cause a delay of about two weeks.
At the moment the contractors are busy bringing in tons of brick rubble to form the foundation of the floor. This will then be covered in concrete and the work of installing underfloor heating pipes, electrical ducting etc. will begin.
Outside, the boiler house has been demolished, as has the garden shed and the toy store (once an outside toilet!).
The main steps up from the road have been removed and their place taken by a succession of skips which have removed the old flooring and brickwork. Much of the ‘clunch’ stone has been kept for possible use on other parts of the church.
And there’s first sign of restoration – the new base for the font which will return to its traditional place near the west door.
On the funding front, we have received a grant of £20,000 from the Surrey Community Improvement Fund and £20,000 from the Veolia Environmental Fund – but this latter may only be used on the external access works. Our current shortfall is £72,706. We have one major grant application still to be adjudicated and various fund-raising events are planned but otherwise we are reliant on further donations from church members and the wider community. As a very last resort, we may have to cut out some of the planned work, something which we are very reluctant to do.
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