HLF Previous Updates
March - June 2015
31st March: The church received a letter from the HLF to say that having assessed the application the church of St. Peter-in-Thanet would be awarded a grant of £154,700 towards a programme of conservation works to the church tower and church clock.
A display was set up just inside the main entrance to the church to show where the cost of the project, £247,700, will come from:the HLF grant, VAT reclaim, grants from Friends of Kent Churches, Friends of St Peter’s and St Andrew’s churches, and Broadstairs Mayor’s charity, as well as from the church Fundraising Committee.
Following meetings will the church architects, James Kenton and Andrew Clague, the main contractors Pierra Restorations, and showing the DAC and HLF that all funding was in place, the project commenced on Monday June 1st 2015 when the first items of scaffolding arrived on site.
Three weeks has been allocated for the scaffolding to be erected on three sides of the church and over the roof of the church on the fourth side. Photographs of the scaffolding contractor’s progress are taken and shown on the display boards in the church.
The church’s Ecclesiastical Insurance imposes a range of security conditions whist the conservation project is in progress. The extent of the working area is marked with orange netting, harris fencing surrounds the church tower, and 3m shuttering is attached to the base of the scaffolding. A HLF acknowledgement board is in place.
As soon as the first lift of the scaffolding is in place a security alarm system is installed with lights and a beam system that will alert the security monitoring firm if the beams are broken when the alarm system is switched on.
Arrangements are made for a photographer and a reporter from the Thanet Gazette to visit the church on Tuesday 9th June for a press release and photo call.
The scaffolders have made good progress during the first two weeks and there is every expectation that all the external scaffolding will be completed by the end of week three.
At the end of the second week visitors to the church and regular church attendees are able to see the progress made on the display boards inside the church.
On Friday 12th June the Thanet Gazette publishes a photograph and a report on the HLF project.
June - July Update
At the AGM of the Friends of St Peter’s and St Andrew’s Churches, on Monday 22nd June, Chairman of the Friends George Goodall presented a cheque for £10,000 to the church for the Tower appeal. Pictured are George Goodall ( Friends of St Peter’s and St Andrew’s Chair) Charles Watson (PCC Fabric Committee Chair), Colin McManus (Church HLF Co-ordinator) Curate Christine Arnold, and Hamish McGregor (Church Fundraising Committee Chair).
Tuesday 30th June. The final tenth lift of the scaffolding is completed so that the work can start on the restoration of the tower.
On Wednesday July 1st engineers from Smith of Derby took the clock off the church tower. The clock will have a complete service and the clock dial will be regilded before being returned at the end of the tower restoration project.
The church fete was held on Saturday July 4th and raised over £4000. Additional photographs of the fete can be viewed on the Fete 2015 section of the church website.
During the Church Fete the Church was open and we welcomed over 80 people inside the church, many of whom had not visited the church before. All young people visiting the church were presented with a HLF badge and several of them worked with their parents on the NADFAS Church Trail.
Regular updates of the progress of the HLF Tower project are shown on the display boards in the church.
August - September Update
The Church received a cheque for £10,000 from Kent Churches to help with the restoration of the Church Tower.
The stonemasons have been on site cutting out some of the Kent Ragstone that needs to be replaced, and defrassing the Kent Ragstone(scraping the loose pieces off the Ragstone – this also makes the stone much more like its original colour). Repointing of some of the flintwork has also taken place
As a result of this work there is plenty of ‘waste’ material although it is hoped that some of the larger pieces of Ragstone can be cut and reused on the church tower.
Two more successful fundraising events in September raised more funds for the Church Tower and refurbishment fund.
Stonemasonry workshop/demonstration on Wednesday 11th November.
THE FINAL RESULT OF THE HLF PROJECT
It was planned for the work on the tower to be completed in approximately six months between June and November 2015. It soon became obvious that this target was not going to be achieved because of some additional problems that came to light as work progressed, and also because there were long delays between the ordering of the Kent ragstone and its delivery from the quarry. The church HLF committee contacted our HLF adviser, Simon Shaw, who readily agreed an extension to the contract. Rather than a short extension the HLF agreed a flexible extension allowing for any bad weather that might prevent work during the winter months. Eventually the work on the tower was completed in June 2016.
FINAL INSPECTION OF THE TOWER
June 2016: just before the scaffolding was taken down the Historic England architect, David John, returned to St. Peter’s church for a final inspection of the church tower, with James Kenton, (Clague of Canterbury architect), and members of the HLF Committee. David John was extremely pleased with the work that had been done on the tower. He announced that the historic church of St. Peter’s in Thanet could be removed from the ‘Historic England Churches at Risk’ register. The church tower and the church of St. Peter’s were no longer in danger of being closed to the public for many years to come.