The Church Tower HLF Application
Following an inspection of the church tower in
October 2012 by David John, from English
Heritage, and Andrew Clague, the church architect informal support
was given to make an application to the ‘HLF Grants for Places of
Worship’ scheme. A HLF Grant Committee of four was set up and they
completed the first stage of the HLF application in time for the
August 2013 deadline. In December 2013 the Parish Church of St. Peter
received the news that they had been awarded a Development Grant of
£19,600 so that a Second Round application could be made in 2014.
before applying for the first stage HLF application the church
received a generous anonymous donation of £10,000 to cover the
repair and restoration of the tower window. It was recognised that
the church would require additional funds not only to cover the
church’s required contribution to the repair of the church tower
but also for work that is required inside the church and for
improvements to the Church Halls. As a result a separate Fundraising
Committee was set up to raise funds for the Church Tower, the Church
Halls and for Reordering the Church.
2014 the HLF Grant committee together with the church architect have
met on a regular basis to produce the second stage HLF application,
whilst the Fund Raising Committee have embarked on a range of events
to generate funds. A thermometer was placed outside the church to
show the how much the church community has raised.
has been in the church showing details of the Tower project and
acknowledging the HLF Development grant as well as showing proposals
for improvements to the Church Halls and possible reordering of the
Church over the next few years.
result of the bad weather during the winter of 2013 it was necessary
to fence the tower off as a safety precaution. This was financed by
the PCC. The protective fence enabled the Grant Committee to
acknowledge the support of The National Lottery with a large
an inspection of the tower in 2012 had revealed significant problems
with the tower and photographs of many of the problem areas had been
submitted in the First Round HLF application, all four sides of the
church tower were laser scanned and a small remote controlled
helicopter took detailed photographs of the entire tower. As a result
rectified images of the tower were produced to indicate the exact
parts of the tower that need to be repaired and will form part of the
second round HLF application.
was erected both inside and outside the tower to enable the tower
window to be taken out and to be taken away for repairs and
restoration by the Deal stained glass specialist John Corley Stained
Glass Studio. It is hoped that the stained window will be back in
place by the end of 2014.
Fundraising Committee have organised many fundraising events during
2014. Fundraising events have included individual ‘Save the Tower
Loose Change Appeal’ collecting boxes, the major launch of the
‘Fundraising appeal’ at the Church and in the Church Hall, a
number of concerts/musical events in the church, a beetle drive
during half term, Ladies nights, a murder mystery play put on by
local teachers, the Church Summer Fete and a photographic competition
‘This Made Me Smile’ with 13 photographs being selected for a
have supported the Fundraising appeal with generous individual
donations, doing collections at a local supermarket and a garden
centre, doing sponsored walks to name just some of the support that
individual members of the community have given to the church and the
a result of all the fundraising activities over £30,000 has been
raised during 2014 by the Fundraising Committee.
Friends of St. Peter’s and St. Andrew’s Churches have agreed a
donation of £10,000 to St Peter’s Parish Church for the
restoration of the Church Tower.
Friends of Kent Churches have awarded the church a donation of
£20,000 for the restoration of the Church Tower.
local TDFAS (Thanet Decorative and Fine Arts Society) have given £100
for St Peter’s to develop a NADFAS Church Trail for children (and
accompanying adults) Answers to the church trail and explanatory
notes are also being prepared. This is in the final stages of
Clague and James Kenton from the Church Architects, Clague LLP of
Canterbury, have been working with the HLF Grant Committee to produce
the Second Round ‘HLF Grants for Places of Worship’ application.
This will be submitted to the HLF for the 24th November
2014 deadline with the expectation that we will hear the result of
our application in the first couple of months of 2015.
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.