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Church Ceiling Appeal

Posted on November 11th, by Editor in Church, Have You Heard?. Comments Off on Church Ceiling Appeal

(so it is easily referred to this is a copy of the E-note circulated on 10 Nov.)

Tresham Church
Appeal for Funds towards Chancel Ceiling Repairs

In January 2017, a significant amount of plaster fell suddenly from the chancel ceiling (the chancel is the smaller part of the church, at the altar end), exposing a hole and some remaining lath supports. The plaster which fell appeared to be some sort of early plaster board, although there was some remaining original lime plaster as well. There is a circular ring of thicker plaster, surrounding the ventilation hole with its fretwork cover, and much of that had also come down. Fortunately, there was no-one in the building at the time, so no-one was hurt.

Repairs were carried out by Kilcot Conservation after competitive tender; they repaired and replaced lath strips as needed and made a lime plaster ceiling on that support, as would have been done originally. They engaged Wheatley’s of Marshfield to form and make a new plaster ring, which was attached in a way which supported it well into the ceiling. The sloping side panels of the ceiling, separated from the central flat part, had not been affected, so were merely painted to match the repaired central part. Kilcot also cleaned up the beams (which had some generations of paint and plaster splattering) and repaired the ventilation shaft fretwork, replacing the rotten backboard there.

The result is a very smart (and safe!) chancel ceiling, and in addition Kilcot investigated the nave ceiling support structure through the ventilation shaft there, and found nothing which suggested the ceiling there was not sound (although it will need redecoration in the foreseeable future). In the chancel, the problem had been that water had got in long ago before the last roof replacement, and this had led to rotting in the two main joists on either side of the ventilation shaft plaster ring. Weakness had led to eventual collapse of that area. The joists have now been strengthened and replaced as needed.

Including the architect’s fees, the total cost of the work has been £3,378 excluding VAT. The VAT was charged and paid, but we are now applying for it to be returned to us through an arrangement with the government for listed places of worship. We were successful in an application to the Allchurches Trust for assistance for the cost of repairs and obtained £1,000, and are now investigating another possible grant elsewhere. In addition, we have received £200 in donations from very kind individuals, £350 from Hillesley and Tresham Parish Council and £500 from Tresham Village Hall fund. We are most grateful to everyone who has contributed to the cost of the repair. There is now a remaining sum to find of £1,328 should anyone wish to make a contribution.

There is a long tradition of support for the church fabric; inside the church there is a magnificent framed list of the donors in 1908 for the substantial decoration of the chancel area in memory of all the unmarked graves around the church, which have been there for many hundreds of years as there have been previous churches on this spot. It is the ‘sacred place’ of our village, for everyone whatever their personal beliefs, and it is also our only shared social gathering space. If you would like to contribute to the remaining amount needed, then please either:

  • make a bank payment to Tresham Church 30-98-29 02962208 and advise our treasurer, Please switch on JavaScript to see our email address; or
  • place your donation in the box in the church. There are envelopes on the pews to fill in if you would like us to be able to claim gift aid on taxed income. Please also mark the envelope “for repairs”.

Thank you.
Tresham Church Committee