Church Refurbishment Latest Update
At the January update meeting with Bakers of Danbury (the builders) and Barker Associates (the Contract Administrators), we were given a full update on the progress of the refurbishment project and issues arising.
Although there has been much progress recently with groundworks being prepared in anticipation of laying the new floor, creating a new concrete ceiling to the boiler-room and fitting it out, and installing steelwork and constructing the floor of the ringing chamber in the tower, the builders have issued a revised programme showing a delay of 18 weeks. The reasons for this have been associated with delays during the excavation works to the floor and unforeseen archaeology as various vaults were discovered and had to be strengthened. This came in addition to the earlier delays caused by the additional work needed to rebuild the large arch between the tower and the main body of the church. The result of these issues is that the plan now shows the completion date for the church as being the 1st July 2022.
Whilst this news comes as a great disappointment to us, we need to keep in mind the vision of how beautiful our church will be when it reopens: equipped for the 21st century with modern underfloor heating, flexible seating layout, improved disabled access, new toilets and kitchen, a new organ, a new audio-visual system and restored bells ringing out the good news across the town. The delay also gives us more time to raise the funds that we need to complete all the work.
Once the church is handed back to us, we are planning a series of events as a “Festival of Re-opening” in which we will invite everyone in the town and all our generous donors and supporters to come and see the beautiful new space and to celebrate the church building as a hub for many exciting activities. The exact date for this is to be confirmed, but is anticipated to be late summer, after we have had a few weeks to settle in. Watch this space!