The east end works are now finished and our first service using the new nave altar will be very soon. Our new chairs for the west end are also due to arrive shortly. The plastic dust sheets have been removed from the pews and a major cleaning operation is underway. It will take some time to get the church back to its previous state of high polish and it may be necessary to bring in professional help to clean the higher levels.
The new servery and flower arrangers’ cupboards are coming together well, and the final configuration can now be appreciated. We have orders in place for our new fridge and dishwasher, ready for installation when the works are finished. The application and finishing of the oak cladding to the servery cupboards will dramatically alter their appearance and this should be arriving soon.
The internal finishing works in the new toilet block are proceeding steadily, and the parapet walls outside are nearing completion, after a wait for the end of installation of the roof coverings and flashings. The standard of workmanship achieved by the contractor is admirable and I recommend a walk around the back of church to have a look.
The remaining internal works around the south entrance are smaller and less critical but should also be finished soon. These include installation of the refurbished porch as well as replacement of the few pews to the east of the porch and the cupboards and entrance furniture to the west of the porch and in the children’s area.
The late decision to introduce a mezzanine floor in the library to accommodate the books in the long term has caused a delay this area. It will therefore be treated as a separate, second phase of the project, as it can be self-contained and not impinge on the workings of the rest of the church.
Analysis of the ground investigation works below the library floor level has exposed ground that is unsuitable for the foundations needed to support a steel frame without using expensive piling. However, the investigations also revealed masonry ledges in the existing church foundations; a revised engineering proposal is to use these ledges to support a new precast concrete ground floor instead of replacing the old timber floor. The construction of the new mezzanine floor will now be entirely in timber, supported by the concrete ground floor. This should produce a cost-effective solution, as it omits the expense both of foundations and of a steel frame.
The structural engineers are compiling a revised design for these changes, which will allow the contractor to confirm his revised costings for this area. We will then also be able to apply for the necessary approvals to proceed with this revised scheme.
The latest magazine for St Peter’s and Tiverton and St Thomas’, Chevithorne with Cove is now available to read. Click the picture on the right to download your copy. For previous issues, please visit the Parish Magazine page.