To the casual observer it may look as though little progress has been made during the last month. In fact, all sorts of things have been happening, many behind the scenes.

The new edging stones for the nave altar have been delivered and are now in place. Ducts for all the power and sound system cables have been installed below the floor, and the cables are now all neat and tidy. The new, stone flooring for the east end will be laid imminently and the finishing in front of the pews will follow. Hopefully this area will be handed back to us soon and the body of the church will be finished, so that we can face eastward again.

Another hidden area of operations is the old library, where the timber floor has been completely removed to allow the digging of trial pits in what was the churchyard, before the Ashworth rebuilding in 1856. These pits are needed for finalisation of the foundation design for the new steel frame, which will hold up the floor for the mezzanine library. Thankfully, nothing of any archaeological significance has been found. Completion of the design will allow establishment of the final cost of the mezzanine and granting of the necessary, revised approvals.

It is envisaged that the works in this area will continue, as a second phase after the handover of the rest of the alterations. At this point the work will all be behind a closed door, with contractor access via the north door only.

Design details for the servery have been finalised, as have exact specifications for all white goods and kitchen accessories. It is worth mentioning that all the services to and from the servery are routed from the new toilet block; they are arranged internally against the north wall and will ultimately be hidden behind timber panelling, to allow easy access in the future.

The most important work completed has been relocation of the main electrical supply to the church. This was in the old blower room and has now been moved within the west vestibule of the tower. After waiting many months for Western Power to effect this move, we are pleased that it is finally completed. The old blower room is now incorporated into the toilet block, and delayed works in this area can now move forward once again. Materials for the final plaster finishes here are already on site and the short staircase has been installed.

Externally, the roofing is finished, the tops of parapet walls can now be completed, and we expect the windows and roof light to be installed soon. The whole block will then be properly watertight.

The end of the works is finally within sight and the contractor has provided an expected handover date for everything except the library.


Parish Magazine

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