7. Roof Repair Project

The quinquennial inspection in April 2017, carried out to meet the Heritage Lottery Fund grant application for the Pew Platforms Project, revealed that the timber supports for the nave roof gutters behind the parapet were weak and flexed as the architect walked along them.  We had earlier had a deluge into the pulpit so weren't completely surprised.

In order to reveal the timber it is necessary to remove some of the roof tiles.  These contain chrysotile and were fitted in 1975 when there were insufficient funds to replace defective lead with new.  Removal will cause them to crumble.  We have sought advice from the Senior Conservation Planning Officer and can replace the tiles with terne-coated stainless steel to match the north aisle roof.  We have been granted full planning permission by the Daventry District Council in January 2020 and a Faculty by the Chancellor of the Diocese in November 2020.  While we have contractors working at height, some masonry repairs, clock face decoration and down pipe repairs were included in the contract.

The architect had worked up the full specifications for the work.  We knew the costs were going to be around £93,000 including 20% VAT.   We had £20,470 in the Restoration Fund and we acknowledged with great thanks further written promises and donations totalling £29,550 from the Frances Coales, Dorothy Johnson Charitable Trusts, Sir Derek Greenaway Foundation, Allchurches Trust (now Benefact), Northamptonshire Historic Churches Trust,  Garfield Weston Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation and the Davidge Usher Trust.  We anticipated that the VAT would be covered by the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme.  

Following successful fund raising over four years, including an unexpected major grant from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Culture Recovery Fund  and a legacy, the Parochial Church Council (PCC) found itself able to proceed with the replacement of the fragile main roof asbestos cement tiles with stainless steel sheeting and the repair of the hidden but rotting timbers, especially holding the gutters behind the parapets. At the same time, high level masonry work and the gilding of the clock face was able to be undertaken with the funding available.

A pre-contract site meeting was held between the architect, William Ashheton of GSS, Darren Guest of The Leadworks (UK) Ltd, the main roofing contractor, and church representatives on 13 January 2022.

Scaffolding was erected around the roofs on 18 and 19 January in preparation for the main work to start on 31 January. The roofing work is expected to be completed on target of 31 March 2022.   The capping stones on the nave parapet were found to be in a far worse condition than anticipated and with the offer of extra funding from the Heritage Stimulus Fund, over £18,000 of work by the stone masons was authorised.  About 45% of the stone cappings have been replaced with new, using ironstone from Great Tew quarry.  The removal of the scaffolding was finished by Thursday 12 May.

The original specification allowed for clearing of the iron rain-water gutters but the breaks, gaps and wet south aisle walls indicated that more was needed. In fact the amount of damaged ironware was a surprise and several new sections, hoppers and downpipes were needed. The extra work was finished on 26 May.

The work was finished with the final formal inspection by the architect with the main contractor and PCC representatives on 8 June 2022.

This was a major project, with much highly skilled work, which will protect the village’s church for many decades to come.

The Family Service on Sunday 12 June 2022 was the occasion of thanksgiving for and dedication of the new church roof led by the Revd Malcolm Ingham. Representatives of the donors of the funds and those involved with the work were invited to our celebration.

Tours to the top of tower to see the roofs are available to book with Geoff Pullin (gcsspullin @ yahoo.com).

The PCC thanks its neighbours for withstanding the disruption and occasional noise that was inevitable with the ubiquitous builders' radio and cramped road situation that is our inheritance.

Weekly progress reports are posted on the parish website.

See also the National Churches Trust blog here

Donations of all sizes will still be welcomed by the PCC Treasurer:

      Account Name: PCC Badby Church Restoration Fund

      Account No: 07106240

      Sort Code: 30-92-55


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