The work to replace the stolen lead on the South Aisle and Lady Chapel Roof began at the beginning of September. This is a mammoth task and represents the culmination of months of work and fundraising. So far, we have received grant awards of £13,000 from the National Churches Trust and the Wolfson Foundation and £1,800 from All Churches Trust and £2,500 from Suffolk Historic Churches Trust. We await news from four other grant providers to whom applications have been made. Applying to and liaising with grant providers was an extremely long and arduous process and I am particularly grateful to Karen and Geoff Knight and Llewela Selfridge who gave up so much of their valuable time and expertise to ensure the best possible outcome. <On top of that we have received approximately £14,000 in voluntary donations and I am grateful to David and Gill Leeming and Colin and Lorraine Line for their tireless help in spearheading the fund-raising campaign and the Friends of Hartest Church for their huge support and particularly to all of those who contributed so generously.
With the limited pay out of £7,500 from our insurers this means that we have now raised the £35,000 needed to carry out this essential work. We now have a roof alarm – I imagine some of you may have heard it when the scaffolders and roofers managed to set it off! – and so our insurance cover is now unlimited.
At the time of going to press work will also have begun to install the long awaited toilet and kitchen facilities in the church. My thanks again to David Leeming and to Ralph Carpenter and Jane Ackroyd and the Friends whose tireless efforts in fund raising and planning over recent months and years made this happen. This is an exciting time for our Church and we are determined that it will continue for many centuries to be not only a place for regular Christian worship and fellowship but also as a valuable resource for our school and community. Andrew Jackson