Church of England Diocese of Oxford West Hendred

North Aisle roof appeal launched

24 Jan 2021, 5 p.m.

A timber survey done in May 2020. This showed that the Death Watch Beetle treatment in 2009 had worked well, and there is now a low level of activity. However, the survey did highlight that a supporting beam to the tower’s bell chamber needed urgently replacing. This was replaced in late September to early October, which cost £4,196. Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust (OHCT) speedily provided us with a grant of £1,000 towards this.

The timber survey also highlighted an urgent problem with the timbers supporting the North Aisle’s roof. This had been mentioned in the 2009 survey, and our then architect closely inspected the timbers when we had scaffolding in place for the Death Watch Beetle treatment; he recommended that work on these timbers did not need immediate action.

The Timber specialist recommended a survey of the roof by a structural engineer, and this was done in August. The structural survey recommended urgent action for the North Aisle roof’s supporting timbers. This is going to be a big piece of work.

The Church’s architect and the Structural Engineer were asked to provide a budgetary estimate and outline repair scheme, which they provided in early January. They have devised an approach that does not require lifting off the North Aisle’s roof, with the need for external scaffolding; this has already been reviewed by an experienced Quantity Surveyor, and also by one of the Diocese’s experts.

The approach means that the estimate cost is approximately £56,000.

The approach means that the estimate cost is £56,016.

This is a big cost, so we need to apply to major grant-making bodies. We’ve submitted an application to Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust (OHCT), are relatively confident on some matched funding. We’ll be applying to some major funders in the coming weeks. We’ve also applied to Oxford Diocese for the faculty (their permission) to do the work.

We need your support. Funders want to see funding from the local community. We’re starting to launch an appeal to raise money towards this urgent work.

Please can you help secure the future of West Hendred’s church, by donating either by selecting "Give Now" on our home page or contacting the church Treasurer, Roland Jack by email [email protected]

Thank you very much in anticipation

Hugh Rees