Restoration of the Ruins, St Andrew's Church, Walberswick
Your parish church PCC is delighted to announce that it has been awarded grants totalling £175,000 to enable much needed restoration and preservation work of our stunning, but crumbling church ruins. The story broke in last Saturday's EADT, October 3, 2015.
Once the urgent repairs are completed these important, mainly coursed cobble flint, ruins will be rid of ivy, security wires and signage and be restored to the greatness their size and scale indicates, revealing the story of the history of the village dating back beyond the 15th century.
The work will preserve this part of our heritage for the future, enable greater access around the site, enhance the visitor experience and open up the area for community activities, even outdoor weddings!
How it came about
Earlier this year, Historic England, by invitation to visit the site, placed the ruins on its Heritage At Risk (HAR) register. Fortunately it was one of the bodies that made a significant grant to undertake the extensive repair and conservation work to the tune of £100,000 for which we are enormously grateful, in particular to its HAR Principal John Ette.
A successful application to WREN's FCC Heritage Fund brought in a further £75,000, and our appreciation goes to this not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, biodiversity and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.
A condition of the funding is that the work is completed by the end of the financial year March 2016. So we needed to act fast to make it happen.
Who is doing the work?
During the summer Nick Jacob Architects of Ipswich, who has been working with the PCC, and on the re-ordering at St Edmunds, Southwold, drew up the tender documents and he will oversee the project.
Following a three way tender R&J Hogg Ltd were awarded the contract, chiefly due to the amount of specialist knowledge they would bring to the project.
What happens next ?
During the next few weeks contractors will start preparing the site ready for work to commence later in the month. Equipment will arrive and there will be more vehicle activity in the area along The Street and the side entrance to the church yard accessed via Church Lane.
Contractors signs will erected by the main gates entrance.
Please could we ask for your patience and help while the work proceeds.
Autumn, winter and early Spring are not the most ideal weather-wise for this kind of specialised mortar work, so the scaffolding, erected to allow access to the ruins only, will have a canopy so work is not held up by inclement weather.
Please respect that the churchyard will become a building site. Multi-level work, some at a great height, other nearer ground level will be continuous, so there are health and safety risks if people stray into marked- off areas.
Please also be vigilant and do let Rev Simon Pitcher or any of the church wardens know if you feel suspicious about any activity on site.
Hear more about it - sign up for a tour!
John Hogg has very kindly agreed to host a couple of tour parties around the site to tell us about the detailed nature of the work and how they approach it. If you would like to join one group, places are limited to 12. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07785 551193 to reserve a place.
Copies of the plans can be seen at the office of Nicholas Jacob Architects, 89, Berners Street, Ipswich. IP1 3LN.
NB: This is not the only building work taking place this winter at the church. Quinquennial works involving gutters and drains and redecoration of the porch begin in November. Bear with us, we'll be looking great come the Spring!
Stephanie Anderson, vice-chairman, St Andrews PCC, October 2015