St Giles’ Church Restoration News
Looking back on 2008, it is very clear to me that this report could equally be called “Social Events News”. We ran a May Fair, and in October a musical evening in the church. The Friends of St Giles’ School kindly allowed us to run a church stall at their Summer Fete in July, and then in December the Christmas Market was run jointly with the Village Hall committee, and the School also had a stall. This final event, which raised £735 to be split between the Restoration Fund and the Village Hall, was well supported by many people from the village. Everyone enjoyed the tasty seasonal lunches, and the opportunity for some stress-free Christmas shopping, with real bargains to be found on the gift stall, and entertainment for the children as well.
While all these activities raised money to help with the maintenance of the church building, they were also opportunities for people to come together and enjoy being part of our village.
We will be planning something for this year, and would be very pleased to hear any comments or suggestions. Offers of help are always very gratefully received.
The first work we did, at the beginning of the year, was to the front south aisle floor, underneath the pews and in front of the pulpit, is composed of screed. Checkalow, of Barnet, removed the old screed, and replaced it with a new mixture including an additive to make it firmer and water-resistant. The new floor is holding up well, and blends in with the older parts. There is one small section of older floor which has developed into a hole since the work was done, and this will have to be repaired when we can arrange a convenient time.
The repairs to the Blanche Lane flint wall, done in the summer, still appear lighter than the rest of the wall. I have been assured that the lime mortar will eventually fade and blend in.
Negotiations are continuing for replacement wooden gates at the entrance to the churchyard. We cannot start other work inside the church just yet, because the Building sub-committee is working hard at plans to install a toilet in the church. This has been recognised as a necessity for many years now, but every attempt to produce an acceptable design has been frustrated by some aspect of planning regulation. The toilet does not come under restoration funding, but it does have an impact on planning work, as we need to ensure that jobs are scheduled in the right order.