Church update March 2016

March 2016 – Penrhos Church First Stage of Repair

An Application has been made to the Diocesan Office for permission to remove the bird debris from within the roof void and to prop up the rafters and repair some of the stone tiles that have slipped and then to cover the holes in the wall plate with mesh to prevent further ingress by the birds.

At the same time further panels will be opened up in the ceiling to ascertain the exact extent of the work will be necessary to secure the roof and to enable the nave to be brought back into use and to repair the internal wall plate and the ceiling areas.

This work which will be quite extensive will be funded hopefully by a grant From the Heritage Lottery Fund but they will not fund the full cost of the work so it will be necessary for us to raise money locally to fund the difference.

Until the further panels have been opened up it is not possible to get an accurate cost of the work and we’re hoping that certain other repairs might well be included within the application depending on the cost of the necessary work to the nave.

The funding for the removal of the bird debris and the propping up and repair of tiles has been secured together with the work to cover the holes in the wall plate.

We will have to fund the opening up of the panels from our own resources.

November 2015

The Representative Body of the Church in Wales has kindly confirmed that it will fund the Urgent Repair Work which is needed before we can move on to the next stage. The work that they are funding involves the removal of Bird /other debris in the space between the roof tiles and the inner ceiling which is a large contributing factor to the decay and beetle infestation that has led to the rafters and inner framework that supports the ceiling rotting. There is a “hole” in the outer wall plate which needs to be addressed within this work  We may have to contribute  to the work which the RBOCW are funding , since sensibly the work of replacing  the outer wall plate might well be  carried out at the same time as the work that they are funding.
We are currently in discussion with RBOCW , The Diocesan Office and the Consulting Engineers.

July 2015

Managing expectations is an important skill in so many walks of life. It applies as much to our church restoration as to other situations we encounter. Having had the nave of our church condemned by our advisers as unfit for use and terrifying telephone number cost estimates of repair, we started to become accustomed to the magnitude of the problem. We were ready for all eventualities.

Roll the clock forward to late Spring 2015 and following further more detailed investigation by engineers, funded by the Church in Wales, we now have access to cross sectional plans of St Cadoc’s church showing all the defects in three dimensional glory and we also have a clearer idea of the decay that needs addressing.

Although still sizeable: from vermin infestation to areas of material rot, the damage is considerably less disastrous than we were first led to believe. The nave roof, although in need of repair, is not immediately at risk of collapse and with relatively minor repair work can be made sufficiently safe for the nave to be reopened.

The cost of essential repairs, sufficient to arrest further decay, is somewhere between £50,000 and £100,000 – not the gargantuan sums first suggested by the experts, and on which we relied when preparing the Penrhos Questionnaire.

The committee is pleased to confirm that although we do need to fund some major works, the nave should be capable of being used again once essential safety works are carried out (hopefully at the Church in Wales’ cost) and the scale of funds needed to carry out other essential repairs is less unaffordable than originally feared.

Assuming grants are available, which is yet to be established, and which will be subject to our community matching grants pound for pound, we may collectively need to raise up to £50,000. Although a very large sum, it is on a different scale to the £500,000 plus we were originally led to believe was required.

So what next?

We need to:

  • carry out the safety works to the nave to enable it to be reopened, and
  • turn the various elements of essential repairs into a schedule of works, costed and phased, so that as funds become available we can get the repair works under way.

Once the phases and their costs are clearer and the quantum of grants established (for which the Penrhos Questionnaire results are essential), we will need to ask as many of you as are willing to do so to get involved. This will either be by making donations (or encouraging others to make donations), or pledging funds by way of Gift Aid or by hosting or getting involved with events that will raise money for the essential repairs. The Penrhos Questionnaire revealed a great willingness from the village to participate in this.

All help will be gratefully received and any ideas for fund raising please share with the committee. We really want to make this an opportunity to bring our community together and to raise enough money to preserve St Cadoc’s for future generations.

The use of the chancel, whilst the nave has been out of action, as a more intimate place of worship has been hugely successful, so much so that it is worth our considering installing doors between the nave and the chancel that can be closed for the smaller congregation at Sunday worship and kept open for larger events, such as the harvest supper, the carol service, weddings, baptisms and funerals and, of course, other wider community uses. This will also need to be costed.

Although much needs to be done to restore our beautiful church, the committee hopes you will agree that the enormity of the task does not feel so daunting.

More to follow…

St. Cadoc’s church committee
Geoff Adams (chair)
Peter Cobb
Charles Horsfield
Bonnie Janes
Pip Rumsey