New life at Shipton church

External scaffolding at the north and south of St Mary’s church has been erected to allow repairs to be done on the outside roof. Special stone has been delivered which is being cut to the right shape and size to facilitate restoration.

Large, heavy, solid oak timbers are being cut to the appropriate shape so that they may be fitted as replacements for various parts of the internal wooden roof beams that have rotted or suffered water damage. 

A good deal of effort has gone in to how to enhance the lighting in the church. Under consideration is replacing lights in the West End with LED units. The upper nave lights will probably be replaced with two circuits for the main nave and the nave altar area. Several other changes are proposed with the aim being to have maximum flexibility for illuminating key areas as well as the option of dimming certain lights.

The target date to finish both external and internal roof restoration and repairs is by Easter. If this deadline can be achieved the idea is to have a service at which the Bishop officiates to celebrate this phase of the restoration.

As the photos below show, the repair work is both extensive and serious.  In the next issue of the magazine, more details about costs and needs will be explained.

Home » New life at Shipton church » Shipton church restoration
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Stonework cutaway to reveal the bolts that tie the exterior ironwork to the roof beams inside the church.
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Main roof showing the coping stones that are badly weathered.
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Part of the Victorian cast iron rods that also tie the nave roof together. These also are being repaired, painted and in one case replaced with a new bar on the outside.
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Stone cut away for replacement.
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New sections of oak replacing the rotten timbers.
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Section of wall waiting to be re-plastered. Damp coming in from the outside damaged the timber and plaster. Most, if not all, of the damage to the roof beams has been caused by damp coming in through the walls creating a friendly environment for deathwatch beetles. This is mainly due to drain pipes and gutters being blocked with needles from the cedar tree in front of the church.

James Walmsley
Church Warden

April-May 2021