Protecting our Heritage

A Building Update

Maintaining a building such as St Anne’s can easily become a full-time occupation. We hope that, by reading this article, you will get a better understanding of what is taking place and what is planned.

The main focus over the last few months has been to get the Roofing Specialists firstly to identify what needs to be done to the roof and then to propose a programme which, when finished, will make the building watertight once again.

Work commenced in November and this tackled the water ingress problem in the south aisle. A major and frightening problem for us was that we could only establish what needed to be undertaken once the roof covering (aluminium sheeting) had been removed and the timber exposed.

The south aisle, of course, faces the prevailing weather and thus is likely to be in the worst condition. Lifting the sheeting exposed a copy of the Derbyshire Times, dated November 1964, obviously dating the last occasion work was undertaken on this part of the roof. An area of 4.5 square metres was exposed showing that some of the timbers had rotted and thus needed to be replaced. This section of the roof was rebuilt and covered with new stainless steel sheeting, whilst at the same time a new stainless steel gutter was installed. Completing this section - which is one of four that needs to be tackled - has cost £6,691 plus VAT. 

At some stage we have to undertake the same procedure on the remaining three sections of the south aisle at a cost of some £20,000. Whilst undertaking this work the roof of the Knave and the Chancel were inspected and it was identified that a complete new ridge was needed on the Chancel at a further cost of £2,000 plus VAT. We agreed that this work should be carried out immediately, which has been done. By going down this path we hope to avoid the roofing timbers being damaged any further. The good news is that, as a Grade II listed building which is actively being used for religious purposes, we can claim back the VAT. We will now work with the contractors to develop a programme which will enable the south aisle to be completed as well as replacing the ridge over the Knave. 

The next area of work that we are undertaking has been forced upon us by changing insurance and health and safety requirements. 

We have a significant number of high-level lights which, when one failed, we used to be able to call upon a local electrician to bring his ladders and undertake the work. This we can no longer do as the cost of insurance to work at these heights has forced the electrician to withdraw from this type of work. To change a light now requires scaffolding which costs between £80 to £100 per day. 

As a result of this, we have decided to replace all our lights with new LED lighting, which carries a five-year guarantee. If a light fails the supplier has to replace it at no cost to ourselves. The cost of this programme is c£2,000 but these new lights only use some 10% of the power of the current lights, thus savings will be made on an on-going basis. This change will take place in January. 

In the last month, we have also had the lightning conductor serviced as well as all the fire extinguishers. The two central heating boilers have also been serviced. 

Part Two of this update will follow next month. None of this work would be possible without your support and for this, we are extremely grateful. 


The Building Maintenance Team

A Building Update - Part 2

As promised last month's report we stated that we would complete our update in respect of the overall state of the St Anne’s Building. With Phase 1 of the work on the South Aisle now complete, and paid for, we now look to the next phase of the programme. However, before we commence any further work we need to claim back the VAT that we have already paid on Phase 1. It is anticipated that we will receive some £1,737.43 as a refund.

The priority in respect of the roof is to complete the work on the South Aisle and replace the ridge on the Nave. When we have instructed the contractor we will receive a detailed estimate of the cost involved. We are looking in the region of £25,000 in total, again we will be able to claim back the VAT.

The expenditure of such an amount means that we are only able to move forward one step at a time as we have to display to the contractor, that we have the funds available. This results in us having to put back the work that needs to be undertaken on the tower, the original estimated cost of which was c£50,000. Work needs to be undertaken by the PCC on possible grants that could be available for this is key in respect of the speed that we can move forward.

We were hoping to advise you that problems encountered with the electrics of the organ had been resolved, following the installation of an Uninterrupted Power Supply box, however whilst putting together this article, further power problems were encountered so we are really back to square one. Contact has been made with the designers and the installers of the upgraded organ and we hope to report very quickly that all is working well. Before Christmas the “Blower Room” which houses the mechanism that powers the pipe section of the organ was inspected by a specialist and cleaned out. The inspection gave us a clean bill of health stating the blower was in excellent shape and, despite being manufactured in the 1930’s, would last many more years. Some good news at last!

The Building Maintenance Team

Every five years St. Anne’s, like all other churches, has to have an Architects inspection which is to ensure that the building is in good order. The philosophy of the P.C.C. has always been to undertake any repair work as soon as a problem is identified and this is fine until you come up against a really expensive issue.

The inspection, undertaken during the autumn of last year, identified an issue with some of the stone work on the tower. Areas around the louvers have gradually been worn away and need to be replaced. This of course means the employment of a stone mason as well as the use of a significant amount of scaffolding to get to the point of the trouble. Our Architect drew up a detailed specification of the work required and we sought quotes to undertake the work. The best price that we have received is c£30,000.

We immediately instructed the architect to look at every possible avenue of grants that may be available to assist us. We have started the process of seeking funds from the National Lottery, although if successful we would not get the grant until next year. We are starting to look at all other grant bodies that may be prepared to help us.

We have a wonderful building in our midst but, as you can see, keeping it in a proper state is a major task. Do we ignore this type of problem or do we, as a village, ensure that our next generation take over a well maintained building? I am sure that I know the answer to this as we already have magnificent support from those in the Patronage Scheme. This coming year we are just going have to try a little harder however we will keep you all informed once we know how successful we have been with our grant applications.


July Update 2014

We have now completed our work on the electrical installation at St Anne’s with all items identified in the original inspection having been corrected. We now have an up-to-date certificate giving us the official signoff.

It was disappointing to hear from the National Heritage Lottery Fund that they were not prepared to make us a grant, at this time, towards the cost of undertaking significant corrective masonry work on the tower. They have suggested that we meet them, together with our Architect, to take the matter further. This we will now do.

June 2014 Update

We continue with our work on the building and during the last month we have undertaken some rectification work on the paintwork inside the church. Unfortunately over the very wet winter we have found areas of damp that have appeared due to leaks in the roof and some down pipes. The leaks were fixed and we then allowed the damp areas to dry out before re-painting; all this work has now been completed.

Just as an aside the paint that we have to use is more than £90 a tin, just a little bit more than your normal household paint!


May 2014 Update

It is our intention, through the pages of the Parish News and this website, to keep you abreast of work that has been undertake at St. Anne’s. This work is key to ensure that we maintain our responsibility to future generations in keeping our lovely building ‘fit for purpose’.

We have in the last two weeks installed a totally new Electrical Phase 3 Distribution Board; we believe that the last time this was overhauled was some 50 years ago. As you can guess some of the wiring was not up to modern day requirements but we have now passed the necessary inspection and hopefully we will be in a good position for several decades to come.

Our second task was to re-point the gable end of the Rutland Room which overlooks the car park at Rowleys. This work has been completed including a new window being fitted and the upper loft door being refurbished.






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