English Heritage has just increased our grant for the repairs to the tower and south aisle roofs by £16,000 to £48,000. We still need more money but this is sufficient for us to start the repairs. The next step is a meeting of all the professionals and contractors involved, signing the building contract and fixing a start date. We hope work will start in April and take six months.
This comes on top of a large grant of £22,500 from the Friends of Kent Churches which was awarded last year. The Friends raise money for making grants for the repair of historic churches of all denominations. They do this principally from their annual sponsored Ride & Stride event.
Last year was taken up with obtaining reports and investigations, preparing plans & specifications, getting permission for the work and inviting tenders. This part of the project alone cost £21,000! Three quarters of this was paid for by English Heritage.
When the tenders came in the lowest was £16,000 more that had been estimated by English Heritage and our quantity surveyor. When we applied to English Heritage in December for confirmation of its “in principal” grant of £32,000 for the building work we also asked for an increase in the grant. We were warned that others also wanted some of the limited funds available and so were surprised to get the full amount.
We are still about £50,000 short of our fund raising target. Applications have been made for some more grants and we hope more donations will be received from within the parish before the work is completed. It’s not too late to give!
The Roof Blog
We will be running a blog reporting on progress with the project and this will also be the first post in the blog. Look for “Roof blog” in the main menu.