Work to repair the West end roofs and organ chamber parapet is nearing completion. The work has been funded through a major grant of almost a quarter of a million pounds from the Heritage Lottery Fund and through generous grants from the Lord Mayor's Fund and the Church Buildings Council. The contract was originally scheduled to last up to the end of June 2016, though after removal of the outer lead covering on the Nave roof, extensive wood rot and beetle attack were discovered. The rot was mainly in the ridge beam and there was concern about the structural integrity of the roof, which became the project priority. An internal scaffold and platform had to be erected for the safety of the workforce and of visitors to the church.
The high level platform has given us the opportunity to closely inspect the roof in the Nave area and to better secure the decorative lead stars and wooden carvings that are fixed to the underside of the ceiling. A report is being prepared by our current conservators, Perry Lithgow Partnership, on the conservation and restoration of the paintings on the main roof beams. Though not part of this current project, it is hoped that the conservation work could be carried out when future funding can be found. Several intrepid congregation members took the opportunity to climb to the high level platform, to have a close look at the angels and shields painted on the beams and the roof decorations.
In order to fund the extra repairs to the Nave roof it was necessary to omit the proposed repairs to the Archdeacon's Court roof. Funding is being sought to carry out these repairs as they were identified as necessary during our last architect's inspection.