St. Andrew's Church Maintenance
Preserving This Historic Bemerton Chapel
St. Andrew's Church dates back to at least the 14th century. Maintenance and repairs have been carried out throughout the life of the church, including significant work by George Herbert, and we continue to strive to preserve his heritage.
The church interior has benefited from much more efficient low level electrical heating, and the introduction of new pew cushions has made life more comfortable for members of our congregation. The most recent improvement has been the long-overdue installation of new lighting.
The much-needed refurbishment of the bellcote has now been done, but unfortunately it took much longer than we expected. Although we had the structure inspected for rot and woodworm it was only when our painter stripped the wood that a large area of dry rot was discovered. Then it was necessary to draw up a new specification to replace the rotten stuff and splice in the new, and there was a further delay while wood was sourced from France. But as you can see the finished article looks really good and we think it will last for a long time.
Unfortunately the extra work meant that the costs went up to £4,900, instead of the £2,500 for which we had budgeted. That’s a lot of money for our small flock of churchgoers to find, and so any contributions to defray the costs incurred in having this kind of work done on the church would be most welcome - please use the Donations button on this page.
Wall Fabric Repairs
The wall fabric is generally sound, but there were three areas of concern needing urgent attention:
- The pointing of the flints on the western wall of the church.
- Cutting out and refacing the greensand stones and quoins which had deteriorated most, and
- Replacing damaged hard render in the interior former north door area of the church where there was a damp problem.
All this work has now been completed and the new pointing can be seen in the picture. This is a west facing wall and will be most weathered by the prevailing wind but the flints are no longer in danger of falling out. In due course, we will have to arrange for the whole wall to be repointed again but the immediate danger has been resolved.
Other Recent Repairs
The most important repair was to the wall plate in the south east corner of the church. The plate (the wood below the gutter on top of the wall) was cut out and replaced with a new piece of oak before the roof was retiled.
The porch roof has also been repaired with the hand-made cambered tiles stripped off and about a third replaced.
The church graveyard is the responsibility of the local Council and it carried out some repairs to the wall of the graveyard on the south of the church, facing the old vicarage, which was in a poor state with flints having fallen out and bricks loose. This may have been the result of damage from vehicles as it is a busy road. The repairs have stabilised the wall and replaced the flints.
Repairs to centuries-old buildings such as this are specialised and invariably costly. The Friends of St. Andrew's would be delighted to receive donations towards the upkeep of this lovely little historic church. You can make a contribution through PayPal by clicking on this button:
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