St Thomas Tower Repairs

Information about repairs to St Thomas' Church Tower

28th February 2022

 

We need your help towards a repair bill of c.£60k Please give generously here!

Further to recent comments on social media, please note that St Thomas' South Wigston is financially independent from St Wistan's and any fundraising activity for the St Thomas' project is not diverting funds away from St Wistan's.

 

Problem

  • Unfortunately the Quinquennial Inspection of the building, undertaken by an experienced church architect every five years, has identified that there is structural movement to the staircase that leads up to the bell tower.
  • To be clear, the tower itself is sturdy and not a cause for alarm!
  • The problem area is the turret bit that you can see on the west (petrol station) side, particularly at the top.
  • Basically, the staircase was never properly fixed to the tower itself and is gradually moving away.
  • The latest Quinquennial Inspection has identified that now is the time for us to act on the matter.

 

Solution

  • Advice has been sought from a highly respected structural engineer and the necessary diocesan permission has been gained for the structural work that needs to be done.
  • This will involve the insertion of steel bars and rods at the top of the tower staircase to provide effective pinning to the tower.

 

 

 

  • Frustratingly, all of this work will be internal so it means that all the hard work will be unseen, but it will at least secure the staircase for future generations.

 

Cost

  • Approximately £60k. However, that includes VAT which can be reclaimed when the work is done through a particular grant available to churches.

 

What we’re already doing

  • We’re working hard on sourcing grant funding - which will have to form the bulk of any fundraising.
  • We’ve already submitted a funding application in late February and several others are in the pipeline.
  • Plans of work are in place and the necessary permissions have been sought for the work.
  • We’ve raised about £7k so far through fundraising events and re-allocating some reserves and part of a legacy that we received.

 

What can you do?

You can make a one-off donation or set up a monthly gift at this link.

  • However, we also need to do some fundraising towards the overall cost. We also need to be able to demonstrate to grant funders that we’re being proactive too.
  • If you’re able and willing to be involved with aspects of that, we’d be hugely grateful!
  • By that we mean not just providing the personnel but also being willing to organise events – otherwise it will fall down to just a few people.
  • Contact kate.martin@sky.com or revchrisjohnson.wbs@gmail.com if you’d be able to help. We’d love to hear from you!

 

Some positive news and a heads up for the future

  • The good news is that this work to the tower is the main flag from the QI – which, believe it or not, is a relief! 
  • It's also testament to the care that has been taken of our church down the years by many people as a service to the community and to God.
  • We’ve got to prioritise the structural work now but looking ahead:

- There are works to be done to the clock which is 100 years old now and the bell frame which is 120 years old.

But we’ll cross those bridges when we come to them – particularly as those would be a more visible and audible reminder of the work that will happen to the tower.

 

 

  • Please remember the work that we need to do in your prayers, particularly the fundraising aspect and especially for generosity of heart amongst the grant-funding bodies!

 

We’ll keep updating this page when there’s more news

www.wigstonbenefice.org.uk/thomastower