In general, the works involve repairs to the Church roof, rendering, rainwater goods, stonework and internal cracking to the wall plaster with internal redecorations; guttering replacement & external decoration of the Bell Tower; internal decoration of the Bell Tower and repairs to the Bell itself. There are more minor repairs to the Presbytery and garden walls.
There are three requirements which need to be dealt with before we are in a position to commence the restoration works. These are: (1) preparation of a Summary of Works and costings; (2) Approval of the Historic Churches Committee (HCC) to the intended works together with the consent of Plymouth Diocese; (3) confirmation of grant awards and finance to cover the costs.
Progress has been slowed down to some extent by the restrictions of Covid 19 but the present position on these three requirements is set out below.
PREPARATION OF SUMMARY OF WORKS
Earlier this year, a firm of Architects, Philip Hughes & Associates, were appointed to prepare a Summary of Works and Specification for the repair and restoration works required to the Church, Bell Tower and Presbytery. Following a site meeting on the 18th March, when a detailed inspection was carried out and photographs taken, the architects have been in the process of preparing this information. Detailed drawings of the Church will also be drawn up.
APPROVAL OF THE HCC (known as a “Faculty”)
The HCC are charged with considering all major works to historic ecclesiastical buildings
The Summary of Works, photographs and Drawings are required for two purposes; firstly, to complete the application to the HCC for consent to proceed with the work, which a pre-requisite as the buildings are Grade 11* Listed and secondly to enable quotes to be obtained from contractors. It is hoped that we shall be in a position to apply to the HCC by the end of July.
Members of the HCC will visit the Church to consider the restoration works and may give their views on some aspects of the intended works. The application will be advertised in the Bridport & Lyme Regis News by way of a public notice as well as a Notice on the Church noticeboard with the public being invited to give comments or objections. This process takes about two months.
Plymouth Diocese has approved the works in principle and application for full consent will be sought when the HCC Faculty is issued and finances in place to cover the cost of the works.
CONFIRMATION OF GRANT AWARDS AND FINANCING
We need to ensure that finance is in place before instructions are given to the chosen contractor to start work. Funding will come from three sources: (1) Grants from charitable bodies both smaller ones and the larger public ones such as the National Churches Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund; (2) The Parishes own resources with potential assistance from Plymouth Diocese; (3) Donations and fundraising.
It is hoped to obtain between 65% and 75% of the costs through grants with the balance being made up through Parish resources and donations.
Grants awarded to date are as follows:
- Dorset Historic Churches Trust – £10,000 (payable on completion of works)
- Llewellyn Edwards Bell Restoration Fund £100 (payable on completion of repair works to the Bell)
- £1,038,56 from Charlotte Marshall Charitable Trust (received)
- £500 from Axe Valley Show Committee (received) for use on the reception/hallway area of the Church
The current position on monies raised by the Parish (other than grants) to date is as follows:
Bequest under the will of a deceased parishioner (received) £25,000.00
Donations and fundraising (received) £6,094.50
TOTAL RAISED TO DATE AND BANKED £31,094.50
PAYMENTS payable out of the account (architects fees etc.) £2,408.46
BALANCE available (other than grants) £28,686.04
Last year the costs of the restoration works to the Church were estimated at £212,000 and our target was to raise £50,000. To date the Parish has raised £31,094.50 which is an excellent achievement. It is hoped that the architect’s costings for the works will be to hand by the end of June when a more accurate budget can be prepared and published.
In the meantime, should anyone wish to make a donation towards the costs of the restoration works, including professional fees and ancillary costs such as the printing of brochures and pamphlets on the history of the Roman Catholic Church in Lyme Regis, please send a cheque made out to “PRCDTR St. Michael & St George Restoration Fund” and forward it to:
The Parish Secretary, The Priest’s House. St. Mary’s RC Church, Lyme Road, Axminster EX13 5BE. (tel: 01297 32135)
Alternatively a donation can be credited to :
Account name: PRCDTR – St. Michael & St. George Restoration Fund,
NatWest Bank plc, sort code: 56-00-63; Account no. 46900322
The Parish is part of Plymouth Roman Catholic Diocese Trustees Registered, registered charity no. 213227. Funds raised by this appeal will create a “restricted Fund” which will have to be accounted for as such. If for some good reason, the appeal project cannot be completed or if a surplus arises, the remaining funds will be used for general charitable purposes of the Parish.
Parish priest: Fr. Anthony Cockram
Restoration work and fundraising co-ordinator: Richard Salt (01297 32169)