Parochial Church Council - Norton Bavant
ALL SAINTS REFURBISHMENT PROJECT
Update September 2017
In 2015 All Saints received an extremely generous bequest from the late Gordon Webb, a regular member of the congregation for many years. This has allowed us to draw up a series of tasks to carry out some much needed repairs to the church. We also plan to institute some improvements to make the church a more comfortable place to use for services, whilst adding facilities to make it better space for community use.
Preparatory work began in 2016, including a bat survey, which proved very interesting. Over6 nights, we sat with the experts as dusk fell, counting bats and identifying them using bat detectors. Seven species were identified and five species were found to be using the church.
By starting the roof works in November 2016, we were able to proceed without a licence from Natural England, since the bats would be active but unlikely to be using the roof for roosting, thus causing minimum disturbance. In the event three sleepy bats were found and carefully transferred to specially built bat boxes fixed to an ancient cedar in the churchyard.
The roof has now been re-felted, re-battened and re-tiled, together with the addition of 13 bat tiles to accommodate our resident bats. These are formed from lead, coloured to match the roof, and allow the bats to leave and enter the roof while keeping out the weather.
The guttering and downpipes have also been refurbished or replaced as necessary and a French drain and soakaways dug to move water away from the walls. With the roof now watertight, the walls are beginning to dry out. One of the soakaway trenches was used to bring mains water from the lane to the church.
Work is now on-going to prepare for the next stages of the project. These will include repair of the tower, external walls and windows, repair of the bells and bell cradle to allow them to be rung again, and installation of a small utility area under the tower for preparing refreshments and for the use of the flower arrangers. Plans are also being drawn up for the installation of a composting toilet to the rear of the church.
Once all these major building works are complete, we will turn to the inside of the church, improving the lighting and heating and replacing some pews to allow a more flexible space for use for children’s activities during services and to allow use by the wider village community for various events.