News from the Church Wardens
Due to a late submission there was no report in the last Westwood Update, so this one covers the last four months.[Update April/May 14]
Church Fabric Repairs
The stonemason has started work on the south side of the church but due mainly to the weather was badly delayed over Christmas and New Year. But as anyone walking past the church now will have seen, he is well underway with replacing eroded stone and repointing the south and east faces. The repair work we would like to do would have a total cost of £19,500. Although we have successfully secured three grants totalling £8,000, and have £6,000 allocated from our own Fabric Fund, we do not have sufficient funds to complete the work. As a result some lower priority repairs on the more sheltered north side will need to be deferred.
The planning of the Parish Room development has been continuing, with negotiations both with the Diocese on its charitable status and Wiltshire Council for planning approval. Nigel Honer who has been masterminding the latter has progressed well and is nearly ready to submit a planning application. Financially, we have had a generous offer of support (up to £15,000) from Holy Trinity in Bradford and we will, we hope, be able to strike a deal with the National Trust (up to £25,000) to let their visitors use the lavatories. We are very grateful for these. However, we still have a mountain to climb to raise the funds required and we will shortly be putting together a Parish Room Development group to pursue that with vigour.
The church insurance company has pointed out to us that the oil tank no longer meets current safety legislation and should be replaced with one that can retain 110% of its contents in a fund in case of leakage. The cost of such a new tank, and the alternative costs of converting the church to gas fired heating are being investigated.
Health & Safety
We have received approval (a "faculty") from the Diocese to upgrade the electrical system in the church tower to include emergency lighting and the work on this should be completed before Easter The bell-ringers are also arranging for a hand rail to be fitted on the outer wall of the stairwell as an improvement on the old piece of rope running up the centre of the spiral.
We are very grateful to Derek Pearce for repairing and restoring our old church chest, now used for holding the music books for the organ, as well as the chair which has long stood in the porch but had become to rickety to sit on safely. They both now have a few hundred more years of life.
David Chalmers Jonathan Azis ChurchwardensArticle published: 07 Apr 2014