St Mary's Church Westwood Wiltshire



News From The Church Wardens November 2014

Church Fabric Repairs

The stonemason has now started on the next phase of the repairs which includes replacing four cracked merlons (crenellations) on the south face of the nave.
The Glastonbury Chair at the back of the Lady Chapel, which for years has had a loose arm, has been repaired and waxed by Derek Pearce for which we are very grateful.

Parish Room

Over the last few weeks fundraising within the village has been gathering momentum and at the time of writing some £20,000 has been given or pledged by the village alone. This added to what the National Trust and Holy Trinity PCC have promised gives us a terrific start at £60,000 towards the £150,000 cost. The Parish Room fundraising team and the village owe a huge thank-you to those who have been going round visiting residents and even more to those who have most generously given.
We have also made six applications for grants from local charitable bodies and have enough information now to apply to some national trusts.
At the same time we have met the Salisbury Diocese at Church House in Salisbury. It was confirmed that the diocese intends to give the freehold of the Parish Room and the associated land to the PCC. This will happen just as soon as the PCC undertakes it is able to complete enough of the work to enable the Rectory to be sold. The PCC will then grant a lease to a new specially formed Charity that is being set up to run the Parish Room. In the light of fundraising to date it was agreed the aim should be to effect the transfer before the end of this year and that the PCC would complete the necessary works within two years from 1st January 2015.

Church Heating

At a PCC meeting at the beginning of October the conditions imposed by Wiltshire Council a; part of planning permission for the installation of gas heating were discussed at length. Because of the open-ended risk of escalating costs resulting from the necessary archaeological investigations - there would have to be extended archaeological research if anything interesting were found, which was said to be not unlikely - the PCC voted by a small margin to reinstate oil heating. A new tank has now been installed and the system is working again in time for winter Many thanks are due to David Adcock for bleeding the oil pipe and restarting the boiler.

Health & Safety

All current safety certificates for the church are now held by Julie Adcock as H & S Officer on the PCC, and all are up-to-date.

Churchyard

To enable the oil tank to be replaced it was necessary to trim back the overgrown hedge around the enclosure. This has been done by Val Cooke at a cost to the PCC but in future it will be managed as part of the churchyard by Wiltshire Council.

David Chalmers Jonathan Azis. Churchwardens

ADVANCE NOTICE - RESERVE THE DATE!

Bradford-on-Avon Churches Together (BACT) with Bradford-on-Avon Friends of Palestine (BOAFOP)
present a concert: SOMETHING for the SOUL, featuring GARTH HEWITT. Thurs, 12th Feb 2015, 7.30 pm in Holy Trinity Church, B-on-Avon.
Garth has a special commitment to the Middle East. Singing songs and telling stories from around the world, he presents a moving, challenging spirituality that is both warm and inspiring. Tickets on sale from Ex Libris from 12.1.15. More information will follow in January. FFI 07505260666


Article published: 30 Nov 2014

NEWS FROM THE CHURCH WARDENS

Church Fabric Repairs

We await the return of the stonemason who is expected sometime in September.


Parish Room

Planning permission has now been granted with a few conditions that can be met without too much difficulty. A faculty from the Diocese is now being sought for that part of the work that affects the churchyard. In the meantime fund raising can now begin in earnest. With an estimated total cost of £ 150k, and about £40k pledged, we need to raise £110k from grants, donations and other sources. A fundraising committee has been formed and a leaflet explaining how we are going about raising this considerable sum will be distributed soon to all in the parish.

Church Heating

We have received planning permission from Wiltshire Council to excavate the trench for the gas and water pipes, but unfortunately one of the conditions is that we undertake a full archaeological survey. This will inevitably set back the timescale and the PCC will now have to consider how best to keep the church warm this winter.

Health & Safety

All current safety certificates for the church are now held by Julie Adcock as H & S Officer on the PCC, and all are up-to-date.

Churchyard

The grass and meadow land are now being managed acceptably, but we had hoped soon to be able to remove the straggly leylandii hedge around the site of the oil tank. However, until we decide on the way forward for this winter's heating the enclosure will need to stay.

David Chalmers Jonathan Azis Churchwardens


Article published: 01 Oct 2014

News From The Church Wardens

Church Fabric Repairs

In the last update we stated that the stonemason had found that four merlons on the south side of the nave needed replacing. We have now received the variation to the faculty allowing us to go ahead with the work and the mason has been authorised to do that when he comes back in September to complete the next phase.

Parish Room

The application for planning permission has been submitted and a decision is expected in the next month or so. The application for a faculty from Salisbury Diocese has not yet been made while the arrangement of the narthex outside the west door is discussed with the Diocesan Advisory Committee.

Church Heating

The old "non-compliant" oil tank has now been removed so we have a count down to winter (there is a plan B in case of hiccups)! We are currently awaiting both the faculty from the Diocese and planning permission to dig the trench from Wiltshire Council. In case you are wondering, a trench in a Conservation Area is "non-permitted" development.

Health & Safety

All current safety certificates for the church are now held by Julie Adcock as H & S Officer on the PCC, and all are up-to-date.

Churchyard

Grass cutting in the churchyard now seems to be happening reasonably regularly, and Balfour-Beatty has now cleared the overgrown area beneath the lime trees. After a misunderstanding, this area is now classified as "meadow" land and will be cut three times a year starting after the spring flowers have died down.

David Chalmers, Jonathan Azis - Church Wardens.


Article published: 01 Aug 2014

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