Report on the Heating and Re-ordering Project at St Mary's Bucklebury
Parish of Bucklebury with Marlston
Report on the Heating and re-ordering Project
at St Mary the Virgin, Bucklebury
A million thanks for making it possible!!
The final cost of the project was £75,153. Our ability to pay for the works was only made possible by the extremely generous contributions received, mainly from the Congregation but also from a small number of local trusts. This report is partly to explain how and where those contributions were spent, but mostly to express the heartfelt thanks of the PCC for the overwhelming generosity of all those who contributed. On many of the contributions received we can claim Gift Aid (which increases the value of the gifts by 25%). In addition, the PCC can claim back the VAT on the project from the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme.
The Parish Church in Bucklebury is over 1000 years old. It is a Grade 1 listed building at the heart of the Bucklebury community. However, in recent years it was becoming increasingly cold in the winter. The sanctuary and the chancel were not heated at all; and it was clear the heating system had reached the end of its operating life. During the winter of 2018/19, the temperature in the church during some services was only 10o Celcius. This discouraged some parishioners from attending services; and posed a risk to the health and well-being of some of the older members of the congregation who did. It was also extremely wasteful in fuel use, leading to very high heating costs and unnecessary green house gas (GHG) emissions.
In 2018, the PCC asked John Tennant to review options for upgrading the heating system, in order to deliver a system that would be capable of maintaining the church at a reasonable temperature (minimum 16o Celcius) through the winter months, while using less fuel – saving money and reducing GHG emissions.
John sought advice from an established firm of heating engineers from Oxford (G F Cross & Sons) with experience of heating Grade 1 listed buildings. Their suggestion was that a new boiler was required; and that the old heating pipes throughout the church should be replaced by buried copper pipes linked to radiators. Replacing the pipes in the side aisle, and installing radiators there, required removing the ancient pews. As the side aisle was very rarely used, and as the pew configuration restricted its use, a plan was developed to relocate permanently the 8 pews in such a way that the space could be used for other events such as group meetings, recitals, and early morning Holy Communion.
In January 2019, the PCC agreed to submit the plan for the heating system and the north aisle reconfiguration to the Diocesan Advisory Council (DAC). The DAC were quick to support the plan.
Suitable contractors were appointed, with input and advice from our Architect, Robert Montgomery. Two important criteria in the selection of contractors were that the church should be open for services throughout the duration of the works; and that the works themselves should be completed as swiftly as possible. Quotations were received, and work was scheduled to start in September 2019.
To the credit of all involved, the new heating system and re-ordering of the north aisle were completed in October 2019, on time, and to budget.
St Mary’s is a Grade 1 listed building, in which it is a privilege to worship. However, the downside is that such an important building needs careful specialist, and hence expensive, maintenance. The building is also subject to a Quinquennial Inspection by a qualified architect – where identified defects must be rectified. In order to be able to meet these responsibilities and to cover any emergency repairs that may occur, the PCC try to maintain a reserve of funds (St Mary’s Capital Fund).
While the St Mary’s Fund contributed towards the heating project, due to the overall generosity of parishioners, adequate funds remain in the St Mary’s Fund to meet the anticipated costs of remedial works arising from the next Quinquennial Inspection in May 2020. It is anticipated that even after that some funds will remain should emergency repairs be required
Financial Summary - Heating and Re-ordering Project
New Heating System 48,723
Re-ordering and relaying the floor 21,602
Architects fees 4,828
Total (including VAT) 75,153
Donations received 43,325
Gift Aid reclaimed on Donations (est) 8,344
VAT refund (est) 12,906
Balance from St Mary’s Capital Fund 10,578
Total of new funds 75,153
Feedback received from people attending the church over Christmas, and from other regular attendees, has been that the temperature inside the church is much improved; and John reports that it takes much less time to reach temperature. The re-ordered side aisle is already in use, and some further re-decoration may be undertaken to make it more appealing.
Tom Service, John Tennant, James Astor
Church Office, All Saints’ Church, Upper Bucklebury, Berkshire, RG7 6QH
Lent Course 2020
LENT COURSE 2020
As we journey through life, we face challenges - both big and small. What spiritual essentials will help us survive life's storms?
Lentwise is a five-session course which helps us to deal with the rigours of real life. Using fresh insights from John's gospel, it explores direction, nourishment, wisdom, refreshment and security. Each session lasts around 1 1/2 hours.
We will be running the course across the parishes, with both a daytime and an evening course available, which you can swap between if you need to.
If you require a lift, please let us know. Venues will be confirmed later.
5th, 12th, 19th, 26th March and 2nd April
4th, Tue 10th, 18th, 25th March, 1st April.
Cost: £6 to cover course materials
If you’d like to come, or want more details, please contact Jules.
A Christian Response to Brexit
A Christian response to Brexit
There is an important role at this time for practical expressions of love and hope by communities and individuals. Here are 12 steps we can take. Don’t be limited by this checklist and don’t underestimate what we can achieve together.
- Give extra support to the food banks in your area
- Watch out for the lonely, the anxious and the vulnerable
- Reach out to EU nationals in your neighbourhood and workplace
- Make sure people have access to good advice on migration and travel, debt and financial support
- Remember the needs of our children and young people
- Support the statutory services
- Think about the needs of particular groups in your area
- Work together with other churches, faith communities and charities
- Invite the community together
- Watch over other faith and minority ethnic communities
- Encourage truthful and honest debate
- Pray in public worship and private prayer.
“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”
Bible verse is Jeremiah 29.7 (NRSV)
a Christian response to Brexit
issued by the Bishop of Oxford