Outlook Issue 16 Spring 2012
News and Views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
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At last.
Parish Pump AT LAST … The repair work on St. Mary’s tower is finished, the scaffolding has gone and the churchyard is available for normal use. Looking upwards on a cloudy February day, the restored weather vanes gleam golden against the grey of the sky. The repaired string courses (ledges around the tower) look re-assuringly solid compared to the crumbling stonework they have replaced. The arduous climb up the spiral staircases to the roof is rewarded by the sight of the new lead roof, free of wrinkles and blemishes, and the replacement coping stones (see picture) on the battlements, cut and fitted with precision to match the existing merlons (the solid wall sections between the gaps of a battlement). When the old lead was lifted from the roof, a piece of paper was found, creased and stained with age, bearing the following inscription: “T Oxborrow D Berry reboarded and rolled this tower in 1952. K Knights R Frost releaded this tower in 1952.” Let us hope that the new roof is good for at least another 60 years! The tower works constituted the major part of our repair project but we still have a way to go. Phase 2, which should start after Easter, will focus on repairing the main body of the building and include: • Repairing and conserving two stained glass windows, which are starting to bulge outwards. • More masonry repair, this time to the North and South Aisle buttresses. • Detailed conservation work on the fine stonework of the North Porch. • Repair and re-decoration of the rainwater guttering and downpipes. • Repair and re-decoration of the external doors and surrounds. • Removal of a redundant water cistern and repair of the concrete apron which surrounds the building. The £120,000 cost of the tower work was funded partly by our congregation but also through grants from various funding bodies and the generosity of private donors. The estimated cost of the Phase 2 work is £46,000. We already have some funding for this but we still need to raise £32,000 to be able to complete the work. John Wright (Project Manager) Picture by Tim Curtis