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Ecclesiastical & Heritage World Current Issue

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Architectural Metalwork

A guide to architectural metalwork, wrought iron and its restoration

Our next issue will feature a fascinating insight, exploring metallurgy, production techniques, its architectural and historical context and best practice conservation.

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CRE Events

CRE roadshow heads for Sandown following successful Manchester return

‘What a wonderful exhibition – we have discovered so much here. Please, please, please come back to Manchester soon!’

That was the overwhelming feedback from visitors to CRE North in Manchester in March. In fact, such was the warmth of the welcome as the show returned to the city that it isn’t a question of if, but when, the exhibition will be heading north again, according to the organisers.

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Master Craftsmen

Championing our heritage with modern craftsmanship

Twenty years ago, English Heritage (now Historic England) published its first-ever Register of Buildings at Risk across England, which featured nearly 2,000 buildings and monuments that were ‘neglected, broken and unloved’. Recently Historic England was delighted to announce that over two-thirds of those buildings were now safe, in both urban and rural areas right across the country.

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Stained Glass

A brief history of stained glass

The origins of the first stained glass windows are lost in history. The technique probably came from jewelry making, cloisonné and mosaics. Stained glass windows as we know them, seemed to arise when substantial church building began.

By the 10th century, depictions of Christ and biblical scenes were found in French and German churches and decorative designs found in England.

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Back Issues

Ecclesiastical & Heritage World Back Issues

Products Showcase

Ecclesiastical & Heritage World Product Showcase

New products help to conserve our heritage

Whilst visitors to this website operate in the sector committed to restoring and conserving the historic buildings and artefacts belonging to the past, they are non the less reliant on the very latest products on the market place to perform this task.

Showcased here you will find some of the latest and most innovative new products and services currently available to help us preserve and maintain our heritage for the enjoyment of generations to come.

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Audio Visual

Audio visual equipment in church buildings

This guidance is issued by the Church Buildings Council under section 55(1)(d) of the Dioceses, Mission and Pastoral Measure 2007. As it is statutory guidance, it must be considered with great care. The standards of good practice set out in the guidance should not be departed from unless the departure is justified by reasons that are spelled out clearly, logically and convincingly.

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Midland Lead

Ecclesiastical & Heritage World Fullers Finer Furniture

Ecclesiastical & Heritage World Argonaut Heating

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Watch the latest videos from the church & heritage sector here

Traditional Lime

Ancient building material still has many uses

One of the universal building materials prior to the end of the 19th century was lime. Lime was present in various forms in almost every building, from limewash on the walls of cattle byres and cottages to the mortar used on cathedral and castle walls.

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Lead Training

Training at the Lead Sheet Training Academy

The Lead Sheet Training Academy is at the forefront of training for those using lead or hard metals in the construction industry.

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Lead Contractors

Members offer 25 years peace of mind

The trade body that represents the leadworking industry – and guarantees quality in that industry – is the Lead Contractors’ Association (LCA). The LCA was formed in 1984 to promote quality standards in leadwork and now comprises over 70 specialist contractors committed, supported by 15 associate members who supply materials and ancillary services.

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Master Carvers

Carving out an enviable reputation

The Master Carvers Association was founded in 1897 as an employers association, by a number of companies who employed carvers, to enable national negotiations with the emerging unions.

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Drone Surveys

Your surveys no longer need to be done on a wing and a prayer

The use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) is rapidly expanding as the carers and keepers of old buildings and churches learn how much easier and more cost-effective completing surveying and maintenance projects can be with the professional use of drones.

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Lightning Protection

When lightning strikes are you protected against this act of God?

The issue of lightning protection in churches is one that has exercised this publication for many years. In this four-part series of spotlights on the issue we will be revisiting various aspects of the subject, beginning with an overview of current thinking.

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Heritage Roofing

Heritage Roofing Register - a helping hand for architects

A unique register of heritage roofing specialists is providing much needed help and assurance for architects and specifiers when working on heritage projects. The Register is the brainchild of the UK’s largest roofing trade association, the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC).

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Heritage Crime

The development of the Heritage Crime Programme in England

Mark Harrison, Head of Heritage Crime Strategy at Historic England, outlines the development of their Heritage Crime Programme.

Historic England defines heritage crime as: "Any offence which harms the value of England's heritage assets and their settings to this and future generations."

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Fire Guidance


Fire guidance for churches and heritage buildings

Fires in churches and heritage buildings have a number of causes and can have devastating consequences – not only in terms of damage to property, but also as the cause of serious injury and even loss of life.

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FTMRC

Ecclesiastical & Heritage World Product Showcase

Working in partnership is key to success

This was the key theme in the chairman's introduction to the recent FTMRC statement. Chairman, Trevor Corser, also managing director of JTC Roofing Contractors Ltd, said:

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Symposium reflects new thinking on lime use

Masons and conservators across the UK and beyond are rediscovering traditional mortars through research, use and experience. They are moving away from the default specification of natural hydraulic limes for conservation works and are determined to practise like-for-like repair.

A registered charity, the Building Limes Forum exists to encourage that expertise and understanding in the appropriate use of building limes, and to promote education in the standards of production, preparation, application and aftercare. Throughout the year, the organisation invites its members and others to learn, discover and share knowledge about the use of building limes through talks, practical demonstrations and tours of historic sites.

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York Handmade so proud of 'the dryer Steve built'

The award-winning York Handmade Brick Company has invested in a brand-new brick dryer – designed and built by production manager Steve Pittham.

Steve, who has been with York Handmade since it was founded 30 years ago, created the state-of-the-art dryer from scratch.

The dryer is capable of handling more than 33,000 bricks at a time, significantly speeding up York Handmade’s production process and make the company even more efficient.

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Get the latest church AV – without the visual impact

Churches, understandably, provide numerous challenges which need to be faced when installing an audio-visual system. The complexity and feature set of the system – although important – can often take second place to aesthetic concerns: where the building’s décor cannot be compromised under any circumstances.

That is often at loggerheads with progressive clergy and congregations, who wish to take advantage of the latest technology to support and enhance worship. There is also the question of who has the technical expertise to maximise the system’s potential, or can the system be operated by all levels of user?

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Historic Suffolk windmill saved by English Heritage

The future of a celebrated piece of Suffolk heritage has been secured yesterday, as English Heritage hoisted a newly-constructed set of sails into place on the 18th-century Saxtead Green Post Mill near Framlingham. The reinstallation of the mill’s sails represents the culmination of a £250,000, year-long conservation project in collaboration with one of Suffolk’s last remaining specialist millwrights.

The project is the first part of a major investment in historic windmills by the conservation charity English Heritage, with Sibsey Trader Windmill in Lincolnshire and Berney Arms Windmill in Norfolk both scheduled for works over the next few years. Earlier this year, traditional millwrighting – a skill that has been practiced in the UK for more than 700 years – was added to the Heritage Crafts Association’s red list of critically endangered heritage crafts for the first time, with only a small number of people still practicing nationwide. English Heritage hopes that these important conservation works will help keep millwrighting alive.

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Are Britain’s heritage attractions child-friendly?

Research commissioned by specialist heritage insurer, Ecclesiastical, has revealed just under a third (31%) of parents never visit stately homes and just under 1 in 7 (15%) never visit castles with their children.

Cost and distance to travel are the top two reasons that prevent parents from taking their children to stately homes and castles. While a perception that stately homes are not child-friendly and a lack of quality changing facilities at castles complete the top three.

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Are you considering improved lighting? Discuss the options with Anthony J Smith (Glos) Ltd

St Wilfrid’s RC Parish Church in Preston city centre is a Grade Two*-listed Jesuit church which draws a substantial number of worshippers throughout the week. It is basilican in form and Italianate in style, with a particularly ornate and impressive interior carried out in exotic materials. Frank Roberts of Preston-based Francis Roberts Architects said of the interior: “Ranks of giant columns of polished Shap granite, topped with gilded composite capitals, define the nave, which terminates in a semi-domed and coffered apse. The aisle walls are lined in rich marbles and mosaics and there is an impressive display of stained glass.”

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Ecclesiastical makes grant to help support the next generation of stonemasons

Ecclesiastical Insurance has made a £12,500 grant to the Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship (CWF) to support the conservation and repair of UK Cathedrals.

Working with nine cathedrals across the UK, including Gloucester, Canterbury, York Minster and Salisbury Cathedral, and in collaboration with the University of Gloucestershire, the CWF offers stonemasons, carpenters, joiners and electricians a recognised career path and route to higher qualifications through a two-year, work-based study programme.

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Restoration of John Skeaping statues

​Recently Houghtons of York completed the restoration of three over 6ft tall statues carved by John Skeaping, the husband to Barbra Hepworth for six years and well-renowned carver who is known best for his work in stone and equestrian pieces.

The statues were the artists last large scale commission, they were carved from Nigerian Opepe for Kings College Cambridge, below are some historic photos of them stood in place.

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Specialist work inside Scone Palace chapel restores historic alabaster monument

Specialist work to restore the intricate alabaster monument in Scone Palace's gothic chapel has been completed. A four week project, this is the first time the monument has undergone restoration work since 1921.

The work inside the small Presbyterian chapel, which looks upon the famous replica Stone of Scone on Moot Hill, has been completed by a specialist mason after a report by a conservation architect identified a number of areas requiring restorative work on the monument.

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Preserving traditional buildings: it’s a matter of application

At Suffolk-based Rickards Period Plastering Ltd they feel fortunate to have the opportunity to be working in an area of the country that has a wealth of unique architectural design, using what they feel is a special product: the chalky lime plaster and render. Here, Mike Rickards shares his enthusiasm for traditional plasters.

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‘Capability’ Brown lead fountain dedicated

A fountain in Westminster Abbey’s cloister garth to commemorate the tercentenary of the great 18th century landscape gardener Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown was dedicated last year.

The fountain was made in lead by Brian Turner, who is a veteran exhibitor at the Chelsea Flower show and prominent committee member of the Lead Contractors Association.

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Green energy for churches and other public buildings

The way of the future with heating systems in churches and other historic buildings is with renewables. Mellor and Mottram have been at the cutting edge of this green revolution with the installation of a number of renewable systems in a variety of buildings.

In large buildings the most popular systems are ground source or air source heat pumps. As the names imply, both utilise heat already latent in the environment. In the case of a ground source system the heating is derived from heat already stored in the ground. Air source pumps absorb heat from the air outside – even at low air temperatures they can work efficiently. Both can be used to heat both hot water and the building itself.

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To find excellence in restoration skills, go west!

For over a third of a century Ellis and Co Restoration and Building have been restoring and conserving historic buildings and structures across the South West of England and Wales. These much-loved buildings define the character of the South West, so contributing to their upkeep and repair is a source of satisfaction to the company’s 70-strong workforce. Ellis and Co are one of the largest heritage-specific employers in the region and they only work on historic and listed building projects.

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Corten sculptures - conservators are playing catch-up with preservation techniques

As Corten becomes increasingly popular for use in outdoor sculptures, conservators are playing catch-up with their preservation techniques. Peter Elliott of Nottingham-based All Steel Fabrications Ltd, specialists in the collaboration, fabrication and installation of Corten steel and other ctainless steel sculptures, offers this valuable insight.

The way in which Corten is used throughout a sculpture is conditional on its production form, i.e. plate rod, flats or structural sections.

Ordinary steel surfaces can be treated after the work has been completed and sculptors have used everything from powder coating through to paint and acid etching.

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Giving old books a new lease of life

York Bookbinding owner Philip Winskill has been binding books from the day he started his apprenticeship 44 years ago.

He started at York University on 2nd September 1975 and bound, mostly periodicals, for the next 25 years. In January 2000 he was made redundant from the university but had already had his own bindery built by the side of his house in York.

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The Historic Buildings Parks & Gardens Event 2019

Entrance to this major heritage conservation day is free of charge. The event - to be held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Westminster on Tuesday 12th November - is all about the care, repair, conservation, maintenance, preservation and restoration of historic buildings, their contents and surrounding landscapes.

The all-day exhibition will consist of 75 exhibitors offering advice, solutions, guidance and support, as well as a wide and diverse range of products and services. Ranging from the traditional to cutting edge technology and across all areas of historic building and landscape conservation.

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How to secure your heritage building

Towards the end of 2016, following several years of steady decline, the price of metal, and in particular lead and copper, showed an upturn. This meant that protected heritage sites and buildings were placed at an increased risk of metal theft.

In response the Home Office announced it would be reviewing the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, which it duly carried out, with contributions from UK Policing, The Heritage Alliance, and British Metals Recycling Association among others.

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Craftsman resurrects old glass for The New Room

John Wesley’s Chapel in Bristol – known as The New Room – opened its doors in 1739 and is the oldest Methodist building in the world. It has been a place of worship, heritage and social action ever since.

In 2017 a new visitor centre opened in the Horsefair courtyard next to it, featuring a café, shop, atrium, library and archive, meeting rooms and new offices – as well as a revamped 12-room museum above the existing chapel.

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Armistice Day tribute sees ‘lost’ memorial displayed

During the lead up to Armistice Day thoughts were focused on the centenary of the end of hostilities in the First World War.

At furniture restorers Andrew G Podmore & Son in York restoration work is progressing well on the memorial for members of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway who lost their lives in the conflict.

At the outbreak of war in 1914 the company had a 37,000 strong workforce. Over 10,000 would volunteer for the armed forces and 1,422 would lose their lives.

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New church building is an award-winner

On 12 May 1894 a parcel of land on Elizabeth Road in Caterham – now Francis Road – was purchased at a cost of £32, for a new church building to be called Oak Hall. The church building was completed during July and August at a cost of £206, and opened on Thursday 13 September of that year.

Fast forward 125 years and there is a new Oakhall church building in the heart of the Caterham community – a building which has been named South East Regional Winner in the 2019 LABC Building Excellence Awards in the Best Public Service Building category.

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LCA - the art of lead is not dead!

final picture btAt the LCA they never cease to be amazed at the skills and creative ingenuity of their members. Those that consider leadworkers as 'just another roofing trade' should look closely at the photographs below and perhaps think again.

Water features in lead are not that unusual with various styles of fountain head decorated by cast cherubs, birds, fish, etc often featuring in the bespoke catalogues of those that focus on the more decorative side of the craft.

However the sheer scale of the chalices tackled by Brian Turner of Turner’s Ornamental Leadwork was in itself hugely impressive and when considering the finished item in the final photographs shown here, one can only wonder “how on Earth did he do that?”

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