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Ecclesistical & Heritage World No.92

Ecclesiastical & Heritage World Nimrod
Ecclesiastical & Heritage World Scanaudio

Cathedral Care

Restoration and upkeep of cathedrals

There are some 42 Anglican cathedrals in the UK, not to mention 20 or so Catholic cathedrals. Cathedrals form the most important collection of historic buildings in England. The largest and most ancient are internationally famous, the smallest are usually among the most significant buildings in their region and even the most recent are architectural masterpieces.

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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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Traditional Lime

Lime: it’s better for buildings – and for the environment

It is now fairly well known that cement is not good for old buildings and that lime mortar should be used. But why? What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages? In order to begin to answer those questions it is necessary to understand the nature of traditional building, the process by which buildings used to be built, and how it differs from modern construction, the process by which we build today.

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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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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

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Town Halls

The history of the great Victorian Town Halls of Northern England

From industrial squalor to civic pride, the story behind some of the most impressive buildings of the North involve a unique mix of economics, grand designs and noble sentiments within communities.

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Pest Control

Call in professionals if nesting birds pose a problem

Birds can cause a range of issues during nesting season, but interfering with wild birds, their eggs or nests could lead to prosecution, a national trade body has warned.

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Natural Stone

Identifying and sourcing stone for repair

England is fortunate to have such a wide variety of historic and older stone buildings. However, there has been a marked decline in the range of natural stones that are being actively quarried.

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CRE Events

Thousands set to descend on Sandown

The next incarnation of Christian Resources Exhibition will be CRE National 2022 – taking place at Sandown Park in Esher, Surrey, on 11-13 October.

Sandown Park is a great venue for Europe’s leading annual exhibition of Christian resources. Just 15 miles from central London, the venue is easily accessible by rail (25 minutes from London Waterloo to Esher) and road (M25 and A3). Parking is free for exhibitors and visitors.

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Lead Roofing

The benefits of lead roofing

Lead is one of the oldest materials in the roofing industry and is still commonly used throughout the world today.

Lead roofing is a traditional roofing method which has been used in the industry for hundreds of years, and is therefore proven to be extremely reliable. Lead roofing, and sand-cast lead, in particular is ideal for old buildings such as churches or historical renovations, whereas milled lead roofing is a mass-produced alternative, used for precision and accuracy in homes and commercial buildings alike.

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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 - maintaining our iconic buildings

The UK is home to some of the most iconic buildings in the world, from stunning churches and cathedrals to historic stately homes. Each and every one of these remarkable feats of architecture requires regular maintenance to ensure they remain in the very best condition, allowing them to be enjoyed for generations.

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Church Lighting

Light up your place of worship

The design of a lighting scheme and the light fittings themselves can have a positive impact on the way your building looks as well as being functional.

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Memorial cleaning reveals need for further work

0n7629The work of cleaning and restoring the country’s war memorials has carried on throughout the past year, despite the restrictions of the pandemic. Hertfordshire-based P&S Property Management have carried out a number of cleaning projects, including that of the memorial at Shorne in Kent (pictured right and below), at the Church of St Peter and St Paul in the village.

P&S were asked to provide a quotation in early November for a deep clean: the memorial had not been cleaned since 2010. The clean was carried out on 24 March and revealed further work that needs to be carried out.

Director Henry Perales explained: “After a deep clean we usually expose any necessary repairs like re-grouting or repainting the letters. We met with the client and pointed out the exposed problems and will arrange for a quotation so the repairs can be carried out.”

The company also completed the clean back in October of the Croxley Green War Memorial in Hertfordshire (below), in preparation for Remembrance Sunday commemorations. They have subsequently provided a quote for the repainting of the lettering.

Similarly, the cleaning of the memorial at Hockley Heath, Solihull, in early November exposed the need to have the letters repainted.

For further information visit www.pandsproperty.co.uk

Skilled craftsmen create bespoke tributes for churches around the British Isles

0n7635Portsmouth, England 2019

In January 2019 Fullers Finer Furniture received a call from a client in the USA. Her mission was to secure a bespoke lectern for a church in Portsmouth attended by her mother, in memory of her father.

The design brief was for a solid wood, fixed-height lectern bearing a memorial plaque. Working within the proposed budget, a design was drawn up and tweaked to achieve the exact result required.

Fullers always take care to ensure that only the best quality woods are selected for use. Each piece is carefully fashioned in the workshop, maximising skill and experience built up over many years to ensure the finished piece is not just an item of beauty, but is also robust and sturdy, fit to serve with timeless grace for many years to come.

Fullers always welcome feedback and photographs of the furniture in situ. In this case the client wrote: “I am writing to thank you all for the help you gave us in getting the perfect lectern for St. Cuthbert's and to let you know it was very well received by both the members of the congregation and clergy at St. Cuthbert’s.

“The wood is a perfect match to the base of the custom font and the design is just what they wanted, as it is light enough to be moved around depending upon what event is going on in the church at the time…it was dedicated on Remembrance Sunday, which was very fitting.”

0n76340n7633Polwarth, Scotland 2020

Polwarth Parish Church lies adjacent to the Union Canal. It is part of an exciting project aimed at running a canal boat from Polwarth Pontoon with a view to benefitting the local community in a variety of ways.

The church received a legacy to be used specifically for the provision of a piece of furniture for the transept area, to display information relating to the canal project. In January 2020 Fullers Finer Furniture were approached in connection with the unique project.

The finished cabinet includes a display area protected behind locking glass sliding doors and a surface area to accommodate the folders and other material relating to the canal project. The multi-function unit also contains two double locking cupboards, a drawer to store wrapping paper and a pull-out desk for use by the floristry team.

Mounted on wheels and finished in natural oak, the cabinet bears arches on the cupboard doors to complement those in the building.

The finishing touch is a brass memorial plaque dedicated to the precious memory of the church member behind the donation.

The client commented: “I am so pleased that I found your advert, it was such a pleasure to work with you.”

0n7632Donaghcloney, Northern Ireland 2021

Across the water to Northern Ireland, and this time a request for a baptismal font in memory of a very special infant. The font was made in European oak and supplied with a hand-made glass bowl decorated with a thread pattern to match the church décor. In this case the inscription was carved around the outside of the bowl around the top of the font.

For further information visit www.fullersfinerfurniture.co.uk

I want to redecorate my historic house

0n7653External redecoration not only improves your house’s appearance but also protects it from the weather, while internal redecoration gives you the opportunity to make the most of original features within your historic home.

If your home is listed or in a conservation area you should seek advice before making changes as consent may be required.

inspire 2External decoration can protect your building

Regular redecoration of the outside is important as it helps prevent decay. This is especially true for external woodwork. Windows and doors need regular painting to protect the wood from weather. The only exception is old hardwood such as oak, which is best left unpainted but may benefit from oiling or other traditional treatment.

External coatings - for example, lime render and stucco - may need special ‘breathable’ paint such as limewash that protects the material but does not trap moisture in the wall. In old houses, it’s important to let moisture in walls evaporate so that it doesn’t cause damp. Painting brick, stone or concrete walls can create damp problems and modern paint can be almost impossible to remove without causing damage. If your walls are already painted, seek advice. See Finding Professional Help

Your favourite colour

In most cases the choice of colours for the outside of your house is up to you, although for old buildings you will usually get the most pleasing results by keeping to traditional colours. For example, joinery in older houses was often painted dark brown rather than white. Modern white paints are much brighter and colder than historic whites.

If your house is listed you may need to get permission for external redecoration if this would change the character of the building, for example by painting outside walls if they have never been painted before, or using bright red! In some conservation areas there may be special controls on the colours you can use, so check with your local authority first. If your house is in a terrace there may be a tradition of using different bright colours, or for all houses to match; it’s a good idea to take account of local approaches.

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The historic interior of your house

Interior decoration is very much a matter of personal taste, but there are some things that you need to remember. If you live in an old house there may be traces of interesting earlier decoration.

If your house is an important historic building, take extra care with redecoration because there may be layers of old paint that tell the story of the house. There could be unusual wall paintings hidden under later plaster, paint or wallpaper, which need to be kept and may be worth restoring.

If you suspect your house has early wall decoration, you may need specialist advice and conservation, rather than just redecoration. Stripping paint or lime plaster can take away layers of history that can’t be replaced. Painted or stained, rather than bare, woodwork is the norm in most historic houses and in some cases was an important design feature. In such cases stripping these finishes would be damaging.

Try to work with the character of your house, finding out how it would have looked, and making the most of any original decorative features. Original features such as wall-panelling, plaster cornices, picture rails and timber mouldings around doors and windows are valuable and you would need consent to take them out. Some - for example, ornamental plaster ceilings or hardwood panelling - may need special treatment, so look for firms that specialise in restoring or repairing historic interiors.

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Lead Paint

If your house is Grade I or Grade II* listed it may be appropriate to use traditional paints with white lead pigment or high solvent content. However, their toxicity means they are restricted by environmental legislation and their use permitted only under licence. For more information please read our advice page on Paint Legislation And Historic Buildings.

If you need advice about decorating houses from particular historical periods, the Georgian Group and Victorian Society publish helpful leaflets. These cover timber mouldings, wallpaper and tiles and paint.

Complex roof tops off an extraordinary restoration

0n8594Athlone House is a brick and stone Victorian mansion built in 1871, lying on high ground just beyond the northern edge of Hampstead Heath, within the Highgate Conservation Area. Over its 150-year history the house has been used as a private dwelling, a secret RAF school during World War Two, and more recently an NHS home for people with dementia. From 2003, however, it had been left derelict.

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You don’t have to be tech savvy to use the latest in AV

0n8598Broadmead Baptist Church in Bristol is built on the foundations of one of the country’s earliest Baptist churches. Now, the completion of a dynamic audio-visual installation by Creative Audio-Visual Solutions has led to the church being fully equipped for all the requirements and challenges of worship in the 21st century.

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Roofing training centre reopens for business

0n8601At the end of June National Construction Training Services (NCTS) re-opened its training centre at Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire. The number of trainees attending each course is currently limited to a maximum of four in order to provide the recommended isolation distances. All candidates and tutors are being asked to wear the appropriate face masks during each training session and hand sanitiser is positioned around the training facility.

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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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No cash? No problem! The future of giving is in the app

Cash is losing relevance in society generally; and that presents both a problem and an opportunity for all churches: how can people give during the offering without it? That question led to the creation of Givt – an app designed for church and charity use to allow people to donate in all situations.

COVID-19 has changed the way people interact with the church and has revealed a flaw in the majority of cashless solutions. Givers want to give, not pay, and give regardless of where they are. What is needed is a solution like Givt, which utilises a smart phone app for all donations. It allows people to give while watching an online service, or while sitting in the church building, on their phone – instantly. That allows churches to keep the ‘giving moment’, even when we are all apart.

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ISCE rebrands to ISCVE – Institute of Sound, Communications & Visual Engineers

0n8617ISCE has renamed and rebranded to ISCVE Ltd - The Institute of Sound, Communications and Visual Engineers.

Recognising the diversity of our members and the markets they operate in, along with the convergence of technologies, the Institute has undertaken this identity and name change to embrace the wider scope, skills and sectors of its members and supporting members.

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£240,000 boost for communities as Scottish heritage projects awarded funding

Funding to provide training opportunities and the restoration of historic structures will benefit local communities and economies throughout Scotland.

A historic Tolbooth steeple in Fife, the B-listed former Govanhill Picture House and a traditional skills training programme targeting disadvantaged people in Perth and Kinross are just some of the latest projects set to benefit from funding from Historic Environment Scotland (HES).

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The history of the great Victorian Town Halls of Northern England

0n6858From industrial squalor to civic pride, the story behind some of the most impressive buildings of the North involve a unique mix of economics, grand designs and noble sentiments within communities.

By 1850, England had become the first  urban industrial nation with over 50 per cent of the population residing in towns and cities. Between 1800 and 1841, Sheffield doubled its population, Manchester tripled and Liverpool went from 80,000 to over 280,000.

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Young people shun future visits to heritage attractions over coronavirus fears

0n8622Research commissioned by specialist heritage insurer, Ecclesiastical, has revealed young people are less likely to visit heritage attractions in person once the lockdown lifts due to coronavirus fears. However, digital is a revenue opportunity for heritage attractions as two fifths (44%) of young adults who visited a heritage attraction online during lockdown said they would be willing to pay to access these if they were no longer free.

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Lightning protection: the new standard explained

In May Historic England began a series of webinars aimed at providing technical guidance for owners and operators of historic buildings, as well as contractors and heritage professionals. Tagged as Technical Tuesdays, the webinars are presented by senior members of Historic England’s technical conservation team.

Each Tuesday in the week sees a webinar on a theme within a particular area of expertise. On 21 July the theme was Lightning Protection. It was presented by Historic England senior building services engineer Geraldine O’Farrell and the team leader of building services and principal engineer, Caroline Cattini.

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Renovation completed against the elements

0n8627Houghtons of York were appointed as main contractor for an interesting renovation project on the west coast of Scotland. Cul Na Shee, a Landmark Trust property is located in the small village of Saddell, Kintyre, about a 25 minute drive from Campbletown. The only access is through a narrow archway at Saddell Castle followed by a rough track, and finally a 60m walk along a picturesque gravel beach.

While this makes for a lovely approach to the property it made delivery of materials to site a rather tricky process, with large delivery trucks needing to be unloaded into a small van for the track before being carried by hand along the beach.

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Rinzaffo MGN – salt resistant lime scratch coat, available from Core Conservation

0n8650One of the unique products from Core Conservation is RINZAFFO MGN, a plaster developed in 1980 in Venice to tackle the problem of capillary rising damp, penetrating damp and salts - however its origins stretch back to ancient Roman times.

It is a breathable salt resistant lime scratch coat, which protects subsequent plaster layers from the destructive effect of salts. Because it is both waterproof and breathable in the same time, it is suitable for a number of specialist applications such as:

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Live Streaming now available from Creative Audio Visual Solutions

0n8656Live Streaming, especially during the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic, is a vital means for churches to keep communicating to their congregation and the wider world.

Even when the lockdown is eased and churches open their doors again, many church regulars may still not be able to attend services. This is where a simple-to-use, reliable and high-quality online streaming system will allow your church to be ever present in these times when fellowship and togetherness are perhaps more important than ever. Creative Audio Visual Solutions (CAVS) offer a complete IT and networking solution for the modern office. Utilising the latest wired and wireless technologies, their systems are designed to increase your organisation's growth and productivity when storing information, printing and communicating with the outside world.

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New annexe provides opportunity for an AV upgrade

St Wilfrid’s Church in Grappenhall – a village near to Warrington, Cheshire – is designated as a Grade One-listed building. Built in red sandstone, the church dates from the earlier part of the 12th century.

In August 2020 building work was started on an annexe on the hidden side of the church, with a flexible welcome/discovery room, refreshment area, service and storage area with toilets. As part of the scheme the church required the incorporation of audio-visual facilities in the annexe and major AV improvements within the church building. Following a selection process Richard King Systems were selected as the AV specialists for the scheme.

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