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Core Conservation
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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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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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CRE Events

CRE postpones Sandown show – but you can still take part at home

Despite the gradual easing of lockdown, it is still unlikely that large-scale indoor events will be permitted in the autumn. CRE National at Sandown Park, Esher, has therefore been postponed for 12 months – until 12-14 October 2021.

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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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War Memorials

War Memorials Trust

War Memorials Trust works to protect and conserve war memorials in the UK. The charity provides free advice to anyone as well as running grant schemes to support repair and conservation projects. You can find a range of resources on the website http://www.warmemorials.org/ to help you engage with our unique war memorial heritage. The Trust is a charity so if you support our work please consider making a donation.

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Ecclesiastical & Heritage World Fullers Finer Furniture

UK Roofing Awards

UK Roofing Awards 2020 finalists announced

The finalists for this year's The UK Roofing Awards 2020 have been announced. The NFRC will be reopening nominations later in the year for projects completed during 2020 and additional shortlisted projects will be added to create the full list of finalists for the combined 2020/21 awards event.

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Live Streaming

Why live stream is now mainstream

The restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic have led to many churches venturing into the online world in a much more comprehensive way than before. While most churches have had some kind of online presence and the Church of England has it’s a Church Near You site, the live streaming of services has become much more common. And modern AV equipment is perfectly suited to communicating via the internet.

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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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Decorative Leadwork

Saving the artistry of early craftsmen

Beaten, twisted, cut or cast, ornate designs bear out the skill and artistry of early craftsmen. And surviving examples are under threat.

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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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Watch the latest videos from the church & heritage sector here

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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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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Does hydraulic lime always give us the result we want?

When talking about the use of lime, the ‘conversation’ regarding hydraulic sets must have been going on for millennia – ever since, in fact, lime mortar became a thing. Here, Harry Cursham of Vivus Solutions Ltd postulates that hydraulics aren’t all that they seem:

"Where the local limestone contains clay minerals inter alia, the lime made from it will naturally have some hydraulic properties – it is not possible to get away from that basic scientific truth. The temperature of the burn does also have an effect: hotter leads to more efficient hydraulicity; cooler (less energy) leads to less efficient hydraulicity. An interesting correlation to our modern-day efforts to reduce greenhouse gases!

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Exhibition backing for top singer

The one-time Manfred Mann harmonica-playing Paul Jones had a powerful backing group as he opened the Christian Resources Exhibition at Sandown Park, Surrey on 15 October.

Early visitors to the exhibition joined in as he played and sang through the song he helped write many years ago - 5 4 3 2 1.

And he ended with a swirl on the harmonica and the crowd roaring out the five-stroke countdown to open the show.

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War Memorials Trust

0n8410War Memorials Trust works to protect and conserve war memorials in the UK. The charity provides free advice to anyone as well as running grant schemes to support repair and conservation projects. You can find a range of resources on the website http://www.warmemorials.org/ to help you engage with our unique war memorial heritage. The Trust is a charity so if you support our work please consider making a donation.

Get involved with War Memorials Online to upload photos, check location, contribute condition information and add links for your local war memorial. 

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Long-established roofers still have what it takes

2020 will see the 150th anniversary of the well-known roofing company John Williams & Company and our first issue of next year will carry an in depth feature on the company, showcasing one of their prestigious projects on the front cover and looking at the changes they have seen throughout the last century and a half.

When the company was established in 1870, it had already seen other manifestations that could date back as far as 1822, in Bangor, North Wales. In 2004 the present company John Williams & Company (Contracting) Ltd was formed.

In the intervening years, and since, the company's craftspeople have worked on many prestigious buildings, including Tower Bridge, St James's Palace and The British Museum in London; Rochester Cathedral and Portchester Castle in the South East and many famous hotels and mansions up and down the country.

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SSV helps revitalise a South London gem

Sound Space Vision is delighted that its latest project, Fairfield Halls, opened in mid-September after a three-year restoration and renovation led by MICA Architects.

After completing a feasibility study for the council-owned building in 2011, Sound Space Vision was appointed in 2016 and charged with completely replacing the performance lighting, sound, and communications infrastructure for all of the Halls’ performance spaces – the Phoenix Concert Hall, the Ashcroft Playhouse, the Arnhem Foyer, and The Rec and Talawa studios.

In the 1,800-seat Phoenix Concert Hall we focused on restoring the canopy to its original appearance for unamplified events by raising the loudspeakers, rigging and cabling through the canopy when not required. Acoustic banners have also been integrated through the auditorium to better serve amplified events.

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Secret doors by Houghtons of York

Amongst the quaint and more unusual things manufactured and installed by Houghtons of York are secret or jib doors. These will very often be part of library installation projects where the company have disguised these to blend into bookcases or elsewhere into wall panelling, wardrobe doors and even simply wallpaper.

To introduce these charming and beguiling features, Houghtons produce jib doors from of a variety of materials, faux book spines plus concealed hinges and handles to produce that convincing illusion.

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Marley Alutec features traditional and tudor ranges at Historic Buildings And Gardens Event

Marley Alutec, the UK leader in innovative aluminium rainwater, fascia, soffit and coping solutions, will be exhibiting at this year’s Historic Buildings and Garden Event at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre on the 12th of November (Stand D27). The company will showcase its innovative gutter and downpipe ranges, which are the ideal replacements for cast iron.

One of Marley Alutec’s most popular ranges, the Traditional aluminium gutter system will feature at the event. Manufactured to original British Standard cast iron dimensions BS8530 and available in Half Round, Victorian Ogee and Moulded Ogee profiles, the range is an ideal replacement for cast iron rainwater systems and is suitable for listed buildings and conservation areas.

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The significance of picture frames

Most people whether they have artwork at home on their wall or are visiting a gallery or museum never actually realise how important the frame is to the artwork it is housing and how it adds to their enjoyment of the piece of artwork they are looking at.

Frames are not just there to protect and support the art work inside, the structure of the frame along with the design and the materials it is made from must enhance and compliment the art work that it is showcasing, but not so much so that it overpowers of takes away focus from the art.

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Tudor Roof Tiles project scoops 2019 RIBA National Award

Tudor Roof Tiles Co Ltd, Britain's foremost independent handmade clay roof tile manufacturer, has supplied bespoke handmade clay roof tiles for the prestigious 2019 RIBA National Award-winning King’s College Music School, in Wimbledon.

Previously winner of a 2019 RIBA London Award, the new £10 million Music School, designed by Hopkins Architects Partnership, comprises three volumes: a triple-height 200-seater auditorium with a stage for a 70-piece orchestra, a second volume housing music teaching rooms and a large rehearsal space, plus a third volume for practice rooms and offices.

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Do you want to conference, stream…or both?

0n8508For many years Exeter-based APi Sound and Visual have been installing sound and visual systems in churches in the West Country and beyond. Camera systems have often been installed to allow those in the same building to see on a big screen what is happening at the front, for example projecting close-up images of a baptism or other event to give everyone a ‘front-row’ view.

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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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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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Ornate bay roof by leadwork specialists

The ornate bay roof pictured below was devised by Brighton-based M Marchant Specialist Lead Roofing Contractors Ltd – a family-run company of professional roofing and leadwork specialists with over 30 years experience. They can take on any size job, from a small repair to a full re-roof, and offer the high standards of craftsmanship demanded by the Lead Contractors Association.

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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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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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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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