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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 gets the message across – At Home

When Christian Resources Exhibitions (CRE) announced in June that this year’s CRE National at Sandown would not be taking place because of COVID-19 restrictions, they had already decided that it would not be the end of the matter. If people could not come to CRE, CRE would go to the people: CRE At Home 2020 was already being planned.

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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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Core Conservation

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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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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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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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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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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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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 stainless 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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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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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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New tool for live broadcasting Mass

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Belltron Ireland & UK Ltd are pleased to introduce you to the new Belltron BST-3000, a useful, NO SUBSCRIPTION, tool for broadcasting live Mass. Belltron has developed its own ISAC (Internet Speech Audio Codec) system offering parishioners who are unable to attend the celebrations the opportunity to listen to all liturgies live or deferred. This device is a useful tool for the priest to stay in touch with their community and for parishioners to continue to feel part of the community, if they can't attend church.

The BST-3000 is particularly simple to manage for the parish priest:

  1. INSTALL the BST-3000 by plugging it into your PA AUX and connect it to your WiFi or 4G
    connection.
  2. TURN ON and you are live.

Parishioners just have to:

  1. Download the Belltron Streaming APP to mobile phone, tablet or PC
  2. Select their parish
  3. The days mass/service will now be available to listen to until the next mass/service takes place.
  • EXCELLENT AUDIO QUALITY
  • NO SUBSCRIPTION COSTS
  • In the absence of an ADSL/WiFi connection a 4G mobile connection cann also be used.

Price: £2700.00 (€3000.00) + VAT.

Visit the website www.belltron.co.uk

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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Why live stream is now mainstream

0n8620The 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.

Read more ...

Restoration of John Skeaping statues

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

They were the artist’s last large scale commission and were carved from Nigerian Opepe for Kings College Cambridge – below left is a historic photo 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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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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