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Ecclesistical & Heritage World No.99

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Ecclesiastical & Heritage World Scanaudio

CRE Events

After the Midlands, onward to Milton Keynes

"CRE Midlands reminded me of the giddy days when it first began – the venue was packed with exhibitors and visitors and there was a busy atmosphere. The whole thing looked great."



Church Insurance | Ecclesiastical

Church insurance risk

You need to ensure that reasonable precautions are in place at your church to keep it safe for those who use it. To do this, you need to think about what might cause harm to people.

You will then need to decide if the precautions already in place are adequate. If they are not, you may need to identify further action to prevent any danger. When done formally, this is known as a risk assessment.


Church Maintenance

Church maintenance and repair: Calendar of Care

Just as prevention is always better than cure, maintenance is preferable to major repairs. But, such repairs may not always be avoidable. Church Care offers a monthly guide in our coming issues Starting in Spring

We can help you understand the common problems and areas that need your special attention, and give you tips for regular maintenance schemes.


Pest Control

Michael Palin warns of pest threat to churches

Michael Palin is supporting the future of the UK’s historic churches and chapels with a voiceover for a new animated film. The 80 second animation, produced for the National Churches Trust, highlights why churches are some of the nation’s best loved buildings.


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.


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.


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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Work begins on £7.5m restoration of Newhaven Fort, revealing unseen areas

Restoration begins at Newhaven Fort Romney Hut.sm 002Construction workers have arrived on site to begin a milestone restoration project to transform Newhaven Fort - including opening hidden areas never seen by the public before.

The £7.5 million restoration, which is taking place throughout 2024, means the Fort will remain closed to the public until its grand reopening in early 2025.

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The cost of lead roofing in 2024

PHOTO 2023 07 04 13 26 13 980x1307In the quest for durable and aesthetically pleasing roofing materials, lead stands unparalleled. Its longevity, beauty, and historical value make it a top choice. This guide, by lead roofing specialists Silk-Leadwork, dives deep into the cost per square meter, equipping homeowners with the knowledge to make an informed investment.

Choosing lead roofing transcends a mere material selection; it’s a long-term investment in your property’s future. Known for its impressive lifespan and robustness, lead roofing promises a leak-free and visually appealing outcome.

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John Williams & Company - still thriving after over 150 years

0n8002John Williams & Company (familiarly known as JW & Co) is a well-known name in the roofing and slating trades and has been for well over a century. In fact, the firm celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2020.

The date of 1870 as the establishment of the company lies in Whitaker’s Red Book of Business, published in 1907. The entry tells us that JW & Co was established in 1870 especially to transport slate from the Dinorwic slate quarries in North Wales.

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Restoration of heritage iron and lead windows on site at the Grade II-listed Pro-Cathedral in Bristol

cast iron and lead window repairs pro cathedral bristol

The existing cast iron windows had been left for over 50 years. During this time the paint had deteriorated, glass broken, putty fallen out and some rust jacking of the cast iron members. Due to budget constraints the works were carried out on site.

The frames were cleaned back to a sound surface by hand and the rust treated by Bristol-based Dorothea Restorations. Missing putty was replaced with metal casement putty and the glass replaced where required on a like for like basis. The glass found in the windows was a mixture of crown, cylinder and float.

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Brian’s gilt-edged brushwork adds lustre to commissions both sacred and temporal

Brian the Brush pic1Pretty much all of us will have passed by commercial properties or visited premises with exquisite signage and wondered at the craftsmanship involved in their creation. In particular, if the work involved gilding the artistry is all the more admirable.

What most of us will not know is that the same artistry involved in the representation of those treasured local names is to be seen in the restoration projects of some of our historic buildings. Those of us who live in the North of England will be particularly familiar with the work of Brian the Brush Ltd – a traditional hand-painting signwriting company based in Yorkshire and Cheshire, but which also serves the whole of the UK.

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Sometimes, being a miser can be a good thing

Ecomiser picGreen heating specialist Christopher Dunphy relates how his ChurchEcoMiser system helped one church save energy and money.

When churchwarden Nigel Sprat contacted me about St Mary’s Church in Fordingbridge, situated on the edge of the New Forest, I was delighted to be involved with the programme of upgrading at one of Hampshire’s finest churches.

The church had been heated for the previous 20 or so years by a gas-fired warm air system, but it had come to the end of its life. The warm air system was not entirely suitable as it was giving rapid temperature differentials, which can be detrimental in a church as old as St Mary’s.

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Just to be clear: choose your speakers with care

bld article 1Whether you’re a regular member of the congregation or attending a wedding, funeral or some other religious ceremony, there’s nothing more frustrating than having to struggle to understand what is being said. That was brought into sharp focus recently at St Mary the Virgin, in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside – a local church struggling with exactly that sort of sound issue. Complaints of distortion and patchy coverage were common among the congregation, leading to an urgent need for an overhaul of their sound system.

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What is a conservation rooflight?

YZUwqtDPaul Trace, director of Stella Rooflight discusses the unique properties of a genuine conservation rooflight.

What is a conservation rooflight?

If you know that you need conservation rooflights for your project, the chances are that you have searched online and found plenty of choice. But what is a conservation rooflight and are they all the same?

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New AV system brings added life to services

ScanAudio Story2 pic1In an era characterised by rapid technological advancements it is imperative for places of worship to adapt and evolve to meet the changing needs of their congregations. Putnoe Heights Methodist Church in Bedford has taken a commendable step in that direction by partnering with Scanaudio to install the NEC PA703W projector and Kramer VP-440X video switcher – ushering in a new era of multimedia capabilities that promise to enhance the worship experience for all.

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Streaming service brings the church to all

ScanAudio story1 pic1In an age when technology seamlessly integrates with spirituality, St Elphege’s RC Church in Wallington, Surrey, has taken a significant step forward by partnering with Scanaudio to introduce a state-of-the-art web streaming service. The groundbreaking initiative aims to bridge the physical and digital realms of worship, allowing the congregation to connect with their faith, irrespective of physical presence. The centrepiece of the technological marvel is the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro video switcher and PTZ Optics Z Cam.

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Keeping it simple is the watchword for St Ann’s new system

rks article img 1Dating from the 1890s, St Ann’s Church in the Welsh seaside town of Rhyl now boasts thoroughly modern audio-visual systems – both in the church and the church hall – courtesy of Richard King Systems. The facilities now include upgraded sound systems, new audio loop systems, updated AV-projector systems, and comprehensive wi-fi coverage.

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Keeping traditional construction skills alive - in Yorkshire

5EMtnbIThe Yorkshire Lime Company is a team of skilled craftsmen specialising in the restoration of heritage and traditional buildings using only locally sourced and often recycled all-natural materials throughout Yorkshire. Adhering to the S.P.A.B approach, the company prioritises necessary repairs, utilising like-for-like local materials and relevant expertise to achieve the highest standards in their work. Their passion for the craft is evident in the dedication that they bring to all their services.

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Unleashing innovation: ISCVEx 2024 – where sound, communications and visual technologies converge

5X5A2921eCoventry Warwickshire, UK – The Institute of Sound, Communications and Visual Engineers (ISCVE) is delighted to announce the annual return of its acclaimed event, ISCVEx 2024. Scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, 19-20 March 2024 at the Coombe Abbey Hotel, near Coventry, Warwickshire, the event boasts a blend of informative and networking opportunities for industry professionals.

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Safeguarding sanctuary: how to control the cost of church security

AceDefence pic1Steve Holland, managing director of Somerset-based Ace Defence Ltd, has been installing church roof alarms for over 10 years. Here he offers some advice on reducing risk while keeping the costs in check.

Talking to a colleague from Ecclesiastical Insurance recently, I learned that metal theft claims have fallen dramatically in recent years. That is in part due to the work of Ecclesiastical in promoting the installation of roof alarms. But with only a small proportion of vulnerable churches protected there is still work to be done. One of the issues is often the cost, but there are ways to save money and sources of funding that can help.

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Cathedral glaziers remove 145-year-old Pre-Raphaelite stained glass window for restoration

CU of Burne Jones Angeli Ministrantes in the workshop the glass around the edge is so called sacrifical glass used when fixing the window and not part of the window photo Finnbarr Webster photo GSalisbury Cathedral’s stained glass team led by Sam Kelly, head glazier and conservator, have begun the painstaking process of removing a 19th century window designed by the Pre-Raphaelite artist Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones and designer and craftsman William Morris, 145 years after it was first installed.

Featuring two huge figurative designs - Angeli Ministrantes (Angels Ministering) and Angeli Laudantes (Angels Praising) by Burne-Jones - that sit within Morris’s elaborate acanthus leaf design that reflects the medieval grisaille or grey painted windows elsewhere in the Cathedral, the windows were not well received by the Cathedral’s clergy at the time and what should have been a series of windows by the Pre-Raphaelite duo stopped at one.

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Future of Amotherby Church secured – thanks to The Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust

Amotherly 1 002The Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust (YHCT) is welcoming funding applications from places of worship across the county for repair, restoration and maintenance work. Due to the generous donations and legacies received last year, the Trust is actively encouraging churches to apply for the next round of funding.

The application deadlines for 2024 are Friday 8 March for consideration at the April grants committee and Friday 23 August for consideration at the October grants committee. For guidance and how to apply please go to: www.yhct.org.uk/grants

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Paramount praises new 40m Hinowa as a ‘gamechanger'

paramount 1National spider lift rental specialist Paramount Platforms has become the first access hire company in the UK to take delivery of the new Hinowa 40.18 Lightlift Performance IIIS.

Access Platforms Sales (APS) has supplied the company with the tracked spider boom - now the largest in the Hinowa range, with a maximum working height of 40.2 metres.

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