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Lightning Protection

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

The nature of church architecture means they are particularly prone to lightning strikes. The very act of projecting the building towards heaven with a tower or spire – to glorify God and to act as a landmark for miles around – works towards them attracting lightning. 

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.

The nature of church architecture means they are particularly prone to lightning strikes. The very act of projecting the building towards heaven with a tower or spire – to glorify God and to act as a landmark for miles around – works towards them attracting lightning.

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Mastic Asphalt

An introduction to the Mastic Asphalt Council (MAC)

The Mastic Asphalt Council (MAC) is the trade association for the UK mastic asphalt industry. MAC represents more than 90 companies - including mastic asphalt manufacturers, the contractors responsible for its installation, and associated suppliers of equipment and services.

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Church Heating

Safe use of church heating systems

The average Anglican church is a tricky place to heat. This guidance from insurers Ecclesiastical provides advice on the safe and efficient use of various church heating systems.

Churches usually have large internal spaces, high ceilings and, putting the more modern churches to one side for the moment, the construction of its doors and leaded windows will make it difficult to insulate. A well-maintained heating system is important – which means conducting a number of checks throughout the year. Furthermore, from an insurance perspective, heating systems create several risks of their own, of which trustees need to be aware.

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Training

Red List 2021 support from the Pilgrim Trust

The Heritage Crafts Association are pleased to announce a new six-month research project funded by the Pilgrim Trust, which will provide a major update and expansion of our groundbreaking Red List of Endangered Crafts, first published in 2017.

The 2019 Red List of Endangered Crafts brought the plight of these skills to national attention, with coverage across the national press and BBC Radio on the day of publication. It identified 71 endangered and 36 critically endangered crafts, which, for a number of reasons, including a lack of effective training routes and an ageing workforce, faced an uncertain future.

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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.

Uniformly bright lighting throughout your historic place of worship will generally not be appropriate. Historically, interiors were lit by daylight and supplemented by candles, oil or gaslight. Many spaces within historic architecture were not intended to be lit. Illuminating features such as roof structures can potentially disrupt the character of the space and so is not always suitable.

The most sympathetic lighting, therefore, will simply reinforce natural light in the daytime, while night time lighting will reflect historic methods of illumination. If you need advice on new lighting, we recommend using independent consultants rather than lighting suppliers or contractors. We also encourage you to involve your Inspecting Architect.

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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.

Considerations that were taken into account in the selection process include the degree of difficulty, workmanship, problem solving, contribution to the built environment, environmental qualities and the aesthetics of the build.

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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.

An irony is that many churches have found that they can now reach people who had been excluded by physical illness or disability from attending church services, and have acquired a whole new congregation.

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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.

The artistic skills of the leadworker have typically found expression on rainwater heads, downpipes, water cisterns and roof embellishments, as well as statuary.

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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.

Members comprise every business model, from sole traders and partnerships to established corporate bodies. Whether they employ their own workforce or engage teams of subcontractors, members are required to take full responsibility for the purchase and application of the lead sheet under their control.

Members work to an approved Code of Practice (BS 6915) and recommendations set by the Lead Sheet Association. Those standards are guaranteed by an annual vetting programme that includes compulsory on-site inspection of workmanship and design.

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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.

Here, James Simpson OBE Hon DSc FRIAS, chairman of the Building Limes Forum, discusses the differences between traditional and modern building techniques.

Traditional building has its origins in the pre-industrial age, when buildings were made from natural, local materials. In the UK, earlier buildings of timber were superseded by walls of stone or brick, bedded in lime mortar, plastered internally and sometimes also finished externally with a floated or thrown plaster coat and limewash.

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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. 

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires all premises to undertake a comprehensive risk assessment to identify any possible dangers and risks, as well as the people who may be at risk. Leading church insurer Ecclesiastical Insurance and the Fire Industry Association offer advice on both the prevention of fire and the protection necessary should a fire occur.

Ecclesiastical Insurance has produced a guide for church authorities to help them undertake such a risk assessment and to minimise the risk of fire in their buildings. The guide identifies a number of common causes of fires and offers advice on steps to take to combat them.

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Tree Care

Tree care and planting in the church and heritage sector

According to a report in The Independant the UK will have to plant 1.5 billion trees if it is to tackle climate change. The London Tree Officers Association has this to say on the subject: "Future Governments are committed to planting trees to reduce carbon emissions, however there is concern that some of these proposals are focussed on a rapid increase without considering the intricate steps that are required to ensure that trees establish and thrive and it is important that this is made clear to avoid good intentions resulting in failure."

Professional advice and expertise needs to be sought and implemented.

To start the programme, Defra recently announced £50m available to farmers and land managers to create new woodlands to help tackle the effects of climate change.

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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.

The use of such machines has proved revolutionary in carrying out surveys of areas in ancient buildings and churches which had previously required extensive preparation, followed by expensive and in some cases hazardous operations. Indeed, in some churches there are parts of the building that had not hitherto been accessed at all for many years.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, can vastly reduce the time spent on projects by collecting accurate data in a much shorter timeframe. Because of this, their ROI is considerable. But there are other benefits, too. Drones also eliminate the need for humans to physically access hard-to-reach and dangerous terrain. To put it simply, UAS technology makes access more efficient, profitable, and safe.

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Disabled Access

Are Britain’s heritage attractions inclusive?

Research commissioned by specialist heritage insurer, Ecclesiastical, has revealed many parents of children with special needs feel uncomfortable or unwelcome while visiting museums, art galleries, theatres, stately homes or castles with their children.

The survey revealed more than two-fifths of parents with special needs children reported that staff or visitors were unfriendly or had made them feel uncomfortable (42%), compared to just one in five parents of children who do not have special needs (22%).

More than a quarter (29%) said they felt unwelcome or they were asked to leave, compared to only one in seven parents whose children do not have special needs (13%).

Stately homes came in for the biggest criticism with half (49%) of parents with special needs children saying they aren’t doing enough to cater for children with special needs. This was followed by art galleries (46%) and castles (39%), while almost two in five (38%) believe theatres and more than a third (35%) believe museums don’t do enough.

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Think Brick

Proven reliability over the centuries

Brick is one of our oldest building materials and its use dates back to the beginning of civilisation.

The Brick Development Association represents the United Kingdom and Ireland’s clay brick and paver industries and promotes the contribution that brick makes to the places and spaces we live and work in today. Their role is to ensure clay brick and pavers are recognised as the material of choice by architects, engineers, planners, specifiers, developers, landscapers, builders and property owners.

The Brick Development Association conducts lectures and CPDs with students and practising architects and engineers and through it’s marketing arm, Think Brick, communicates the benefits of brick to a wider audience on-line, through advertising and PR and through the annual Brick Awards.

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Welsh Heritage

Choosing a contractor in Wales

There may be occasions when you need help to maintain your building. Cadw, the Welsh Government's historic environment service works for an accessible and well-protected historic environment for Wales, but is unable to recommend contractors - so here are a few simple tips to help you choose the right professional advisor, builder or craftsperson.

Not all architects and surveyors are used to working with historic buildings and traditional building techniques, so choose someone who has the necessary skills, knowledge and experience and ideally, has had specialist training in building conservation.

They should also belong to an appropriate professional body, such as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) or the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Many professional advisors who regularly work with historic buildings are also members of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC).

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Yorkshire Heritage

Craftmanship flourishes in ancient York - and throughout the remarkable county

The massive presence of the tower atop York Minster dominates the skyline far beyond the borders of that ancient city. It forms the centre of a diocese that encompasses what used to be by far the largest county in England and once included counties across the Pennines and as far as the Cheviots.

The Minster still acts as a hub for one of the largest concentrations of craftspeople in the country, with ancient skills that have kept our cathedrals and other treasured buildings in operation for centuries.

In the next issue of Ecclesiastical & Heritage World we will be offering a glimpse into the world and work of these craftspeople, including the select band of members of the York Consortium for Conservation and Craftsmanship.

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Fire Doors

Fire Doors in Church and Heritage Buildings

The introduction of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 re-emphasised the need for adequate fire safety measures in older buildings and those of special interest. 

Already, there was a significant level of awareness that standards of fire compartmentation in Heritage buildings may not be adequate for many varied reasons. Indeed with particular regard to fire doors, English Heritage produced the 1997 guide ‘Timber panelled doors and fire’.

This detailed and practical document addresses the issue of fire separation performance of existing doors whilst recognising the important need to achieve improved levels of performance in accordance with the principles of minimum intervention and reversibility.

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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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Heritage Training

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Skills for the future to safeguard the past

Ecclesiastical and Heritage World have a selection of heritage training providers listed within our online directory offering a wide range of courses.

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Leadworker Register

The Leadworker Register - putting skills at the heart of the industry

The Lead Sheet Association has been developing and running successful training and qualification initiatives for many years to help ensure that standards of leadwork are high across the construction industry.

As well as delivering courses at its Training Centre in East Peckham, Kent, the LSA has also been working in collaboration with the Lead Contractors’ Association to set up the Leadworker Register.

One of the reasons the LSA felt the creation of the Leadworker Register was important was for many years it has been asked by a range of people to provide details of competent leadworkers. It felt the fairest way to do this was through a Register which is transparent and allows contractors, specifiers, architects and others in the construction industry to find the level of skills needed for the job in hand.

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Ironwork

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.

Wrought iron, normally produced from pig iron, is a ferrous carbon alloy with a significantly lower carbon content (less than 0.1%) than cast iron or steel. Wrought iron is produced with slag inclusions (the top layer of melt formed during smelting containing oxides and other impurities) which gives wrought iron a characteristic fibrous nature.

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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.

There is a mystery to glass: It is a form of matter with gas, liquid and solid state properties. Glass is most like a super-cooled liquid. It captures light and glows from within. It is a jewel like substance made from the most ordinary materials: sand transformed by fire.

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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.

The majority of Anglican churches now use audio visual equipment as part of regular services. The technical specification for any fixed installation is crucial and will depend on your building and usage.

Seek professional advice from an independent adviser, and make early contact with your DAC Secretary to discuss any new scheme. The technical details will be unique to each church, but there are some general principles to consider when looking at new installations which impact on the fabric and appearance of the church.

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The majority of Anglican churches now use audio visual equipment as part of regular services. The technical specification for any fixed installation is crucial and will depend on your building and usage.

Seek professional advice from an independent adviser, and make early contact with your DAC Secretary to discuss any new scheme. The technical details will be unique to each church, but there are some general principles to consider when looking at new installations which impact on the fabric and appearance of the church.

CRE Events

CRE South West at Westpoint, Exeter now rescheduled for February 23-24 2022

With a ban on large public gatherings in place for the foreseeable future, Christian Resources Exhibition have postponed CRE South West until early next year - the new dates are February 23-24 2022.

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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:

"Taking on the challenge of becoming FTMRC Chairman, a rapid realisation dawns (although I had always suspected it) that no matter how brilliant or dynamic the individual...

"Since our formation at the end of 2006 (yes I know only eight years – incredible isn’t it?) we have achieved so much because we have a strong, innovative and forward thinking Council backed up by a very professional secretariat. Pooling and focusing those varied individual resources creates a dynamic and purposeful unit that is determined to see the FTMRC succeed.

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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."

Harm caused to a heritage asset by crime or anti-social behaviour will often have both direct and indirect impacts. For example, the loss of historic fabric from a listed building through theft or vandalism will not only have a direct impact by damaging the fabric of the building itself. It can also have an indirect impact such as social or economic loss to the amenity of an area.

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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.

To deliver this training the LSTA operates from a state of the art, purpose-built training facility in East Peckham, Kent which is open six-days a week for most of the year. The training centre includes full scale training rigs and resources as well as providing a well-equipped environment in which to learn as it re-creates real-life situations. If suitable premises are available, we can also deliver basic courses in lead and hard metals at locations around the UK.

The centre is recognised as a CITB Approved Training Organisation. Our tutors are experienced trainers, holding qualifications in leadwork, hard metals and teaching, have experience of working on-site and are CITB-approved assessors. CITB grants are available to meet most course fees for employees of CITB-registered construction businesses. LSTA can offer pay-as-you-learn charges for courses longer than 5-days.

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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.

Alternatively, machine cast lead offers a very similar finish to milled and can be more cost-effective.

In light of this, it is safe to say that lead has proven itself to be a reliable and durable material, excellent for roofing purposes. So let’s take a closer look at the benefits you can receive from a lead roof

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National Trust

National Trust building conservation programme

The National Trust protects historic buildings and buildings in the wider landscape. Their team works hard to ensure they are preserved forever and for everyone, using traditional conservation techniques.

Our special places need a lot of looking after and you can read more about some of our most ambitious conservation and restoration projects in the next issue of this magazine. Ecclesiastical and Heritage World’s Autumn issue will feature a spotlight on the National Trust Restoration Programme with case study examples of some of the magnificent conservation and restoration successes old and new. Support and contributions from specialists nationwide is welcome.

From Northumberland to Kent and across to Wales, the National Trust has a number of highly ambitious conservation projects - both current and planned - including at Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire.

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ISCE

Promoting technical excellence

ISCE is a specialist Learned Society and professional body for sound and communications engineers. Founded in 1948, it is an entirely independent Institute, run by a Council elected by its members. Members maintain a code of conduct in professional activities, embodying high ethical standards and concern for the environmental and sociological impacts of professional activities.

Members of the Institute are professionals from the field of audio – especially public address, voice alarm, sound system, audio frequency induction loop system, audio-video or acoustics – who maintain a code of conduct in professional activities.

Membership includes consultants, manufacturers and specialist installers who are all able to engage with an end user or their architectural advisors to develop and deliver solutions in even the most demanding of buildings.

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Membership includes consultants, manufacturers and specialist installers who are all able to engage with an end user or their architectural advisors to develop and deliver solutions in even the most demanding of buildings. Contact with members in most areas of the UK is available via its website or the secretariat.

 

Church Loop Systems

Audio Frequency Induction Loops - The Law has changed

In the UK public venues such as churches MUST have a standards compliant Audio Frequency Induction Loop fitted - by law.

Did you know that in the UK it is now MANDATORY (Under the terms of the Disability Discrimination Act) for ALL public buildings to make adequate provision for the disabled (eg wheelchair access) and specifically, the hearing impaired?

Did you also know that the international standard (IEC118-4) has recently been revised and that your loop system now needs to be louder? Induction loop systems allow hearing impaired people to hear more clearly. Most hearing aids have a 'T' or 'MT' switch that allows them to pick up the electromagnetic field generated by a telephone earpiece.

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Heritage East Midlands

In the midst of things – that’s the legacy of the East Midlands

It is perhaps a little-known fact that the region in England we think of the as the loose conglomeration of the East Midlands actually has an official identity: it is one of the regions of the UK recognised by the EU as one of Europe’s Level One “nomenclatures d'unités territoriales statistiques”, or NUTS. Officially, the East Midlands comprises Derbyshire, Leicestershire, most of Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland.

Historically, of course, the East Midlands region is much more than a device of the EU to find convenient parcels to divide Europe into. Many of England’s strategic decisions have been taken there – often on the battlefield, but also diplomatically. Richard III fell there – the last English king to lead his troops into battle.

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Pest Control

Michael Palin warns of death watch beetle 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.

It also shows some of the dangers facing church buildings. These include leaking roofs, crumbling stonework and the dreaded Deathwatch Beetle, Xestobium rufovillosum.

The Deathwatch Beetle is a serious wood-boring pest which can cause major damage to church timbers. When an adult, the beetles produce a rapid tapping sound by beating their heads against wood as a mating call.

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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.

In 1992 the rules of the Association were changed to enable individual self-employed carvers to become members.

Then, to widen the scope of the association, in 2009 the rules were changed once again to create a third category of membership: associate member. This category is open to budding carvers and others who have a particular interest or contribution to make to professional carving.

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Cathedral Anniversaries

2020 is Year of Cathedrals, Year of Pilgrimage

2020 has been designated Year of Cathedrals, Year of Pilgrimage as it brings together a remarkable number of individual English cathedral anniversaries that help tell Britain’s story and will also see a host of new pilgrimage routes opened.

Many cathedrals are already planning major celebrations – Canterbury, Peterborough, Portsmouth are all remembering Thomas Becket, Lincoln Cathedral celebrates 800 years of St Hugh, Salisbury commemorates the 800th anniversary of the founding of its city and its iconic cathedral, St Edmundsbury celebrates 1,000 years anniversary of the Abbey, and Coventry Cathedral will remember the 80th anniversary of the bombing of the old cathedral during the Blitz.

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Listed Property Show

The place to be if your property is listed

This year's Listed Property Show, organised by the Listed Property Owners' Club (LPOC) will take place at London's Olympia on 20-21 February and at the Harrogate International Centre on 12-13 March.

Over 150 of the country's leading experts will be at the shows to give advice and guidance. Many will be giving practical demonstrations, including woodcarving, leadwork, plasterwork, window and door manufacturing and much more. Other exhibitors include English Heritage, architectural historians and many commercial suppliers of products particularly suitable for period homes.

There will also be three independent conservation officers at the exhibition, who will happily discuss any plans owners may have for altering or extending their property. All owners of listed properties know the process of obtaining permission for such work can be very lengthy and a free one-to-one conversation will help them to better understand the obligations and requirements.

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Architectural Salvage

What’s available and where

Preserving and maintaining the nation’s built heritage is also part and parcel of preserving the environment in which we live. That environmental husbandry extends to the materials we use in the restoration projects we undertake and new additions to the built heritage.

Re-using and recycling is central to that work and is typified by the extensive use of architectural salvage.

A whole industry has developed around architectural salvage, with specialist firms offering a wide range of materials rescued from building which could not be saved. From stonework to timber and from whole statues to fragments of friezes, material is available for re-use by architects and contractors, allowing them to avoid the necessity of manufacturing new pieces.

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