PROJECT COMPLETED – but additional work identified …
We are delighted to see our refurbished weather vane back in its rightful place, atop the Tower and sparking in the winter sun. Enormous thanks to all involved in this restoration project; especially Andrew and team from Profurb Construction, Andrew our church architect, the skilled technicians at PMF Metalwork in Newhaven and Brian Neal Carter Signs of Seaford who added the gold leaf.
Internal repairs to the external walls, and redecoration to areas previously affected by water damage, are complete; as is the work to the Tower. However, while the extensive scaffold structure was in place our architect identified further work which needs urgent attention. Thus, in the spring we will deal with re-pointing the entire south-side of the Tower in an effort to prevent water ingress. We are indebted to all who contributed to what amounted to a £30,000 project and especially to our dear friends at Cliffe Feoffees without whom we would not be able to maintain the historic building which is Cliffe parish church.
There is a misconception that the diocese maintains the fabric of the building. Nothing could be further from the truth; it is down to the congregation and kind benefactors to raise the necessary funding while also making an annual payment to the diocese. The Parish Share is paid by all churches and go towards priests’ salaries as well as funding central operations such as staff at Church House in Hove, the Bishop’s Palace and paying for the area bishops and archdeacons across the county. Until last year it also included buildings’ insurance, but that’s no longer included and churches must now fund that additionally.
But the escalating fees are particular harsh on those churches witnessing diminishing congregations as fewer and fewer people have to dig deeper to keep their local church going. While this year’s increase in Chichester is just three per cent, that is a lot for many churches. It may only be three per cent, but it’s three percent of £20,612 in our case. So that works out at a rise of over £50 each and every month.
Meanwhile, it is on with the necessary fundraising to enable the next tranch of work.
Trevor Butler, Churchwarden,