August 2018: The Re-Pointing project starts!

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Churchwarden and Project Team Leader of the re-pointing project, Henry Pitt, shares the background to this important work as the scaffolding starts to go up on site.

Successive quinquennial [five yearly] inspections of St Michael’s, which are a legal requirement for Church of England churches, have shown that while the basic structure remains in a sound condition there has been a progressive deterioration in the condition of the external pointing. This has been particularly noticeable on the tower and the east gable wall. Gaps have also been noted in the pointing of the coping stones on both the east and west gables and on the roof ridge stones.

The concern was that deterioration would accelerate, especially in severe winters and that the cost of the re-pointing would increase with time. It was also clear that extensive and complex scaffolding, at considerable expense, would be needed due to the unusual architecture of the church with its central tower and side aisles.

In 2017 the Parochial Church Council decided to launch an appeal for funds to enable the work to undertaken. Generous grants have been received from:

The Heritage Lottery Fund, The Headley Trust, ChurchCare/Wolfson Foundation, Allchurches Trust, The Alan Evans Memorial Trust and the Franklin Trust. There has also been a magnificent response from church members and the wider local community.

As a result contracts for the scaffolding and the re-pointing work have now been placed and erection of the scaffolding has begun.

Because of the inaccessibility of the tower and roof without scaffolding inspections of these areas have been done using binoculars which, while enabling gaps in the pointing to be seen, do not enable the condition of the remaining pointing to be assessed. The full extent of the re-pointing needed will, therefore, only be determined by in situ inspection once the scaffolding is in place.

 

 

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A twelfth century Lakeland church has just received a funding boost in the form of £23,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The funding will mean that urgent re-pointing work in order to preserve it for future generations, along with activities to share the architectural and historical heritage of St Michael’s Church, Barton can now be carried out.  

Located between the villages of Tirril and Pooley Bridge, Barton Church is a popular and much-loved local place of worship that has played a part in the lives of thousands of locals over the centuries. Dating back to the 12thcentury, it has celebrated the key moments in the year for the local community as well as births, marriages and deaths of generations of Barton parishioners as well as families from the Penrith area and much further afield.

Howevertime and weather have taken their toll on this historic building and its last inspection highlighted the need for some major re-pointing work to the exterior walls and particularly to the tower. The project is estimated to cost in the region of £40,000.

Undeterred by the potential costs, last year members of the Parochial Church Council (PCC) initiated a project to secure the funds to undertake all the re-pointing work needed. To date, pledges from the local community total over £15,000 with another £8000 of funding having been secured from other grants including Headley, Allchurches and Franklin Trusts.

Thanks to National Lottery players, this funding has been a huge boost to fundraisers who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to get the project off the ground. As well as the repointing work, the grant will enable the PCC to develop a new leaflet, website and social media presence to help better engage locals and visitors alike with Barton Church.

Henry Pitt, Churchwarden, commented:

We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us such significant support for our project. Their grant, together with the wonderful response to our appeal to the local community and the generous grants received from the Headley, AllChurches, Franklin and Alan Evans Memorial Trusts will enable us to proceed with the re-pointing work. Furthermore the HLF grant also includes funds for the wider dissemination and promotion of the architectural, historical and religious heritage of St Michael’s through the professional development of a new website, an illustrated information leaflet and other publicity activities.”

It is hoped that the repointing work will begin later this year once the weather conditions are more favourable.Members of the public can still make a pledge; please contact PCC Treasurer, Cyril Wilson by email at cyrilwilson41@gmail.com or by phone on 01768 486990 for a Pledge form. Please note all pledges are made in strictest confidence.

Barton Church is located between the villages of Tirril and Pooley Bridge and is open to visitors at all times. Details of all regular services can be found here: https://www.achurchnearyou.com/barton-st-michael/

 

ENDS

 

For further information or images please contact Sam Bunting on
07866 492 891 or at
sam_bunting@hotmail.com

 

Notes to the Editor

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, HLF invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk.  Follow them on Twitter,Facebookand Instagramand use #HLFsupported.

 

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