St Michael Barton: an architect’s view

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It was a warm July evening. Prince Charles had married Princess Diana the day before, as I made my first visit to Barton Church. Entering through the beautifully carved Lychgate, I was immediately taken by the elevated position of the church on a mound, enclosed by what appeared to be an historic circular boundary wall.

The building stands comfortably – approached by a line of mature trees in an immaculate low-key churchyard, and I sensed overtures of history as I approached the seventeenth century porch.

The dominant feature, the tower, is reminiscent of the local pele towers built to provide defence during the border raids. The immediate impression is of a uniquely beautiful combination of Norman, Medieval and Renaissance styles, and it was this that spoke to me, it was love at first sight.

Crossing the threshold I was aware of a building fortified by prayer for over a thousand years, a structure largely unchanged since 1330 and in that sense, unique.

It was a low evening sun, as I entered, and the glorious West Window was filled with colour. St Michael the Archangel is centre stage, clothed in warm 20thcentury colours, this seemed curiously appropriate. Like all visitors I was intrigued by the double rounded arch supporting the mass of the tower, a structural conjuring trick, that beggars belief, which adds real drama to the Nave.

When Sockbridge Hall Farm was re-roofed in 1703, 32 cartloads of slate were left over surplus, and donated to Barton Church to replace the original thatch. Two hundred years later, the fine oak barrel vaulting to the Nave and Chancel finished the interior restoration as we see it today.

Among my favourite features of the interior is the stone carved head representing Edward I, a vague smile on his face, as he faces the congregation – what is his secret?

Picture by Steven Barber

During the current restoration work, I have been able to access the upper levels of the east gable and the tower. The immediate impression is of extreme weathering that has distorted the profile of the stone work.

The redundant gargoyles are more grotesque than ever, the parapet and coping stones wavelike, timeless and beautiful.

But the piece de resistance is the flat roof covering the tower. Here is a veritable masterclass in the lead-workers craft. Stonemasons mistakes are bandaged with free flowing dressings, curvilinear flashings turn every corner, and yet the roof looks orderly, ship-shape and weather tight, but there is still work to be completed.

How marvellous to see the superb workmanship underway. The repointing, stabilising and repair has never been in better hands. When all is done, scaffolding removed, the glorious church of St Michael will be safe and sound for another century.

John Innderdale

October 2018

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Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain. And you are young and life is long and there is time to kill today, And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.

‘Time’ from ‘Dark Side of the Moon’.

Pink Floyd

It was in August 2005 that I was first approached about the possibility of applying for the post of Priest-in-Charge of what were then three parishes; Barton, Pooley Bridge and Mar- tindale. Interviews followed and I was appointed and started in December that year. Almost thirteen years later and the time has come to move on. Well, retire.

Where have they gone? It seems almost no time at all since that first early service at Barton, 8.00 a.m. on December 3rd, 2005.

Time has long fascinated human beings: “a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance:” a thought that has been picked up by Martin Smith in a track from his new album ‘Love Song for a City’ with ‘a time for singing.’ Interesting though to ask the question ‘What is time?’ It can be measured yet seems to be extremely flexible. A second is defined like this: “one second elapses during the occurrence of exactly 9.192631770 x 109 cycles of the radiation produced by the transition between two levels of the cesium 133 atom.” as if that helps.

The writers of the Psalms recognise that time can be long yet for their God it seems almost immaterial: “a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past.” with the result that “the days of our life are seventy years, or perhaps eighty if we are strong …” but … “they are soon gone and we fly away.

One question philosophers raise about time is “does it exist when nothing is changing?” We live at a time (!) when it feels as though everything is changing, and that includes church life. Yet we worship a god who is said to be unchanging. The psalm writer again:

“Long ago you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you endure: they will all wear out like a garment. You change them like clothing, and they pass away; but you are the same and your years have no end.”

The writer James puts it like this: “with (God) there is no variation or shadow due to change” and the old prophet Malachi like this; “For I the Lord do not change: therefore you … have not perished.

In other words, for the Lord’s people there is absolute assurance of God’s constancy. He is unchanging; utterly reliable, utterly trustworthy. In that sense he is timeless.

We can come to him with whatever concerns us and know that whatever answer we get will be the perfect one for us.

Of course, to say that we trust him and then to act as though that were true are two different things. That is part of the journey, learning to bring those two things together. God bless you.

David Wood.

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Most historians regard the Great War of 1914 – 18 as the cardinal tragedy of European civilisation from which flowed all the subsequent horrors of the 20thcentury. They have pondered upon the complex issues that lead to the catastrophe, but it is unlikely that any man named on Barton lych-gate, with the possible exception of Donald Parry, was aware of those weighty matters. Yet they all grasped one harsh truth. In August 1914, when the Germans invaded Belgium, the British people faced a simple dilemma; to go to the aid of a nation they were bound by a treaty to defend, or back down. They did not back down. By early 1918, after the most frightful losses of life; when ten of Barton’s twelve dead had fallen and the yearning for peace was most acute, the dilemma persisted in an even starker form. The Germans still held Belgium and having defeated Russia and added huge areas of Eastern Europe to their empire, demanded as the price for peace that Belgium be added to that empire. Again, the British people did not flinch.

 

We of later generations are astonished by their sacrifice; certain that we could never have made it, and we are left with two bleak conclusions; that we are morally a lesser people, or that our forefathers were sadly deluded. Perhaps both conclusions are true; but, either way, it behoves us and our descendants never to forget what they suffered and why. The Barton war memorial calls us to that duty.

 

Barton Church Lych-gate

Twelve Barton men are commemorated on the lych-gate memorial. Its construction was initiated by a committee that first met at the Tirril Reading Rooms in July 1919 under the chairmanship of the Barton vicar, Rev. Thomas Sharp. He suggested a memorial in the form of a Calvary, or the refurbishment of the Winder Hall Chapel, but a lych-gate was proposed and unanimously approved. Over the next year, eight further meetings steered the project through. Mr Martindale, architect of Carlisle, designed the gate and estimated the cost at £350. By October, funds had been raised from collections made by the ladies in their localities: Barton, Mrs Sharp and Mrs Loftus: Sockbridge and Tirril, Mrs Errington and Mrs Turner: Yanwath and Eamont Bridge, Mrs Frankland and Miss H. Jackson. The values of individual donations were not to be reported. The sums collected were:

 

Barton                                     £250 – 4  – 6

Pooley                                     £ 17 – 3  – 6

Tirril & Sockbridge                 £  52 – 15 – 0

Yanwath & Eamont Bridge     £    5 – 2  – 6

 

Total                                        £326 – 15 – 6

 

An executive sub-committee oversaw the work, but the full committee chose the memorial’s format and wording. After considering four tenders, that of Mr Bardgett, joiner of Pooley Bridge, for £380, was chosen and he completed the work during in 1920. The wood carving was by Mr Fred Dixon, one of his employees. Mr Abbott of Helton did the stonework. The area in front of the gate was gravelled over and the Bishop of Carlisle was invited to dedicate the monument.

 

The Dedication

The dedication by Bishop Williams and a party of clergy took place on Sunday, November 21st1920. The large congregation included Mr Charles de Courcy Parry, ex-chief constable of Westmorland and his successor in that post, Colonel Turnbull. The church was so filled that many were obliged to remain outside. The clergy entered to the singing of “Fight the Good Fight”. They comprised the Bishop himself, Rev. Mr T. Sharp: Rev. Canon Byard of Penrith, Rural Dean: Rev. Canon Hassel of Dalemain: Rev. W. M. Keys-Wells of Clifton and lay-reader, W.H. Hudson of Penrith. After hymns, prayers and readings the clergy walked to the lych-gate, followed by the people. It was a beautifully quite day whose stillness was broken only by the Bishop’s words, “I dedicate this lych-gate to the glory of God and in memory of the soldiers of this parish who gave their lives for their country during the war.” The congregation then returned to the church for the Bishop’s address.

 

Dr Williams took for his text, 2 Corinthians xiii, 13, “All the Saints salute you.” His theme was the afterlife and he began by pointing out that it was not easy for him to cover all the topics relevant to the opening of a war memorial. He then mentioned certain troublesome matters: the plight of jobless ex-soldiers, the grief of families, the state of the country and its economy, the need to find a means of securing international peace. But he thought the parish’s choice of memorial pointed to “that eternal and invisible world of spirit.” He was then on familiar ground; the “Eternal and Divine, the communion of saints” and “communion with Christ’s Elect”. He stressed the truth of the afterlife but took issue with spiritualism, the bringing back of the dead into this world, an immensely popular activity in those grief stricken years. In effect, said Dr Williams, there was no need to bring back the dead, for one day, all would be re-united: their loved ones were only hidden “for a while” before they would all meet in God’s kingdom.

 

 

THE MEN

The memorial records the men in the chronological order of their deaths, noting their regiments and where they fell. Because some were killed in action, whilst others died later of wounds, it is not possible always to infer the precise battle in which a man fell, though the familiar names of Ypres, Dardanelles and the Somme occur. Below they are listed in alphabetical order along with further information from official and private records.

Bell:Private Herbert White (No 4/94340) Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders: Hooge, Ypres, 10thMay 1915, aged 26: Son of Robert Bell of Eamont Bridge: Commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, panel 42 – 44.

Berry:Private Richard (No 5055) 1stBorder Regiment: Dardanelles, Turkey, between August 19thand 25th1915, aged 18: Son of Richard and Sarah Berry of Skirsgill Park: Commemorated on the Cape Helles Memorial, panel 119-125 or 222 to 223: Richard had been a cowman, aged 14, at Yanwath Hall in 1911.[1]

Berry: Private Frank (No 260137) 8th Border Regiment: Son of Richard Berry of Skirsgill, Penrith: Ypres, 22ndJuly 1917, aged 22: Commemorated on panel 35, of the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

Birkett:Lance Corporal James William (No 52857) 20thManchester Regiment: Zellebeke, Ypres, Belgium, killed 24thOctober 1917, aged 19: Only son of Mr and Mrs Birkett of Croft Foot, Tirril: Commemorated on panels 120-124 & 162-162A of the Tyne Cot Memorial: James was the grandson of Mr Bracken of Sockbridge and a pupil of Yanwath School. Prior to enlisting he had worked at Long Close Farm, Keswick, and then at Gretna. His friend, Lance Corporal Hallam, informed his parents that on entering the trenches he was killed by a bullet and “was well respected by all who knew him.”

Branthwaite:Private J. S. (No 356578) 1st/10thKing’s Regiment (Liverpool), “Liverpool Scottish”: Son of William and Elizabeth Branthwaite, of the College, Tirril, and husband of Elizabeth E. Branthwaite, of 124, Weaste Lane, Eccles Old Road, Pendleton, Manchester:  Died of wounds at Wieltz, 2ndAugust 1917, aged 28, and buried in grave XVI. J. 19 in the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery: Private Branthwaite was formerly employed by the Liverpool and District Bank, Manchester, and was severely wounded at Guillemont in 1916, returning to the front in January 1917. His parents received a letter from the chaplain of a Canadian casualty clearing station.

I am indeed sorry to send you the sad news that your son, Private J.S. Branthwaite, died here yesterday afternoon at 3 pm. He was brought in, in an ambulance, with severe shell wounds in both legs – one was so shattered that it had to be amputated; he came safely through the operation, but never recovered strength and gradually sank. He was unconscious, I believe, practically all the time he was here; certainly he was so on every occasion when I visited him. I said a prayer for him and obtained your address from his pay book. He passed away quite quietly without consciousness. Owing to his being unconscious, he was spared much suffering. He will be buried today in a cemetery near here with all due respect and military honours, and a small wooden cross placed over his grave. I will send you the number of his grave if you wish. I am not allowed to take or send photographs. His private effects will, I presume, be sent to you in due course by the proper authorities; but that is outside my control. I do not know how he became to be wounded. I am simply the chaplain of the C.C.S. where he happened to be brought. I pray that God may comfort and support you in your sad trouble. In these dark days when so many are weeping – (this letter is one of 10 similar sad ones I have to write today)  – one can only try to look forward to the Day when those parted shall meet again and God himself shall wipe away the tears from all eyes.

Cass:Trooper Joseph William (No 2467) Household Battalion: Cambrai, 8thNovember. 1917, aged 31: Son of Joseph and Mary Cass of Lowther Lodge, Eamont Bridge: Buried in grave I. F. 15 Windmill British Cemetery, Monchy-le-Preux. Trooper Cass’s father was Lord Lonsdale’s gamekeeper.[2]

Dixon:Private Edmund (No 15188) 3rd Coldstream Guards, eldest son of James Dixon of Yanwath: Somme: 15thSeptember 1916: He went to Birmingham in 1909 and was a platelayer with the Great Western Railway: Enlisted February 1914 and volunteered for “very dangerous duties” in the fighting on the Somme: Commemorated on pier and face 7 D and 8 D of the Somme (Thiepval) Memorial.

James:Sapper T. D. (No 61890), 83rdField Company, Royal Engineers: killed 25thSeptember 1915 at Fauquissart, Neuve Chapelle, aged 23: Youngest son of Mr and Mrs A. James of Stone House, Sockbridge: Buried at Aubers Ridge British Cemetery, Aubers, in grave VI. A. 6. Sapper James was a joiner for Mr Bardgett of Pooley Bridge and for Mr Sarginson, Eamont Bridge. He enlisted 30thDec 1914 and went to France in July 1915. His parents received a letter from Sapper T. Tinkler of William Street, Penrith.

As a chum of your dear son, I feel it my duty to write and send the heartfelt sympathy of the whole company for the loss of your dear boy. He passed away very peacefully from a bullet wound in the chest while in the execution of his duty, which he always did with a cheerfulness that made him beloved by everyone. We much regret that he was called, but he was prepared. I am sending you his wrist watch; which was handed to me and I will be pleased to answer any enquiries you may wish.

Hindson:Private. A. (No 253939), Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders: Cambrai, 22ndOctober 1918, aged 29: Son of Jane Hindson of Eamont Bridge and the late Edward Hindson: Buried in Auberchicourt British Cemetery, grave 11. F. 8.

Parry:Lt. (acting Major) Donald George De Courcy, D Battery, 17thBrigade, Royal Field Artillery: Senlis, 5th April 1918, aged 21: Son of Charles and Gwendoline Mary Parry of Barton House, Pooley Bridge: Educated at Repton School and Trinity College, Cambridge, and after service in the University’s Officer Training Corps went to France in July 1915. He had a “phenomenal career” and was promoted battery commander in October 1917: Buried at Varennes Military Cemetery, grave I. L. 22.

The Tirril Reading Room Memorial

The plaque bears one extra name; that of  Lance Corporal J. Holme (No 25213) 6thBorder Regiment, died 12thDecember, 1917, aged 21: Son of Robert John and Deborah Holme, Bridge End, Bampton: Buried at British Cemetery, Loos, grave XX E. 7.

Jonathon Noble Holme’s family have preserved several documents relating to his death, including his letters and those from sympathisers. They comprise the most complete and available archive of a local soldier. He was born on March 6th 1896 to Deborah, wife of farmer Robert John Holme of Woodfoot, Bampton. They soon moved to Bridge End and Jonathon attended the Primary School where, like many of his generation, he learned to write good English in neat copperplate script. He was a regular church attendee and a pupil of the Wesleyan Sunday School. On leaving school he went as assistant herdsman at Thorpe Farm, Sockbridge. He enlisted in 6thBorder Regt in 1917 and trained at Moor Lane Camp, Gt. Crosby, near Liverpool. In Sept 1917 he wrote home about training behind the lines “within sound of the guns” and of larking about on the carriage roof of a slow train. After his death his mother received a letter from Private Smallwood.

 

Dec 15th1917: Dear Mrs Holme,

 Very sorry to say that we have had a bit bad luck we have lost your son Jonathon on Wednesday the 12thhim and me were going out working and just as we got into the trench a shell came and wounded (him) severely in the head & right harm but (he)died shortly afterwards I have been with him ever since he came out here and does miss him very much there was one thing he did not suffer very much he got a parcel the night before and this card was in it so I thought it would be best to send it on to you. We are all very sorry to loose such a friend he was as good a lad as ever went into the trenches and all the lads of the platoon thought a lot of him the paper you sent him we got it last night and seeing it was just a newspaper we thought it was not worth sending back (line illegible due to a fold) …I close with deep sympathy with you in the loss of your son Jonathon.

 

From Pte. W. Smallwood 202965, 6th Border Regt. D Coy, 16 Platoon, BEF, France. And if you want to know any particulars will be very pleased to let you know,

 

This was followed by a letter from Jonathon’s officer.

 

26.12.17: “Dear Mrs Holme,

Allow me to offer you my deepest sympathy on the death of your son, the last time were in the trenches. I fully intended to write to you sooner but I have never had a real opportunity. However I hope it will be some consolation to you to know that he was considered to be one of the best men in the platoon. He was a willing worker and whenever volunteers were required he was always among the first to offer his services. He was always cheery and never grumbled and, in short, we all thought very highly of him. Hoping you will not take it too much to heart and assuring your family sympathy at all times.

I remain, Yours sincerely, A.B. Paterson 2nd Lt.”

 

The parish magazine, reporting his death, noted he was a popular young man whose death had “cast gloom over the Parish” and there was large gathering for his memorial service on January 13th 1918. Mrs H. Errington of Sockbridge Hall, mother of Jonathon’s friend, Fred, wrote to Mr and Mrs Holme.

 

Feb.4th1918: Dear Mr & Mrs Holmes,

 Just a line to thank you for sending poor Jonathon’s card for Fred. We have all felt his death very much for he was such a good, well behaved lad & Fred & he such good friends. Although I did not write at the time you were very much in our thoughts and our sympathy was with you. My son would have come to the Memorial service at Bampton but it happened we had one in Barton for 3 local boys (same day) & he went there. When is this dreadful war going to end, it is terrible, the pain and trouble that has been caused through one bad man. I trust God in His mercy will comfort you in your loss as He only can & with kindest regards and much sympathy,

I am, Yours sincerely,

H.Errington

 

Jonathon, working at Thorpe Farm, would often spend his leisure with Fred and other young men at the Tirril Reading Room.[3]Hence it was appropriate that his name should appear on its memorial plaque.

 

*****

Sources

  1. The Lych-gate Committee Minutes: Barton Parish Records.
  2. Commonwealth War Graves Commission (website) for details of burials and memorials.
  3. Westmorland Herald (1914-1920): Microfiche copies in Penrith Library.
  4. Information on Jonathon Holme from his family’s papers kept by Christopher and Leonard Holme, sons of Jonathon’s brother Harry.

 

 

 

Research and text by Alan Richardson.

Binding by Eileen Cowey

 

[1]1911 census : information from Mr David Altham, Yanwath Hall.

 

[2]  Information from Mr John Bowerbank.

[3]Information fromMrs M. Errington, Fred’s daughter-in-law.

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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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Barton Church needs you! Members of St. Michael Barton Parochial Church Council [PCC] are appealing to the local community to pledge their support now to help secure the long-term future of Barton Church. Time and weather have taken their toll on this historic building and some major re-pointing work is now required to the exterior walls and particularly to the tower. The project is estimated to cost in the region of £40,000, of which scaffolding costs represent over 40%.

This popular and much-loved local church has played a part in the lives of thousands of locals over the years. 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.

Henry Pitt, Churchwarden, commented:

We’re very fortunate to have such an architecturally unique and historic church, which is generally in an excellent condition, serving our community and holding aspects of our local heritage spanning over eight centuries. However now is the time to act – as the saying goes
‘a stitch in time, saves nine.” 

Anglican churches are legally bound to have five-yearly (Quinquennial) inspections of the condition of the building both internally and externally. In 2008, the Inspection identified gaps in the pointing in some areas of the walls. Five years on and the 2013 inspection highlighted further areas where pointing is missing, particularly on the tower. A survey of the exterior of the church earlier this year revealed significant additional deterioration. However, as the survey and previous inspections of the pointing have all been done from ground level using binoculars, the full extent of the defective pointing can only be determined by in situ inspection which requires extensive, and expensive, scaffolding to provide access.

The basic structure of the church, including the roof, is sound and there is little sign of dampness within the building. Given the high cost of the scaffolding it is vital that all defective pointing is replaced to enable the existing condition of the interior of the church to be maintained for many years to come. Unfortunately without this the deterioration is likely to accelerate over time, especially in the severe winters we are told to expect.

In light of this, the Parochial Church Council [PCC] have decided to initiate a project to undertake all the re-pointing work needed. Grants totalling £6,000 have already been secured from the Headley, Allchurches and Franklin Trustsand further grant applications are in the process of preparation.

So the PCC is now turning to the local community to seek Pledges of financial support for the project on the understanding that if other funding received requires a local contribution lower than the total amount pledged then the contributions taken will be reduced in proportion. Put simply if £20,000 is pledged and only £10,000 is needed then actual contributions will be half of the amount originally pledged.

To date, pledges totalling £10,000 have already been given by church members. The wider community are now being asked for Pledges of support on the same basis.  The PCC hope that, once funding has been secured, the work will be carried out in the late Spring and early Summer of 2018 when weather conditions are suitable. To make your 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 futher information or images please contact Sam Bunting on
07866 492 891 or at
sam_bunting@hotmail.com

 

Notes to the Editor

  • PCC member, Henry Pitt is available for interview – to arrange a suitable time please contact Sam Bunting on 07866 492 891 or at sam_bunting@hotmail.com

A selection of images to accompany this story is available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/e01rcrcp613ic2y/AAC_Gf2AkZ44iEgB1uyX_yz1a?dl=0

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