East Window Restoration 2013
The Quinquennial Inspection of the church in 2011 revealed that the 13th c. stonework around the East Window was decaying rapidly.
Work to restore it began at the end of April 2013, and, in addition, other urgent guttering and drainage repairs were carried out. This was made possible thanks to the generosity of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Herefordshire Historic Churches Trust and Lasletts Charities, as well as unfailing local support for the events programme.
The work on the East Window led us to assess the current state of the church building. It became clear that the lack of lavatories and kitchen facilities seriously affected our ability to extend the use of the building and to safeguard its future on a sound financial basis.
A Steering Development Group was formed to bring together ideas and visit other churches which had undergone restoration projects. A separate fund raising group Friends of St Faith’s began holding events in church which has financed an Architect to draw up preliminary plans for submission to the DAC, and specialist reports on the tower and the bells.
Installing toilets and kitchen in the base of the tower would cause only minimal changes to the structure of main body of the building. However, before this could be done, the endangered, ancient bells would have to be safeguarded and their future protected. Re-hanging the present four, and augmenting to six would provide a new focus for mission, as the bells would ring out over the parish for the first time in over half a century.
The bells cannot be removed even for repair down the narrow spiral staircase to the tower. They would have to come down through the ceiling of the tower base. So it is clear that all re-ordering within the building will have to follow the re-hanging and augmenting of the bells. Only when this is completed can other work begin. A small sub-committee of the Steering Group has been formed to focus entirely on obtaining funds and making all necessary applications for the work on the bells.