All Saints Repair and Restoration 1999 - 2006
The repair and restoration work started in April 2001 and since then the rendering on the outside of the west wall has been removed and re-rendered with a lime based rendering, the coping stones lifted and the gap between the roof and the wall protected by a secret gulley. The plaster on the inside of the wall has also been stripped off and re-plastered with a lime plaster which will allow the wall to ‘breathe’. The defective plaster on the inside of the walls at the east end has been removed and the walls re-plastered.
One of the most expensive items in the programme of work has been scaffolding. All Saints is a typical Victorian building, steeply sloping roof and high walls making the extensive use of scaffolding essential to comply with health and Safety regulations. The access to the Church from a typically narrow Cornish lane on a hill with a gradient of 16% means that loading and unloading of scaffolding equipment is a long and time consuming operation blocking the main access road to the village for long periods, the contractors have been asked to bear this in mind and, hopefully, keep the delays to a minimum to avoid as much disruption as possible to villagers, businesses and visitors alike.
The Disability Discrimination Act, which came into full effect in October 2004 also now affects us. Access for the disabled is difficult. The Church carpark is some 100 yards up the 16% gradient hill from the Churchyard Gate and is more than most of the elderly and all of the disabled can cope with especially on dark winter evenings, we had our own lighting systems for the road and carpark but one section of these were stolen last year, an unwelcome extra expense, so they cannot now be left in place. This means that cars have to stop in the road outside the Churchyard gate to put down and pick up elderly or disabled passengers and whilst doing so both the passengers and the cars are at risk from other traffic using this steep and winding hill. We have actively lobbied to obtain the land, permissions and costs for a parking ‘lay by’ to be created opposite the Churchyard Gate and for signs to be placed on the road warning motorists of the dangers.
All Saints is the only building in the village and parish of Herodsfoot that can be used for community use; we have no Church Hall, no Village Hall, no School nor village Pub.
We have been very fortunate to get a grant from the ’Awards for All’ Lottery fund and this has enabled us to have a servery unit complete with sink unit, plumbing etc. made to match the existing Church furniture. This was built for us by Rydon Pine at Doublebois and brought into use in November 2002. We were also able to replace the very old stacking chairs.
Towards the end of 2002 we were advised that our pipe organ, which had been brought down, piece by piece, from Creech St Michael’s in Somerset some 20 years ago, was beyond economical repair so, sadly, we decided we would have to get rid of it but every cloud has a silver lining. The removal of the pipe organ will free up a considerable amount of floor space.