New Aisle Roofs 2016

An essential roofing project was carried out during 2016 at St Chad’s Church, Hanmer, to protect the historic church from a major catastrophe. The final cost was £240,000. It was completed thanks to the generosity of the people of our community. We are also deeply grateful to the funding organizations that have offered grants. They are, Listed Places of Worship, National Churches Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, Church Building Council, James Pantyfedwen Trust, Representative Body-Church in Wales, St Asaph Diocesan Church Committee, All Churches Trust, and Alan Evans Memorial Trust. The architect was Tim Ratcliffe and the contractors were North West Lead.

A scheme for people to sponsor individual ceiling panels produced an enthusiastic response. People have been able to link family memories with preservation of this oak paneled ceiling. This scheme was launched just before Christmas 2015 to augment fund raising and grants. It produced a most welcome response with £6,000 promised in just the first few weeks. A range of other fund raising events began. By 2016 we were just £16,000 short of our target of £240,000. We knew that this could eventually be raised but could not start until the money was in place. Fortunately sponsors answered an appeal and we could start. By the end of 2016 the work was completed and we were financially secure again.

The work included repaired wood beams, new wood cross beams and planking, new insulation and waterproofing, covered with new lead sheets on both north and south aisles. The previous materials were fitted in 1892 after the roof was destroyed by fire on 3rd February 1889. The lead sheets of this roof covering have cracked under the constant expansion and contraction taking place over 124 years. This has allowed water to seep through risking permanent damage to the wonderfully carved oak ceiling underneath. The worst problems have occurred when deep snow has slowly melted on these gently sloping roofs. So we have been grateful that the 2015 winter had very little snow.

The new lead is now in three sections across each aisle instead of the previous over-long two sections. The sections are offset along the roof to reduce stretching. At the end of the work we all climbed up the spiral staircase and celebrated with our Sunday service held out there on the roof. We sang our hymns to the sound of the organ played in the church below.
Entered 1st August 2016 by Bill, last updated 17th October 2018 by Bill