At the beginning of November, work at last got underway to adapt the church, so that it can be used for community activities. The first step has been to conduct an archaeological survey to make sure that the works will not disturb any important archaeological features or burials. The church certainly looks quite different at the moment, but by next Easter, if all goes to plan, everything will be back in place and we’ll have a warm and useful space again.
You can see for yourself what’s been done so far by looking at the photos in the Gallery. First building contractors, StoneCo Ltd., carefully wrapped our fine concert-quality organ to protect it against dust. The pews were removed and stored in the chancel. Archaeologist, Mike Webber, then started to survey the area uncovered, with a little help with the more straightforward tasks from local people. He also gave villagers a brief presentation on how the survey was progressing. Nothing so far has been uncovered that should hold up work on installing the underfloor heating. Large holes were also dug outside the church to check that work on drains and access to the new toilet can go ahead. Once the archaeological report has been completed and approved by the Diocesan Archaeologist, building work will start.
The fundraising team has also been busy. This month, donations of £2,000 from the Co-Operative Community Fund, £3,000 from the Devon Historic Churches Fund and £6,000 from NatWest helped push us closer to the total of £106,000 needed to complete the first two phases of project. So far, £43,600 has been raised and there are more grant applications in the pipeline.