Major church refurb is finished
A dedication service is being staged at a village church this weekend to mark the completion of restoration work, following a five-year fund-raising campaign.
St Peter the Fisherman Church, in Craster, has had a new roof installed, while it has also had an internal refurbishment.
A total of £36,000 – including £14,150 from grants – has been collected for the cause and now the transformation is complete.
This Sunday, The Lord Bishop of Newcastle, The Rt Rev Christine Hardman, will attend evensong at the church to dedicate the new roof.
The completion of the work is a welcome relief to those who love and use the 140-year-old church, because a roof refurbishment was badly needed.
The rotting iron nails had allowed the slates to slip and were expensive to secure, then the ceiling began to fall down.
In preparation for the work, the church closed in July 2017 and the contents were put into storage.
The stained-glass windows were given protection and the interior woodwork and large items of furniture were securely covered.
The scaffolding arrived in November and gave the builder access to the bell tower and boiler chimney to complete the necessary pointing.
The blacksmith removed the bell for restoration and the roofers arrived.
By Christmas, the main roof was complete on the outside, the bell was re-hung and the stone work re-pointed.
At the beginning of 2018, interior scaffolding enabled the plasterers access to the lime/plaster ceiling that had not already fallen.
This was removed to reveal the original lattes, which were left in place.
A thick sandwich of insulation and plasterboard was fitted to the ceiling, then plastered.
A huge cleaning process took place before painters could be asked to start work.
Gradually, the new paintwork restored the interior.
The floor was sanded and treated and the windows revealed and the outside painting was completed.
A team from the congregation cleaned and polished fittings, fabric and furniture.
The church reopened with its first service in May.
A spokesman for the church praised the efforts of all those who were involved in the restoration project.
He said: “Many months passed, the money was found and our local craftsmen recreated the familiar atmosphere of our church, giving us hope and vision for the future with our new priest, the Rev Alison Hardy.”