Roofs and Ramps
St Clement’s was built in the early 19th century and refurbished in the middle of the 20th century [for a more complete history of the building please see the History page]. To be ready for the 21st there’s been much for us to do. The roof, whose English oak and Welsh slate have kept us warm and dry for nearly two hundred years has needed serious work. Relaying and rebuilding the parapets in 2008 was a great help, but now the roof needs to be re-laid and many of the original slates renewed. For this we’ve been fortunately to secure a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant, approved by Heritage England, for these works. The grant of £250000 allows us 15% new works. With this additional money, along with generous grants from the Richard Cloudesley Charity of £55000 (including the new kitchen), the Garfield Weston Foundation of £10000 and the Allchurches Trust of £5625 we’ve been able to consider a number of important improvements to the building’s accessibility. After wide consultation, and lots of prayer and discussion, St Clement’s has decided to build an additional entrance accessed by a ramp along the south side of the church, with an Accessible WC. There will also be a new room for St Clement’s Kid’s Club, allowing the font to be moved into the centre of the north wall. We’ll be building a new “cupboard kitchen” in the vestibule to allow hot and cold refreshments to be served by all those using the church building.
Update: June 2018
Work has started, with the south side of the church being cleared and part of the wall being demolished. The new ramp access will bounded with railings, of the same design of the current railings, for a slightly wider access and for security purposes.
Update: July 2018
The scaffolding and hoist are now in place (along with the workers’ rest station – which just fits in the space between the church portico and the railings! The foundations of the ramp are being laid.
Update: August 2018
The slates have begun to arrive and work to sort and re-size the original roof slates is well under way. Many of the old slates are in a bad way, but as many of them as possible will be re-used. The new plastic membrane to go under the slates has also arrived. With the roof exposed it's great that the weather is dry and sunny! Downstairs, the framework of the ramp is in place and the new Portland Stone paving is ready to lay.
Update: September 2018
Work on the north slope of the roof are almost complete and the new membrane which will keep the roof watertight – but breathable enough to prevent damp and rot – has begun to be laid in the parts of the roof where the slates have begun to be removed. The ramp is paved as far as the bottom (where the paving on the forecourt will be raised to meet it) and the new entrance has been made in the old Kids’ Club Room. Already the walls of the Accessible WC and the new kitchenette are in place, and fitting and fixtures, along with tiles for the walls of the WC, are waiting to be put in place. In just two weeks the font has been very carefully dismantled (the Vicar was too scared to watch!) and rebuilt. Baptisms have already taken place (on the last Sunday of September) and the re-sited the font has generated a great deal of positive comment.
Update: October 2018
Works have continued apace on the roof and scaffolding erected for some stonework of the spire to be replaced whilst there’s good access. Iron cramps, bolted through the stone early on in its history, have rusted and expanded. Cracked and broken stone will be replaced with matching limestone. Meanwhile, at ground level the wall for the new Kids’ Club room, curved to match the south side of the west wall under the gallery, has be built and plastered. The kitchenette has been fitted and electrical and plumbing work means that the space will soon be operational. The new door has been built and the threshold – a brilliant idea by Jason, who’s overseeing the downstairs works – has used stone from the former base of the font.
Update: December 2018
The roof works have been completed, with a roof whose new Welsh stales shimmers in the sunshine. Inside the works are ready and the kitchen and new Kid's Club Room are in use. Great feedback from everyone. And despite the winter rainstorms all the old buckets to catch the drips have been put away!
Update: January 2019
A wonderful weekend of thanksgiving with all the new facilities working and an impressive Exhibition of the project, including real slates, old and new! The local schoolchildren have also been enjoying the building, with lots of great questions some very interesting ideas. The highlight was the Thanksgiving Mass, when the new works were dedicated by Bishop Graeme Knowles, good friend of St Clement's. A full church and lots of full stomachs after the Parish Lunch which followed the service! Invited guests, visitors and church members all had a great time.
Update: March 2019
The railings for the step-free access are being made, hope they'll be here soon.
Update November 2019
Finally everything is in place; the railings have been fitted and painted and are looking great, blending perfectly with the originally fence. It's taken rather longer to get things done that we'd planned, but St Clement's is now fit for the next generation!