Raise the Roof

As I write, the roofers are starting to take down the scaffolding. The renewal of the Edwardian roof is complete and ready to stand for another 100 years.

The chancel and transept were consecrated in 1908. The total cost including the reconstruction of the organ was about £10,000, a huge amount of money for a semi-rural Edwardian church. The architect was Temple Lushington Moore (7 June 1856 – 30 June 1920) an English architect who practised in London. He had been articled to George Gilbert Scott, son of the architect of the Albert Memorial in London, the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool and St Pancras Station. Like his mentor, Temple Moore designed almost entirely in the Gothic Revival tradition. The 1973 History of All Saints, comments that ‘the 1908, Ecclesall Church presented a sharp contrast of two totally different architectural styles. The new transept and chancel, with their pleasing design of many arches and the soaring vaulted roof, were in marked contrast to the plain rectangular structure of the nave’.

In 2015 the church building was the subject of a Quinquennial Review which identified that the 100-year-old roof of the Edwardian extension now needed to be renewed before serious damage was done to the interior, the fixtures and fittings, and to other parts of the structure. At first sight, the chancel roof appeared to be in better condition than the transept, vestry, and Emmaus chapel roofs. Guided by our excellent architects Smith & Roper from Bakewell, the PCC agreed to invite H & W Sellors Ltd to renew all the Edwardian roofs except the chancel. The cost of the works was c.£233,000. Advised by Smith & Roper we were able to make an early application to the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund. We were initially awarded a grant of £65,000. This was subsequently increased to £110,000, leaving All Saints to fund c.£123,000.

The theme of the renewal of the roof been ‘a stitch in time saves nine’. The original construction of the Edwardian roof was of a very high standard – so we have managed to make a number of small savings as we have progressed. Had we waited until the next Quinquennial Review in 2020, the repairs could have cost significantly more.

At the same time, both the builder and architect advised the PCC that the chancel roof was not in as good a state as had been anticipated and that it would, therefore, be prudent to re-roof the chancel now, while we have the scaffolding in place. The PCC unanimously agreed to this proposal, hence the need for the works to stretch over into the New Year at a possible total cost of c.£250,000.

I am delighted to report that the works to the roof have progressed really very well. Our architects have consistently reported that the standard of work has been of the highest quality and quite close to budget despite our request for the additional work to the chancel roof.

The end cost of re-roofing of the entire Edwardian extension, including the chancel, has come in at less than £240,000. I am hugely thankful to God that we have been able to fund this from the grant of £110,000, the c.£35,000 we have added to reserves during my incumbency and c.£95,000 from the fabric funds built up All Saints over many years. Our especial thanks go to Malcolm Sellors, Smith & Roper, Malachy Scully, Ann Hawkes and members of the All Saints Estate Committee for all their labours on our behalf.

Gary Wilton

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