Going past St Peter’s these days you can’t help but notice hard hats, high viz and builder’s boots on the ground.
Five years on from the fire of June 2014, the building contractor, Reside Construction, is well into the rebuild with the external drainage and services trenching, the extension floor and the new north door opening complete. Work is taking place on the inside of the church with preparations for the new nave floor and wall repairs. By autumn we should be seeing the new roof trusses being erected.
It has most certainly taken a lot more time and money to get to this point than we had hoped but it is good to see everyone’s hard work starting to pay off.
There are, of course, still some potential obstacles. All the ground work is being monitored by Wessex Archaeology and, in all of the sensitive areas across the graveyard and inside the church, the ground is being carefully scraped away until it can be certain that there are no human remains or artefacts that need to be exhumed or examined. There is also a lot of repair and restoration work that could take longer than planned. Everything that could be done to foresee issues has been done, but you never know.
That said, we have a highly skilled and experienced team working for us on the rebuild. The nine members of the design team are still there ensuring that all goes to plan and the forty or so direct, and subcontract, builders and craftsmen employed through Reside Construction are ensuring that the plans come to fruition in the best possible fashion. Everyone is aware that we aren’t just putting up a new building, but are reconstructing the church to serve the community long into the future.
As we progress with the build we will be keeping everyone as up to date as possible with what is happening on site. There is a notice board by the Lychgate, information on our web site at www.stpetersropley.org.uk , items in BMRT and, as ever, by talking with the Vicar, church wardens or me. Please remember that the church is currently a building site and that the fencing is there for your protection as well as security. Please do not try to enter the site without permission.
All of the additional costs have left us with the need to raise additional funds to complete the rebuild in the way that the village wanted, and that an 800 year old church at the centre of the community deserves. I know that most of you will have contributed directly or through one of our schemes or events, but every pound helps. If you can help us further, please visit our web site or come to an event.
Our current schedule will have St Peter’s rebuilt for the end of next year, so not long now.