Professional help to complete our project

Author: Priscilla McDougall

Published on: 2 December 2018

Our Quinquennial Reports for St Peter & St Paul, Sustead had been warning us for some time that the tiles on the chancel roof were badly laminated.

This was threatening our unique painted roof below, and also our rather special stained-glass windows by
C.W. Whall.

Our surveyor, David Lemon of Spire Property Consultants, advised us that there was a window of opportunity to apply to the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund for a grant. Unfortunately, this fund was heavily oversubscribed and despite much time and effort on everyone’s part, our application was rejected. We were somewhat downhearted but David encouraged us to persevere.

Good fortune followed and we were awarded a grant of £10,000 by the Norfolk Churches Trust that gave us a very welcome kickstart to our appeal. Subsequently, we were fortunate to obtain grants from other organisations for which we are most grateful and were able to take the plunge and sign a contract.

It was a difficult time to find an appropriate builder – especially with competition from the churches who HAD obtained a grant from the Roof Repair Fund – but David obtained quotations for us, including one from Nigel Coverdale. We were very happy to be able to accept this quote and the work began at the beginning of April 2018.

The job was carried out during a period of difficult and unseasonable weather conditions. However, everything went more or less according to plan, with works finishing before the estimated date and with minimal upheaval and mess. We are delighted with the quality of the building works and the co-operation between our surveyor and the builder was seamless and good humoured.

David has seen us through the various processes of obtaining a faculty, VAT reclaim, and dare I say it, negotiating all the red tape needed to obtain the relevant permissions and reports required.

A bonus was the choice of appropriate clay roof tiles which have proved to be the piece de résistance. David made a special visit on a Saturday morning to bring the tiles to us to approve, which was typical of the service we have received from him throughout our project.

The author...

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Priscilla McDougall

PCC Secretary, Sustead (Parish)

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