HLF grant aided stone repairs to tower and spire in Weston-super-Mare begin

  • A great backdrop to site meetings – Weston-super-Mare from top of scaffolding with Flat Holm island in the distance

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  • Stone erosion to the spire finial

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  • Weathered gilding to the golden cockerel weather vane at the top of the spire

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  • Christ church spire shrouded in scaffolding

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Essential repair work to the spire and tower of a treasured church in the heart of Weston-super-Mare is now under way.

It has taken four weeks to erect scaffolding around Christ Church, a valued community facility offering space to a range of different clubs and organisations, so work could finally commence after several months of preliminary works including the securing of funding.

Essential repairs which will restore the building to its former glory and mean the building can fulfil its esteemed role in the town, include stone repairs, replacement of corroding metalwork, the repointing of the spire, and work on the bell frame, which will require specialist expertise. The golden cockerel weather vane on top of the spire will be repaired before it can be re-gilded.

Jonathan Rhind Architects has been responsible for preparing working drawings, schedules of work and tender documents and will now act as the contract administrators and supervisors of the construction works.

This January, Senior Architect Julian Clayton inspected the stonework and pinnacle at the top of the spire with Ryan Brunt and George Hall from building contractor, Wells Cathedral Stonemasons.

Julian said: “This was a good opportunity to inspect the spire up close. Despite strong north winds, the weather cleared briefly so we could examine the stone’s defects in detail, and I was subsequently able to agree the detail of the first phase of the repairs.

“The stonemasons are now able to start masonry and metalwork repairs,” Julian continued. “This will involve repairs to the cockerel weather vane at the top of the spire before it is re-gilded.

“The masonry repairs will include replacing and repairing decayed or eroded stone and treating or removing ferrous metal fixings.”

 

The repairs and other improvements will require £323,000 of funding and will see the tower and spire through the next 25-50 years so its restoration is regarded as an invaluable investment.

 

The project was made possible through the Heritage Lottery Fund, who are funding 80% of the cost of repairs and the church community raising an impressive £60,000.