St John the Baptist Church
Repair , Restoration and Re-ordering
Securing our heritage
In 2016 the Parochial Church Council (PCC) ordered a Quinquennial Review of the church to underpin future repair work. The Report required an extensive and very expensive programme of repairs to preserve the church and to conserve the medieval wall paintings on the wall of the south aisle. The PCC decided to apply to the Heritage Lottery Fund for help in meeting the cost of the repairs. The application to the HLF was submitted in August 2016 and, in November 2016, the village heard that it had been successful. In January 2017, the Development Phase began and the next twelve months were very busy organising survey work, determining what could be afforded within our budget and seeking Faculty permissions from the Diocese. An HLF Lottery Grant allows an amount to fund a community element within the overall Project. For Cold Overton, this would entail the installation of an accessible toilet and a kitchen servery within the church and the replacement of some pews with chairs to provide a flexible community space. In early 2018, with all reports, plans, Faculty permissions and an affordable tender in place, the results were presented to the HLF for their approval. In mid May 2018 we were given the go ahead!
As many will be aware, most churches have a bat population that presents a challenge to any repair and restoration work. For us, our 247 Soprano Pipistrels mean that the building work required cannot start until the bats have moved out in September / October. However, in the meantime, work has begun on conserving the wall paintings in the south aisle and the connection of the services has begun.
The following pages contain a wealth of information about the church and its history together with copies of old documents that provide a glimpse of the work done in the past to preserve and enhance the church within the village. Copies of all the relevant reports and drawings that contributed to the Project are available along with a gallery of photographs and videos covering the church as it was, as it is and, as work progresses, a pictorial commentary.
Cold Overton could never have afforded the work in progress without the financial assistance provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund and all those who buy their lottery tickets each week. In addition, we have received most generous donations from a number of other charitable trusts and individuals for which we are truly grateful. A full list of those who have been kind enough to support our Project is on a following page.