The annual Devon Historic Churches Day in aid of the Devon Historic Churches Trust will take place on Saturday 11 September 2010. This regular event is planned to help raise funds for the maintenance and repair of all churches in the county. The idea is for interested people to make sponsored visits by bike, on foot or however they wish to churches participating in the scheme that are specially kept open throughout the day.
Because of the work in progress, Dunterton church will be open only from 10.00am to 12.00 noon on Devon Historic Churches Day this year. The contractors, Darrock & Brown of Bodmin, specialists in building conservation, will be represented and will be available to answer questions. Refreshments will be on sale and parking available in the Glebe House field opposite the church.
Dunterton Church Renovation
Readers will be aware that something has been going on at Dunterton. This is the story.
In 2008 we realised that we could not proceed with the urgently needed redecoration until we had made the building watertight, as recommended in the previous Quinquennial. This had also reported that the limit had been reached on the number of tingles holding up the roof slates. With the help of grants from the Allchurches and Headley Trusts we commissioned a full report from architect Andrew Wood of Plymouth.
Andrew discovered that the wooden structure, supposedly holding up the roof, was seriously faulty. The total cost of the necessary renovation was estimated at about £206,000. This included work on the external masonry, on the tower roof and external drainage. We decided to apply for a grant from the English Heritage Lottery Fund. After a survey by English Heritage's architect we accepted an offer of £13,000 towards a £17,000 'project development' in 2009 leading to works this year that English Heritage considered urgent, estimated at £122,134 and for which they offered £81,000. These excluded the tower, the revised drainage scheme and the cost of redecoration. The parish's 'match funding', after deduction of recoverable VAT, was to be £2,095 and £22,944 for the two phases respectively. Securing this money by the end of 2009 was a condition of the grant. But of course we also needed enough to cover the cost of redecoration and certain other items not covered by English Heritage although we decided that the tower roof would have to be postponed.
The Project Development stage identified sufficient detail to allow tenders to be obtained from contractors. In the event the lowest, at £107,735 (excluding VAT) from Darrock and Brown of Bodmin, was accepted. The work is now in hand and the estimated completion date is 19 November 2010. The aim will be to complete the redecoration in time for Advent Sunday, but this will be dependent on no snags turning up in the meantime and on the state of the funds after all the bills have been paid.
Our fundraising over 2009, which also had to meet normal church expenses (insurance, common fund, Vicar's expenses, etc), came to about £7,000. Much of this was donated by many of you who are reading this article; we are truly grateful for your support. The rest of the funding was the product of appeals to many grant giving trusts of which the following responded with great generosity: the National Chruches Trust, Viridor Credits Pennon Environmental Fund, the Idlewild Trust, the Devon Historic Churches Trust, the Alan Evans Memorial Trust, the Woburn Charitable Trust and the Viscount Amory Trust.
With your help and contribution of these trusts, All Saints Dunterton has a future. It is now up to us to encourage the fullest use of the church for regular worship, for occasioal events and for the inspiration of current and future passers by to call in and contemplate the eternal truths that lie beyond our daily lives.
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