Facelift at church is making progress

The public can now access St Andrew's Church, Epworth, by appointment, to witness the restoration work taking place. L-r are The Rev Ian Walker, church wardens Jim Oliver and Penny Birks.  Picture: Liz Mockler E1292LM
The public can now access St Andrew's Church, Epworth, by appointment, to witness the restoration work taking place. L-r are The Rev Ian Walker, church wardens Jim Oliver and Penny Birks. Picture: Liz Mockler E1292LM

PROGRESS is being made on the major facelift underway at St Andrew’s Church in Epworth.

The 12th century building is being renovated as part of the ‘Conserving and Sharing St Andrew’s Church’ project which received a £700,000 cash injection from a variety of sources.

Once complete the church will become a multi-purpose community hub with new seating, flooring, heating, a new balcony and meeting room.

Changes to the grade-one-listed church also include the removal of the Victorian pews which was carried out earlier this month.

Restoration Committee chairman Melvyn Rose told the Bells/Advertiser that good progress had already been made with the project, the clock face having been repainted using gold leaf on the hands, hours and minutes with black gloss elsewhere.

He said: “Martin Johnson, stained glass specialist of York, has taken out the west window for restoration and it will be returned in pristine condition.

“Currently the various sections of the window are laid out on tables in the workshop for inspection and subsequent repair.

“Initial stages of ground works are being undertaken in the north churchyard to accommodate delivery vehicles.

“At a later stage this will form the base of a special needs car parking facility using Fescue Grass Turf on Geosynthetic Duoblocks.”

He confirmed that the nave pews have been removed and dispatched to their new homes - either sold or donated.

“The centre sections of the choir pews have been transported to Treske of Thirsk where they will be recycled to form kitchen doors and partly to form a welcome desk,” added Mr Rose.

“In addition off cut wood may possibly be used by a local person to make souvenirs.

“Additional work being undertaken off site is the manufacturing of the chairs and the oak frame for the ringers’ gallery.

“Other work inside includes the removal of the old heating system and associated pipework. Currently the tower arch screen is being removed.”

Rev Ian Walker said previously: “When the work is completed it will affirm the position of St Andrew’s as Epworth’s Parish Church serving the community effectively in today’s world.”