Happy New Year to all in our parish… we hope you enjoyed a peaceful, family Christmas and that 2020 is happy and healthy for you and all those dear to you.
St. Giles celebrated Christmas with 3 special services in December. Firstly our ‘Decorate the Tree’ service saw young and old enjoy putting decorations on our tree and filling the manger. I am sorry I missed it (I was in Australia), but all reports are that it was very well received so we’ll be doing it again this year. Our traditional Christmas Christingle and Carols service followed by the refreshments in the Victory Hall was well attended as always, and thank you to everyone who supplied mince pies, sausage rolls etc., and of course the mulled wine. On Christmas Day our stalwart congregation gathered again for the early morning service before joining friends and families for their Christmas lunches. We give thanks for those who continue to support St. Giles… remember, the church is not just here for weddings and funerals… and as the old saying goes, ‘Use it or lose it’.
So, to the renovation project- many will have seen the building work that has been ongoing and which is now almost complete. We have a wonderful servery and wc (just needing the final water connection and floor covering before being fully operational) and the organ has been moved to its new position in the Nave. It is being refurbished ‘in situ’ with work due to finish early February (during this time, the church is being kept locked for security/safety reasons as there have been literally hundreds of parts laid out). Thanks to FOSG for their invaluable contribution to the cost of the refurbishment.
Whilst some were not in favour of moving the organ, it turns out that this was vital to ‘stop the rot’ which became evident when it was moved from the south aisle. We found the organ sitting on a metal sheet which was wet, resulting in the floor underneath being partially rotten, as is the bottom of the backboard (which has to be renewed). We were literally millimetres away from having rot in the organ frame/casement, which would have been irreparable. Fortunately we can repair the floor quite easily, and hopefully will also uncover the oldest monument believed to be underneath.
Moving the organ has also revealed the partially hidden monument on the south aisle east wall, which we believe might be historically very important. We need to research this further and will keep you posted.
Outside, you will see a new lamp post by the kissing gate and, after the new storage cupboards are built, we will be repairing the tower clock (hopefully in March).
We hope that in the next issue we will be able to bring you news of a special service to celebrate the end of these works and to thank all those parishioners who have helped us along the way. Just for the record here, may I list the funding we have received from grants (works to which they have contributed in brackets):
Grantscape/Deepmoor £27,400 (heating, lighting, wc, drains and floor ramp - 2 grants)
Devon Historic Churches Trust £6,000 (guttering/downpipes, re-ordering, servery, wc - 2 grants)
Garfield Weston Foundation £5,000 (re-ordering, servery, wc, etc.)
Cooper Legacy £3,000 (roofing works)
National Churches Trust £2,500 (guttering/downpipes)
All Churches Trust £2,000 (roofing works)
The Beatrice Laing Trust £2,000 (re-ordering, servery, wc)
St Andrew’s Conservation Trust £1,000 (windows)
ON Organ Fund £300 (organ refurbishment)
And last, but not least, FOSG £ 9,800 (windows repair, vestry floor/ceiling, organ refurbishment, tower clock repair, outside light)
Full accounts for expenditures, grants, major donations and PCC financial contributions will be available at our Annual meeting, being held Tuesday 24 March, 7.30pm in St. Giles.
Our next fundraising event… THE BIG BREAKFAST ! Enjoy the full English breakfast (vegetarians welcome) on Saturday 21 March, from 9.30am at Victory Hall. Tickets £ 6.50 available from Shirley James (ph. 01805 625776), and at February & March coffee mornings.
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