With the first Phase of the development project successfully completed, work has begun on the restoration of the Chapel, thanks to the success of last summer’s appeal.
|The sanctuary before restoration||..||Work began when the reredos was removed from the chapel to the studios of the conservators where it can be restored while the other work continues on site.
The beautiful Pre-Raphaelite paintings in the front of the altar (see right) were also de-mounted and they, too, will undergo painstaking cleaning before they are replaced when the sanctuary is restored.
With the fine art safely removed, it was then necessary to protect the remaining panelling and the altar itself, so a temporary inner wooden wall was constructed. Scaffolding could then be erected inside as well as out.
This will enable urgently needed repairs to the stonework of the great window by C. E. Kempe (left). Like all his work, it bears his famous ‘signature’ mark of a small wheatsheaf in the corner. If the work had not begun soon, it would have been necessary to remove the window altogether. As it is, the glass will remain in place while the exterior is re-pointed and new steel bars are inserted to support the leadwork. On the inside, layers of flaking paint are being carefully removed from the stone mullions before they are repaired and restored.
|..||The sanctuary during restoration|
|The great window by C E Kempe||One of the angels from the front of the alta|
Thanks to the generosity of the many donors who were inspired by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s appeal, and the support of trusts and other sources, Phase 1 of the College Development Project is complete.
|One of the refurbished rooms|
Four Residential Care rooms have been beautifully refurbished and now provide the highest levels of comfort. The contractors were asked to have the project ready to hand over on 1st February and the first Resident moved into one of the rooms of 31st January!
Existing windows have been double glazed, three new windows have been installed and massive amounts of insulation have been incorporated into the ceilings. There is even a facility to draw hot air out of the en suite bathrooms, dry it and deodorise it, and then re-circulate it to keep the corridors warm.
|The restored exterior|
There has been as much care lavished on the exterior. The oldest part of the Central Block has a new roof which, as well as being sound again, looks as good as it must have done when this part of the College was first built in 1900.
At the same time, the chance was taken to complete the other high level repairs that were needed.
“It’s great to see the scaffolding down and the College looking wonderful again,” commented one resident. “The new rooms are a joy to live in – warm, comfortable, light and spacious.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury has lent his support to the appeal for Phase I of the College Development Project..
|Archbishop Rowan Williams|
|The College under scaffolding|
|Early stages of refurbishment|
“The Residents of the College are people who have given their lives in the service of Christ. It is now our turn to care for them,” writes Dr Williams. “Please help the College to continue caring for its most frail residents in the best possible environment, within the community that has become their ‘second family’ and their home.”
This phase of the project includes re-roofing the oldest part of the Central Block of the College buildings, but is much more than simply restoration work. The lives of the Residents will be enhanced and the College’s environmental impact will be reduced by the installation of high levels of insulation and double glazed windows.
Four of the residential care rooms are being refurbished, extra windows installed, and bathrooms and corridors made more accessible.
The College has succeeded in raising more than £200,000 to fund the project, and the Archbishop is encouraging the Church to help us close the gap of a shortfall of slightly under £50,000.
The Archbishop is a committed Patron of the College, and we are immensely grateful for his endorsement of the Development Project. Since his letter, donations have poured in, with several individuals having given very large sums.
If you would like to join the hundreds who have responded to the Archbishop’s appeal, please click here to make a donation. Thank you for your support.