The last major restoration of the church was in the 1870s, and we think the ceiling might have been re-plastered at that time. It is a lathe and plaster construction.
Over the years there have been occasional falls of plaster - if you look up at the ceiling you can see the repairs. Last June we had another fall, which we had repaired, and we have just had another one overnight on 2/3 June. This is a bit worrying - it is possible that two falls in the space of a year indicate a more general failure is occurring. The one last year happened during organ practice after the church had been shut for some months, and the recent one happened just after the change from very cold, wet weather to an extremely hot spell, so it is possible that movement is causing the falls of plaster that is fairly loosely attached.
We have now installed safety netting pending a definitive repair. Images are below: there is netting over the top of the horizontals and closely attached to the diagonals. The Diocesan Advisory Committee has approved these works here. We have obtained an Interim Faculty here. We are in the process of applying for a Confirmatory Faculty (the full process used when it has been necessary to obtain an Interim Faculty for urgent works).
Notwithstanding that we now have permission to proceed on an interim basis and have done so, objectors have a right to make their objections known and for the Court to adjudicate the matter. Accordingly, we now give notice of these proposed works and that objectors may notify the Diocesan Registry of any objection to the proposed works.
The address for objections is:
The Bishop of Ely’s Registry
1 The Sanctuary
Telephone: 020 7222 5381
DDI: 020 7960 7152
Any objections should be made by Friday 16 July 2021, that being 33 days for the date this notice is given.
As the safety works have been completed the church is now open again - both the main part of the church and the chancel. Please feel free to go in and see the works or to have some quiet time or say a prayer. We are now thinking about the right method of long term repair, and how to raise the necessary funds.