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 are planning to install safety netting pending a definitive repair. The Diocesan Advisory Committee has approved the 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, 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.
It is likely to be at least a few weeks until the netting is up, and in the meantime we are shutting the nave - the main part of the church - again. The chancel will stay open - go in via the door to the right hand end of the church as you look at it from the road - so you are welcome to go in there for private prayer or a moment of quiet.
Generally speaking we will be holding our 9 am services in the chancel and our 10.30 am services outdoors, but do ask here if you need to know in advance.