Raising the Roof

Early in 2012, following the loss of some plaster from the ceiling in the nave, an inspection showed the church roof to be in need of complete renewal. The roof had lasted 160 years, well beyond its expected life span.

A grant application was submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund, which resulted in an offer of £92,000 toward re-roofing, and £12,000 towards an initial investigation stage, which was carried out in October 2012. This confirmed the initial external inspection findings that the tiles were badly cracked and in need of replacement, but that the roof timbers were sound.

English Heritage were sufficiently concerned to add the church to their Heritage At Risk Register. See our entry here.

After a further loss of plaster in April 2013, the church was closed for health and safety reasons, and services are currently taking place in the Parish Hall.

The new roof project was initially costed at £250,000, however, agreement was reached to reduce the scope of the work to exclude the vestry extension as this is a newer roof in less urgent need of attention.

The revised scheme is £230,000, and we have managed to raise or secure sufficient finances to release the funds offered by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Beds and Herts Historic Churches Trust have offered us £15,000 towards the project. The St Albans Diocesan Board of Finance have increased their grant to £10,000, the Francis Coales Charitable Foundation have offered £2,500, and the All Churches Trust have offered £2,240.

We have met the shortfall by securing a £40,000 loan repayable over up to 10 years, so we still need the help of our local community here in Leavesden and Garston, and the wider Watford area, to meet our target.

But the good news is that the work is now done and we have returned to our Church Building. However we still need funds to help repay the loan.

Please visit our Roof Appeal Facebook page for latest details of fundraising events being arranged.

To give to the appeal, please visit our online donation page, or send a cheque to the Parish Office. Our direct giving appeal is called ‘Tile for a Tenner‘ – how many could you buy? All donors’ names will be recorded in a special book, to be displayed in church, and then kept for posterity in the county archives.

Let’s Raise the Roof together – thank you for all your support so far!

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