Slowly revealed…

The scaffolding is, at last, slowly being removed from the tower and revealing some of the work ..

There is still some work to do. The turret, which sits on top of the spiral staircase, is all being replaced. Each stone is cut individually to form a beautiful waterproof top.

The new stone will quickly weather, but is crisp and clear compared to the old stone – which has been in place for almost 150 years. However, all the stone has been worked by qualified stone masons in the same way.

And where the scaffolding had been removed we can see the stone all safe and secured

This work has been funded through the hard work of the congregation, the generosity of the communities we serve and through support from Heritage Lottery and Leicester Diocese.

The clock returns!

This week (week starting 19 March 2018) the clock returned – or rather, the completely refurbished clock faces returned. They look fantastic and they have been hoisted up ready to be fixed into place over the next few days.

We hope and intend to get the clock working again, but the mechanism does need some tender love and care. Unfortunately, the pigeons had made their home in and around the mechanism, and they were not the tidiest of guests. But nevertheless, the clock faces and hands will look resplendent, and the clock mechanism will be coaxed back to life ready to tell the time to Highfields once again.

The photo’s show the last of the clock faces being taken off the lorry and raised up ready to be fixed into place.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: St Peter’s Church, Highfields, wins Second Heritage Lottery Fund Grant

St Peter’s Parochial Church Council has received a grant of up to £195,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Grants for Places of Worship to continue the repair of their beautiful Victorian church and to develop volunteering and heritage learning for local schools. St Peter’s is required to raise a further £15,000 funding over the next few months to support the work.

Consecrated in 1874, Grade II listed St Peter’s Church is an important part of the heritage of Highfields, one of the most diverse and disadvantaged neighbourhoods in England. The Church remains in urgent need of repairs and is listed as a Priority A on the Historic England Heritage at Risk Register, and Category A on Leicester City Council’s Heritage at Risk Register.
The Parochial Church Council will now be able to start repairing the church roofs, focusing on the areas most in need of attention. Carrying out the roof repairs on the side aisles and part of the Nave roof will leave the church weather-tight and will allow the PCC to extend heritage learning with local primary schools and increase the community use of the building. The work will include removing asbestos from the areas concerned.

A programme of HLF and Diocese of Leicester funded stonework repairs to the church tower is currently nearing completion, which will enable the roofs to be repaired without the risk of further damage.

For over 140 years St Peter’s Church has stood at the centre of its community as a symbol of stability in midst of constant change and development. It has become the spiritual home of the Caribbean Anglican community, the place to where the community always comes at times of need.
Priest-in- Charge of St Peter’s Church, Rev’d Jonathan Surridge, says “We are thrilled to have received the further support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, demonstrating their faith in the future sustainability of St Peter’s Church as an important place of worship, a place of welcome and hospitality, and a place of service to the local community.”

Jon Ashworth, MP for Leicester South and a Patron of the Project, says “This is a significant investment by the HLF in this important heritage building in the heart of Highfields, which will be appreciated by the community for many years to come.”

ENDS
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players' money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about. http://www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on twitter @heritagelottery

For further information and interviews, please contact

Rev’d Jonathan Surridge, Priest-in- Charge, St Peter’s Church, Highfields
Mobile: 0116 318 0680
Email: jonathan@stpetershighfields.co.uk

Ted Cassidy MBE, St Peter’s Project Manager
Mobile: 07757 706 556
Email: Ted Cassidy@ntlworld.com

Wonderful heritage…

One of the great aspects of the building improvement work is it encourages us to look again at the heritage of the church and the area we serve. We have done this in many ways, and continue to do so. Our volunteers welcome many people into the church and this year we have worked with a lot more schools. Twice a week we cook a hot meal, and three times a week we open our doors and offer a Place of Welcome. We host open days and events.

But now we are also working on sharing our heritage and today, despite the awful weather, a group went to Uplands Infant School, along with Linda from the museum’s service who brought the Memory Box we helped put together last year. The group talked about what it is like in the Caribbean, and the difficulties experienced coming to England, and how the area had changed, and as each new wave of neighbours came and brought new foods, more colour and a renewed vibrancy.

We are going back soon and will hopefully record and share some of the experiences.

Some of the items from the Caribbean Memory Box (Leicester City Council).

Look how smart the clocks look

In many ways, the last few months have been frustrating. We know that work has been ongoing – we see and talk to the stonemasons regularly; they even join for lunch sometimes. Yet most of the work is shrouded in scaffolding.

So it was great to receive an update from Smiths of Derby on how the clocks faces have been repaired, renovated and now painted. They are ready to be reinstalled as part of the finishing work on the tower.

Here they are in the workshop, resplendent in their new colourings.

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Press Release

PRESS RELEASE

St Peter’s Church Highfields – Tower Stonework Repairs

Work to repair stonework on the tower of Grade II listed St Peter’s Church in Highfields has started, thanks to a grant of £158,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and support from the Diocese of Leicester. 

The mammoth job of erecting the scaffolding to the 26 metre high tower has now been completed and the repair of the crumbling stonework can begin. 

Rev’d Jonathan Surridge, Priest-in-charge of St Peter’s says: “This is the first phase of a long-term plan to repair and refurbish our wonderful Victorian Church, a significant hub of Christian worship and hospitality in the multi-faith, diverse community of Highfields.” 

The tower stonework repairs and associated repairs to tower roof, tower windows, the clock face and internal repairs to the tower stairs are being undertaken by specialist Historic building restoration contractors, Stone Edge, and will be completed in February 2018. The Project also includes heritage learning activities with local primary school pupils and oral history recordings on video.

St Peter’s Church will be open to the public during the Heritage Open Days on Friday 8th September (11.00 am to 4.00 pm), Saturday and Sunday 9th and 10th September (12.30 to 4.00 pm).

Contact: 

Rev’d Jonathan Surridge, Priest-in-Charge: mobile xxxxx xxxxxxx, email jmsurridge@gmail.com

Ted Cassidy MBE, Project Manager: mobile xxxxx xxxxxxx xxx, email tedcassidy@ntlworld.com

We are getting there

If you look at the tower now you will see it surrounded by a feat of engineering that has seen the entire tower surrounded by scaffolding.

The scaffolding will enable the work to be completed safely and has taken so long because of how soft some of the stone is. Crafts people will now begin the careful work of restoration along with other vital work. Access to the church and halls is being maintained at all times.

The church is open Tuesday from 9.30 and Wednesdays and Fridays, 11 to 1pm.

Here is a reminder of the scaffolding being erected.

And what we looked like before.