Holy Trinity

Blackford, Somerset

HOLY TRINITY BLACKFORD: A RESTORATION PROJECT

A village challenge

In 1999 the Parochial Church Council (PCC) was faced with a difficult decision. Years of modest maintenance and previous building errors had seriously affected the fabric of Holy Trinity. The repair bill was dauntingly high, and additionally the Church lacked basic facilities such as access for disabled people and even running water. There was little by way of funds in the bank.

But the church congregation, backed by the wider village community, decided that Blackford must have a church and together we set about the challenge.

The start of the project

By the end of 2006 we had finished Phase I. We had by hook and crook raised over £130,000, with fantastic support from the whole village, the Diocese and anonymous donations, and we had:-

  • built a new vestry with a lavatory and provided access for the disabled
  • built a tea bar for our services and social events
  • hacked off hard cement render and replaced with breathable mortar
  • partially replaced and painted internal crumbling render

The second phase

In 2007 the PCC determined to tackle the second phase of the restoration programme. Working in conjunction with our Architects Benjamin and Beauchamp the PCC applied for an English Heritage grant to refurbish the roof and cupola and, though outside EH’s concern, to finish replacement of the hard cement render of the walls. Our Archdeacon was helpfully supportive.

We were successful in our grant application being offered a total of £120,000. This sum covered the investigation phase to sort out the scale of works, with the balance available for the works themselves.

Yet again we were supported by the village community and had wonderful grants and donations amongst others from:-

  • English Heritage
  • Viridor Credits Environmental Company
  • Sexeys Trust
  • Friends of Somerset Churches and Chapels Trust
  • Garfield Weston Foundation
  • Wessex Water
  • And support of a Diocesan loan

As a result

We have totally refurbished the external fabric of the building.

  • We have a new roof we have stabilized the timber trusses
  • Our church bell can again be rung
  • The restored cupola and cross stand out as a token of our beliefs
  • The western porch has been renovated
  • The external walls have been painted to an original colour

Our regular church services are able to continue in better comfort, as well as the church providing its traditional function for weekly and seasonal services, christenings, weddings and funerals. The church has also become a venue for village events. We can seat about 110 or a very friendly 120!

The quality of build is a tribute to the skill of our builder Carrek Ltd and their craftsmen, executing the design of the Architect’s team of Benjamin and Beauchamp, Bare Leaning and Bare QS, and Mann Williams Engineers.

Phase 3 Restoration update.

After all the hard work of raising funds work is now under way on the refurbishment of the inside of our lovely village church.

The start of the project

As in previous phases we have been fortunate to have enjoyed strong support from the Blackford Village community. Monies for the project have come from many sources.

Our particular thanks go to:

  • Viridor Credits Environmental Company
  • The Diocese of Bath and Wells
  • The Visitors of the Hugh Sexey Hospital
  • Friends of Somerset Churches and Chapels Trust
  • Allchurches Trust
  • Blackford Harvest home

Additionally we held a Parish day for commitment and raised significant funds. Finally to top up the pot we had funds which came from the sale of church land.

All in all we raised about £145K. This was enough to allow us to let a contract.

Following a competitive tender process conducted by our supportive local Architects Benjamin and Beauchamp we let a contract to Ellis and Co Ltd of Shepton Mallet.

Ellis’s are a specialist firm much of whose work is in conservation of historic buildings and churches. We are delighted to be working with their team.

We are also delighted to be working with Bill Noble of WOW Lighting Allerton who has designed a striking lighting layout and is responsible for ensuring that the complex pattern of lights and their settings will function properly. Brian Hooper from Bargworth has worked on the organ. Works on the clock which we also plan to fix is being undertaken by Cumbria Clocks of Penrith.

Church services are being held in the Village Hall until works are finished which we expect to be by march 2014.

We will be posting photographs of the inside of the church as works progress on the Photo Gallery.

With decent heating and lighting, the building will be suitable for an even wider range of community and social uses.

Click here to download a copy of the latest restoration leaflet.

Can you help?
Any donation is very welcome however small, (or big!).
Best are covenanted donations monthly, or as a one off, which allow us to reclaim tax from taxpayers.
If you would like to help in this way a covenant form is available to download here.