Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bansfield Benefice Hall refurbishment - update

Report by Michael McEvoy

Report for weeks ending Friday
24th September to 15th October

The majority of the ‘fitting out’ has been done.

The electricians have rewired the premises and will return when the floor is laid in the final week, to install the lighting and heating equipment.

The new rear door has been fitted and has added to the character of the building.

The rear roof has been stripped and a new ‘slate’ material has been laid. The leak was caused by the lead flashing being laid in one eight foot length, without any expansion joints. Cracks in the lead were found as a result of this error and the roof leaked. The new roof has allowed for expansion joints.

All the new kitchen units are now in situ.

The missing uprights in the roof have been installed using some of the salvaged oak floor joists and the cracked ceiling has been re-plastered and painted.

Decorating has been carried out to all the inside walls and ceilings.

Most of the last week has been spent on the cupboards in the main hall. The open shelves have been repositioned to display the Traidcraft stock, and folding doors fitted.

The new main storage cupboard reaches almost to the ceiling. It is much larger with more shelving and should be more than adequate for storage.

The new electric consumer unit will be positioned at a lower level within a separate section of the cupboard, making it easier to reach when necessary. The remaining ‘mains metering equipment’ has been swung round to a new position at the rear of the cupboard. It was decided not to move this equipment lower as the electricity board would have been involved and the added expense was thought to be unnecessary.

Two air vents have been inserted in the walls to let the hall ‘breathe’, especially when it is not in use. They can be closed when the hall is in use to avoid draughts. Two fan lights have also been placed in the rear window.

An officer from the council’s highways department visited and gave permission for the new tarmac stretch outside the hall.

Work has now begun on the perimeter, with new shingle laid abutting the hall for better drainage. A new concrete threshold step has been installed at a lower level to allow disabled access to the hall. The door panel will be lowered to meet the lower floor threshold.

A plumber will be on site in the next few days to install the disabled toilet and kitchen supplies.

The oak flooring and vinyl is planned to be laid on Tuesday the 26th October, followed by the electricians completing the fitting out of the electrical goods.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme

The following is a bulletin taken from the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme website.


The Department has announced that the LPW scheme will continue for a further 4 years from April 2011. There will be an annual fixed maximum budget of £12 million, and the Department will discuss with faith groups and denominations how the scheme can best operate within that budget. The restriction to scope already announced from 4 January will remain in place- professional fees, and repairs to clocks, pews, bells and organs, will remain ineligible from 1 April. Further announcements will be made in due course.


The Department for Culture, Media and Support very much regrets that, in line with the need to reduce public expenditure, funding for the scheme in 2010/11 has been reduced. The views of denominations were sought as to how this could be achieved, although we acknowledge that the choice was a difficult one to make.


With effect from 4 January 2011 the following will become ineligible under the scheme, irrespective of when the works were undertaken:

professional fees
repairs to organs, pews, bells and clocks


From January 2011, the VAT rate is due to increase to 20%. The scheme will still refund the full VAT paid for works that remain eligible.

Enquirer's Course

Firstly, a significant number of people have said that they would like to find out more about the Christian faith. We, in the Church, are sometimes guilty of making assumptions about what people think and believe, but for many people they are not sure, or are still exploring. To try to respond to this need, I would like to run a short course in November. Over five one hour meetings, we could meet together informally, with no pressure or expectations, to explore what Christianity is all about. There would be plenty of opportunity to discuss, to ask questions and to listen to each other in an atmosphere of openness and trust. I hope that existing members of the church will also come along to talk about what their faith means to them and how their membership of the church gives meaning and purpose to their lives. Everyone will be very welcome. It would help us to know likely numbers so if you, or someone you know, might be interested in attending the course, please let me or a Churchwarden know. All the sessions will be on:

Monday evenings at 7.30pm in the Benefice Hall, next to All Saints' Church, Wickhambrook. Details are as follows:

1st November – Why have faith?
8th November – Why the Christian Faith?
15th November – Why the Church?
22nd November – Why attend and get involved in the local church?
29th November – “Why me?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New Dean of St Edmundsbury

The Revd Canon Dr Frances Ward was installed as the new Dean of St Edmundsbury at a service in Suffolk’s Cathedral on Saturday 16th October.

Formally a Residentiary Canon and Canon Theologian at Bradford Cathedral, Frances is only the fourth woman to been appointed Dean by the Church of England.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

All Souls’ Tide 2010

At 3.30pm on Sunday 7th November 2010 at All Saints’ Church, Wickhambrook we will be holding a service to remember and pray for our departed loved ones. Everyone is warmly invited to this service, which we hope you will find helpful and comforting.

During the service, the names of the departed will be read out and there will be an opportunity to light candles in memory of them. The candles serve as a symbol – both of the prayers we offer for our loved ones, and of Jesus Christ the light of the world, in whom we place our hope and who leads us from death to life.

If you would like the names of departed loved ones to be included in the prayers at the service, please write them on the list at the back of All Saints’ Church.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thousands rally to historic church buildings cause

Over 9,000 people have signed a petition calling on the Government to safeguard the future of historic church buildings by extending a VAT exemption scheme on repairs due to end in March 2011.

For full details please see

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Kagera calendars 2011

These superb full-colour calendars are available at just £4 each direct from Bury St Edmunds Cathedral and Diocesan House, Ipswich.