Monday, 1 November 2021

Rafters and Rainwater

November 2021, to the people of Burton

Dear Friends

Thank you to everyone who came to our Autumn Fair.  I think we’ve really missed such events of late!  Thank you too for your generosity, £1003.95 was raised from takings and donations and will go towards the repairs needed to keep St James Church open for the public worship of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Here's an update on the work that is in progress or planned:  

In April 2021, as we were investigating rainwater leaks into the Atkinson Room (south-east corner of the church), we discovered significant problems with the 16th Century oak beam roof structure which required urgent attention.  The Atkinson Room is used for children’s work, group meetings and for serving refreshments.  We quickly installed scaffolding to support the roof and to give access for investigation and expert advice.  Seven months later we are drawing to the close of a project to replace rotten oak purlins and rafters before replastering sections of the ceiling with traditional lath and plaster.  This work has cost thousands and leaves the church with very little money in the bank for future building works. 

You may have seen that we have been digging shallow trenches in the churchyard.  We have been finding out where the blocked storm-water drains go to – the answer … nowhere!  Over time this will undermine the foundations of the church so as soon as we can raise sufficient funds we plan to lay new pipes from all the gullies to proper soakaways within the churchyard.

We have been working towards the next major project – to repair the vestry, which was built in 1872 on the north side of the church.  This small but important room is used to prepare for services, to store church records and to house our lovely 1850 pipe organ.  Falling internal plaster has been a sure sign of rain-water ingress which has now been thoroughly investigated.  The repair and restoration work – outside and inside – has been costed at £55,000. Thank you very much to all those who have already given money towards this project – as I write £25,837 has already been given, nearly half of the total.  Thank you very much!

More information on the repair work is available:

·         At our Open Afternoon on 31st October

·         On our church website at

·         On the Burton and Holme Churches YouTube channel:

With many thanks,

Graham Burrows

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