Lumen Project Day 91 – The Move Back

Lumen Project Day 91 – The Move Back

It was a great day on Sunday 9th December, what was so special about that day. No special Saints day to celebrate, something better in the eyes of St. Mary’s congregation, it was the Move back into in to the Church building after 3 months of building work.

The work was completed as I have said previously the week before but we needed the time to get the church back in shape. The last post showed some of the members working hard on Monday evening, another session took place on Wednesday during the day, and this gave an opportunity for more members to take part. The jobs included Cleaning returning hymn books, cleaning the floor, vacuuming the carpets and putting back the last of the fittings.

The Sacristans’ were busy preparing the Altar Cloths and cleaning and polishing the alter furnishings. They also had to get prepare everything ready for the procession back at the start of the Sunday Service.

In addition to all this work a team moved in on Saturday to put our Christmas Candle gantries in place in preparation for our Christingle Service on Sunday afternoon, more of that in another posting.

Sunday arrived and we met in the hall as we have since the 10th September, the difference this time was we formed up with all we needed for the service and processed from our temporary home back into the Church proper. It was quite a moving time and we arrived to a bare Altar and dressed it again.

It was a good Service and Mary our organist played for us on our retuned organ.

It was good to be back.

I have tried to show you more what the church looks like now all the scaffolding has been removed and the rain has stopped so a few more photos of the outside of the Church. Also how pleased we are to get back in the main building.

This is not the end of the story. The work does not stop here we have the Soffits and Bargeboards to finish the outside and the floor to be sanded and sealed to finish the inside.

Lumen Project Day 85 – The move back begins

Lumen Project Day 85 – The move back begins

We are two weeks over due for completion but as I said in the last update the building work on the inside has been completed. As we were not sure as to the exact date we could get back in and the need to get things sorted for the Baptism and our Advent Service (See previous posting) we have been a little thin on getting people to help with moving all the furniture back into the church.

Decisions were made on Sunday as too availability and Monday evening was agreed on, all stops pulled out and a great crew turned up and we have got most of the heavy and high jobs done in the church. Still looks a bit of a mess but we will get there by Sunday, when we have another packed day with our move back for the Morning Sung communion Service.  Then at 4pm we have our candle lit Cristingle service.  Come along to these services and see what all the fuss has been about.

Just a thought the builder’s thinks that they removed nearly 60 tons of masonry from the church.

Just a few photographs of the crowed that turned up to clean and get the furniture back in place. Thanks very much to you all.



Lumen Project  Day 82  – The inside is finished

Lumen Project  Day 82  – The inside is finished

Let me tell you the last pane of glass went in on Wednesday and was in just before our midweek service was about to start. Charles Burge enter the hall and announced that the last pane of glass had been fitted. There was a rousing cheer. Not the quiet preparation you would normally expect for a communion Service.  But an exception after all the years of planning and waiting. There was still a lot of finishing off to be done.

Today is Friday 30th November and the inside of the Church is completed  All the windows are in place and the builders have removed all their protective coverings The Sanctuary Carpet has been cleaned  and now it is up to us to get everything back in place.

The Scaffolding is in the process of being removed  and this we have been told will be completed by Monday. So please watch this space for some Photos of the completed church.

Our First Service in the Church is on Sunday 9th December  we need a bit of time to get everything back in place, as many of the congregation are taking part in the Christchurch Panto tonight and tomorrow night we are limited with helping hands

Lumen Project Day 78 – One week overdue

Lumen Project Day 78 – One week overdue

last week when we had only two panes of glass fitted at the start of the week, with a promise that all would be well by Friday.   By Thursday we had the sanctuary windows completed and the big East window had the lower five panes of glass fitted.  Well they should have delivered the last panes today but they will arrive tomorrow, we were told. Friday came with “they are delivering today and we will stay late to get them in”. Some areas of plaster were not drying well and even the filler around the frames was not going off.  The heating needed to go on. Guess what by 3.30pm no glass.  I can hear you say “what did you expect”, our hopes were misplaced perhaps, but we were every optimistic. The floor was being swept and washed by the contractors and the sanctuary carpet cleaned.

Discussions took place and it was agreed that the builders would fit some tarpaulin across the open areas and batten it down to make as weather proof as possible and we would put the church heating on.  This was done and the church seemed very warm on Sunday when we had a look round. Floor was dry and some of the plaster was drying out too.

Monday morning arrived and so did one of the contractors he was filling around the big window and making good, followed by repainting the whole wall.  Other jobs were lined up.

Monday Café was in full swing when it was announced that the Glass company van arrived.  What a big cheer went up from all those present you would have thought The Queen or at least a Bishop had arrived.   Yes the glass had arrived. Now all that needs to be done was the fitting.

A visit to the Church at 5pm to remove the plastic protective sheet from the organ showed that only Two of the remaining 5 panes had been fitted we continue to wait and see what goes on.


Lumen Project Day 71- The last day, or so we thought.

Lumen Project  Day  71 – The last day, or so we thought.


We hoped that we would be celebrating the completion of the project today, but no such luck the work continues. We guessed that this would happen and had planned for an over run in what we had scheduled for the next few weeks.

We had some news from the flooring contractors to say that they need a few weeks for the humidity in the church to return to normal before they are prepared to sand, seal and coat the parquet flooring. This comment was also made by the Organ tuners so we are now hopping the windows will be installed as soon as possible.

Well down to the windows A check this morning showed that All the frames are in place and the sanctuary South window not only has a completed frame, (but friends, sit down), two panes of glass have been fitted. A verbal quote from one of the builders was “we cannot wait to get the windows in the Church is very cold at the moment”. The conditioning is working fine at present!

We have been told that the other panes of glass are due to arrive in the next day or so and all is ready for them to be fitted.  Some of the original panes arrives being too small (manufacturing fault I have been assured).  If this week goes to plan (I am sure it will !!!!) we may be able to turn the heating back on to dry the church out and allow things to get to normal. As normal as St. Mary’s can ever be.

We are now hoping to get all back in place for a Baptism on Dec 1st. Now there is a challenge.

We have been Looking in at ourselves and Looking up to God, now we are starting to our Looking Out into the wider community.

Lumen Project Day 64 – The Frames have arrived

Lumen Project Day 64 – The Frames have arrived.

What a wonderful moment it was last week when the van arrived and the metal work for the window frames was unloaded and moved into the church.  Work then progressed on the fabrication of the window frames.

Friday came and the frames were fitted in the North and South Sanctuary windows.  What a difference it has made to see something filling the great big holes that have dominated the church for the last few weeks.

The wind is still getting in and the drafts in the church have not yet rebated, but visually they look good.

A hick up was noted on the frame for the East window but following a site meeting on Monday this was resolved and work resumed on the large East window frame. It has yet to be raised into position.

We now have to wait until next week when we are promised the Glass will appear. What a day that will be.

We now look in, look up and look out through unglazed window frames, but that is a steep in the right direction.



Lumen Project Day 57 – A disappointing week

Hello Again.

We have had a disappointing week.

The plastering has been completed and we are awaiting the Glass firm to come and fit the windows.  We were told last week that they would be here on Monday. Monday came and no sign of the widow people. So phone calls continued and apparently, there has been a visit to the glass manufacturers and they are working on the frames, and HOPE to start fitting on Wednesday, we wait with bated breath. The other news was that they will not start making the glass until they have taken another set of measurements after the frames have gone in, and that is estimated as a four day job.

We are adjusting our expectations now, but still hoping for a beginning of December return to the church for services and the other jobs will have to be postponed until next year.

I will sign this as Frustrated of St. Mary’s. But Will keep Looking in, Looking Up and hopefully soon to be Looking Out.

Lumen Project Day 50 – 3 weeks to go

Well  Hello.

I have been putting off this week’s update on Project Lumen as there is very little to add, and to be honest with you all I am getting a bit tired of taking photographs of drying plaster. It takes a lot of drying time this time of year. But there is new plaster every couple of days.

We are still waiting for information as to when the Windows are due to arrive.

So this week it is a short and sweet update. Thank goodness I hear you all say.

So until next week. Keep well and keep Looking in, Looking up and Looking out.

PS.     Just heard we may see the window fitters preparing the frames next week.  Watch this space for an update.

Lumen Project Day 43 – 4 Weeks to go

Lumen Project Day 43 – 4 weeks to go

Not a lot to report this week, there does not seem to have been much change.

Work has progressed with more plaster being put on to cover the brick work and this had to dry before the finishing render could be applied. It looks very close to the original colour of our finish, but time will tell when it has chance to dry out properly.

Talking to the builders they are hoping for the windows to arrive soon, so are we as the weather is beginning to become more autumnal and frost is forecast for next weekend.

Only four weeks to the completion date let’s hope we are going to make it. Baptism  booked for 2nd December and it is the start of Advent and a New Church Year.

We are now not only looking in, but now Looking up, and hopefully by December , looking out.

Lumen Project Day 36 – Starting to get plastered

Lumen Project Day 36

No we are not starting our celebration just yet. The plasterers are now on site and covering the exposed brick work, and tidying up the edges where the demolition took place. The sides of our East window have been complete and the bottom has had battens fitted for the new render.

North and South windows have had the initial layer of plater and the base of the walls are primed for the render.

We have been told that the windows are now being manufactured.

As we are now 5 weeks into the project and hopefully half way there, and all is progressing well.  Keep watching for the new developments.