Status of Building Projects at St Giles – August 2016
Work carried out in the past twelve months
- South porch painted.
- Tarmac on northern pathway renewed by Parks department.
- Bin store created close to the Woodstock Road. Garden shed moved away from the church close to the bin store. Work approved by the Council and a faculty to be applied for. Bin store paid for by Montessori school.
- Outside light put in place outside south porch – Archdeacon’s approval given.
- Locks to church changed after theft of church keys.
- Lights removed from pergola in accordance with DAC instructions. Lights will be put in place over the winter period only.
- Leak in roof over the kitchen repaired.
- Retrospective faculties being applied for garden area, hymn-book trolley, display stands and other minor works.
- Lights in the church changed and lampshades removed – prior approval granted from PCC and Diocese.
- Garden outside Parish Rooms renovated.
- New chandelier made for the south porch and put in place. PCC approved and Faculty granted for works. Construction paid for by VCWT.
South Porch – Lighting improvement
Awaiting wiring up the new chandelier
1. St Giles Garden – Close to completion
- Complete building works
- Find an operator for the café area – Ongoing discussions taking place.
- Money still in hand = circa £1759
- Additional funding to be raised from excess revenue from Parish Rooms
- Retrospective faculties being applied for.
- Pave steps to yellow doors.
Railings along Woodstock Road (cost circa £5000)
2. St Giles Choir stalls – PCC approval to be obtained for scheme
To improve the capacity of the choir stalls at the west end of St Giles
To be financed from choir academy funds, to be checked once quote has arrived.
Seating to be discussed once work on organ has been defined.
3. Northern pathway – Awaiting design and approval for works by DAC and Planning
Build a retaining wall to stop the erosion of the bank
This work is to be carried out by the Parks department. Discussions are in process with Parks Department, Diocese and Conservation Officer.
Possible Future works
1. Roof of Kitchen area – Costed, Currently considered non-urgent
The state of the roof of the kitchen area of the north aisle was identified as an issue to be addressed in the foreseeable future by the quinquenniel survey. The estimated cost for the work that may be required is around £118,000, but the VAT could be reclaimed. The immediate problem of a leak by the chimney has been rectified. A further inspection of this part of the roof will be carried out in 2017.
2. Organ Renovation – Very preliminary ideas
Over the past ten years the condition of the organ has noticeably deteriorated and has been in need of a substantial clean. In recent months the situation has become significantly worse due to the low humidity levels caused by the heating system. The renovation/ rebuilding of the organ has become an urgent priority. A committee will be set up to review the options and then present a possible way forward to the PCC. It is anticipated that any work on the organ will incur significant costs probably in the order of £200,000 to £300,000. However, there is likely to be the possibility created of reconfiguring the area behind the organ but this would increase the cost of the project. It is anticipated that the restoration of the organ will happen in two or three years’ time. Carrying out this work on the organ would be a major project in the life of St Giles’ Church.
3. Southern Pathway – Longer term development
Repair/ renovate the surface of the southern pathway
(current usage around 3,000 people a day)
Create a wider section of the path alongside Eleanor’s garden.
Possibly create a disabled access to the church through the south porch
No funding currently available for this project.
- State of current path: Does the current path warrant complete renewal?
- Width of path: The current path across the churchyard is not very wide
- Drainage: If the path slopes down to the south porch, water may come into the church when it rains.
- Access from Banbury Road: The width of the footpath on the Banbury Road is fairly narrow, especially to the north of the churchyard path making it difficult for disabled access.
- Cyclists: Cyclist on the footpath across the Churchyard make this route hazardous.
Waiting on discussions with Parks Department.
- Before any works to the church or churchyard are carried out the DAC will be consulted and their approval sought. This is the first stage of seeking a faculty to allow the works to proceed.
- Any work on the outside of the building or in the churchyard requires the planners to be consulted and planning permission needs to be obtained if required.
- English Heritage will be consulted before permission to proceed may be granted.
Maureen Chu and Andrew Bunch, August 2016