Quinquennial Inspection Reports are key documents in assisting a PCC in caring for their church buildings. When wardens at All Saints church, Oakham, received their latest report they turned to MaintananceBooker to secure contractors to carry out work identified as needing attention.
In June 2020 All Saints, Oakham applied to the National Churches Trust for grant assistance for their project to repair the masonry and clerestory windows at their Grade I listed building. Specifically, the work was to repair the crumbling masonry to the tracery of the clerestory windows; repair the loose parapets and other isolated areas of spalling masonry; and to repoint the joints and cracks of the coping and parapet. The work had been identified as required within the next two years in their most recent Quinquennial Inspection Report in order to prevent water ingress, fabric damage, and to ensure the windows remained stable.
All Saints has a particularly proactive approach to maintenance, understanding how essential a well-kept building is to ensure the church is ready to meet the needs of the local community. The PCC decided to use MaintenanceBooker to seek out a contractor to undertake the work, confident in the knowledge that all contractors registered on the site are tried and tested and can be trusted to complete the repair with the sensitivity required for Britain’s significant heritage buildings.
Ben Jenkins, a local stonemason and one of the approved contractors registered with MaintenanceBooker, quoted for the job and won the contract. The work took place during the first lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic, and consequently Ben Jenkins travelled daily to Oakham from his home in Stafford – a return journey of 150 miles!
Within a couple of months, the work was completed and the church were able to claim their grant for 50% of the total project cost – a huge help, especially in light of the challenging year that the pandemic has caused for many churches’ finances.
Des Cook, PCC Trustee and Maintenance Manager at the church, said “the repair of damaged tracery stonework prevents structural issues with the windows. Repointing prevents water ingress. The windows are now strong, stable and waterproof.”
All Saints is well used and active in the community, and this maintenance and repair work is an important part of keeping the building in good shape to meet the demands of a busy congregation and community.
Support for other projects available
The National Churches Trust Foundation Grants programme awards grants of up to £5,000 with decisions made on a monthly basis to ensure churches are able to respond to their maintenance needs more quickly. Small projects costing up to £1,000 booked through MaintenanceBooker can also apply for a Preventative Maintenance Micro Grant.