present (click to enlarge)
future (click to enlarge)
Today we had a site meeting with a couple of members of the Historic Churches Committee in preparation for a presentation to the whole Committee next month. On Friday we wrote formally asking permission to spend £100,000 on the first phase of our restoration project. We have half of the money, through scrimping and saving over the last five years. Small inner city parishes never have much money. my predecessors sold off any assets we had to prevent the place falling down. Though a few of our parishioners are very generous, many are students, immigrants, unemployed, permanently sick so the majority give less than £1 a week. So I hope that we will be able to repay the diocese within the next five years and begin Phase 2.
The Phase One concerns Health and Safety issues stripping off the linoleum, which is fast becoming a trip hazard and sealing the floor, adjusting the floor levels raising the altar and moving it back, we can't put it back against the wall but we can give it a sense of belonging to the reredos. We also want to move the font to the back of the Church, and the organ console to the organ gallery.
The other part of Phase One is the lighting, in the seventies the system was condemned and replaced by a temporary one, now the temporary system has more or less come to the end of its useful life, we used to be able change bulbs with ladders but this is now illegal so we really have to hire a scaffolding tower everytime a bulb blows as a large are of Church gets plunged into darkness.
We would have liked to put in underfloor heating but we wont be able to afford it.
Phase Two will concern the structure of the church, most of that is getting the hideous grey paint off of the stone and plasterwork, unfortunately it seals moisture into the fabric of the build which causes sructural damage.
Phase Three will be moving carvings to face the altar, restoring the pulpit, it was lowered by a foot or so in the seventies. Subsequently we will need to do work on the beautiful Hardman windows.
If anyone wants to donate, send a cheque to St Mary Magdalen Appeal, 55 Upper North Sreet, Brighton BN1 3FH, if you are a UK taxpayer it can be giftaided, unfortunately our diocesan basnking system isn't up to Paypal.