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September 2023

In May 2022, the National Lottery Heritage Fund gave us permission to start work on replacing the nave roof and restoring stonework, after awarding us just over £248,000. The building work has now been completed. As well as the new nave roof, parapets and guttering, the north and south porches also have new roofs and our conservation builders have done the most amazing work on restoring the decaying stonework. Inside the church, much of the damp plaster in the north and south aisles has been stripped off and replaced with the correct type so that the walls and ceilings can ‘breathe’. Once the plaster had dried out, the walls and ceilings were decorated.

It has been an amazing journey of discovery and we owe the Heritage Fund and everyone who has been involved a huge debt of gratitude. Without your support on our journey, we would not be where we are today. Our beautiful church can stand proud for centuries to come to welcome everyone in our community and from further afield. Thank you.

April 2023

The last of the scaffolding on the north side of the church has gone and all the external work should be completed in a few weeks. We are immensely appreciative of the care and skill taken by our conservation builders and stonemasons during the restoration and repair.

Inside the church, the final part of our project will start sometime from the end of May to the end of June. We have to wait for the walls to dry out more.

Our thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the players for their support.

February 2023

St Nicholas is proud to announce we are finally able to use our kitchen and toilet. These facilities have been part of our dream for the church and the community for over twenty years. The font looks wonderful in its new location and the colour and pattern in the tiling, throughout the south side of the church, is beautiful.

The inside of the church still needs some work but after so many years of dreams and hopes everything is finally coming together. We appreciate all the community support, your generous personal donations and the grant bodies who have helped this to happen.

December 2022

Roof and Stonework

St Nicholas owes a massive debt of gratitude to the National Lottery Heritage Fund. As we move into  2023, we do so with a lift in our steps and positivity about the future. Our church stands proud with a beautiful new roof which will last for generations. There is still a considerable amount of work to be done restoring window areas and other parts of the walls and parapets. The stone for much of this is being prepared off site ready for the new year. We look forward to when the scaffolding finally goes and everyone will be able to see the amazing work that has been completed. 


We have been lucky to secure the services of some very knowledgeable and highly skilled conservation builders whose love of their work is evident. Their willingness to share knowledge and their hard work have been obvious to us all. We have also been very fortunate in having an extremely dedicated and competent architect.


Toilet and Kitchen

Work on the new facilities has progressed well. The plumbing and electrical work for both the toilet and the kitchen is all in place. The room for the toilet is in place and the kitchen cabinets and sink have been installed. The need to move the font to make way for the new facilities means that we now have a new Baptistry towards the other end of the south aisle.

November 2022

Roof and Stonework

The new stainless steel gutters have been installed on both sides of the nave roof and the roof weatherproofed and tiled. There is just some finishing work to do. At long last, the nave roof is watertight.


We have been told that the north side was very damaged. The original timbers were in pristine condition and remarkable, given their age. However, towards the bottom, there was decay and the laths (the bits of wood that go across holding the tiles) were completely perished. Ladders had to be put up to remove the tiles as it was not safe to walk on. The builders believe that, either this winter or next, the laths and all the tiles would have slipped down the roof, crashing into the parapets and guttering. We have been incredibly lucky. 


We owe many grateful thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund. They have enabled us to save and restore our church.


Toilet and Kitchen

The early 13th century font was moved to make way for the new toilet and kitchen and now stands near the Peace Window. The base was considered unfit for purpose and a beautiful new base was fashioned from a solid block of York Stone. The old base will be placed in the new Community Garden. The framework for the toilet enclosure and the kitchen is also now in place.

October 2022
The renovations are progressing well.

Roof and Stonework

Work on the renovations has made good progress this month. The old tiles have been removed from the south side of the roof to uncover the rafters, which are original and in excellent condition for their age. Unfortunately, the parapet was in a very poor state with rotting timbers and brickwork. Repair work in the past was not carried out properly, leading to intruding damp and rot. After slow, painstaking work the south parapet has now been rebuilt. Some of the stonework in the walls has also been replaced or beautifully repaired.

The renovation work and documentary research by archivists is throwing up tantalising clues to help us establish a more detailed and accurate understanding of the history and structure of the church. Some of this ‘Willoughby Puzzle’ centres on when the tower was built - 1536 as stated in local history books or 1636, the date carved into one of the buttresses. If the latter, the tower would have been built during the English Civil War. From their work on the roof and stonework, the conservation builders also think it is possible that the tower was originally on the outside of the nave with the north and south aisles added later. We are immensely grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for making all this important and intriguing work possible.


Toilet and Kitchen

Preparation is underway for moving the font and building the new toilet facilities. A limecrete screed has been laid in the south aisle ready for floor tiles to be laid and the font to be moved into its new position near the Peace Window. The font weighs an amazing 1.8 tons. Preparation is also underway to lay a foundation before installing the ramp to the new toilet facilities. In addition, the ‘Trench Arch System’ for disposal from the toilet and mini kitchen has now been installed in the churchyard.

September 2022
The building work has started!

After many years of effort and heartache, work has started at St Nicholas. The scaffolding is going up ready for the replacement of the nave roof. Soon work will begin to repair some of the stonework. We are immensely grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for making this work possible and helping to ensure that St Nicholas and its important heritage remain for future generations. 


Also, to make room for the toilet and small food preparation area, the font is to be moved nearer to the Peace Window. Work to lay the new black and white floor tiles has already begun. The new facilities will be the result of generous grants and intensive fund raising. Thank you to everyone who made this happen.

July 2022
Start Date For Building Work

Building work will begin on Monday, 12 September. We have accepted a tender for the replacement of the nave roof and other renovation work. Also, we have, separately, accepted a tender from the same builder to construct the toilet and mini-kitchen in the church. This means that the two building projects will run in parallel and not hamper each other.

May 2022
Successful National Lottery Heritage Fund Bid

St Nicholas has received exciting news! The National Lottery Heritage Fund has given us permission to start work after awarding us just over £248,000 for roof and heritage work in the church. As well as the building work, the grant covers heritage activities so that local people and visitors will become more engaged in and knowledgeable about the history and heritage of St Nicholas’ Church, the village and the wider area. We are deeply appreciative of the grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the players who have made this possible.


Please, anyone who feels they can help, get in touch with the Churchwarden, Karen Nichols. This grant and your support will secure the future of our church. Thank you to everyone who has helped us. Now the fun (!) begins.

Toilet and Mini-Kitchen

We have finally hit our funding target to build these new facilities in the church.

We gained permission to build a mini-kitchen and a toilet with wheelchair and disabled access in the south aisle some time ago and, after much effort, we have recently finished raising the necessary funds. Thank you to everyone who has made this possible.

January 2022
Nave Roof and Repairs To Walls

The nave roof is nearing the end of its life and needs to be replaced. We are applying for a grant of £250,000 to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the roof, repairs to the exterior walls and internal decoration. As part of our bid, we have planned a whole range of events focussing on the history and heritage of the church and the wider area. A time bound grant of £20,000 has already been promised by the Garfield Weston Foundation and we are hoping to start the building work during the Summer 2022. If you would like to support us and save our church and its unique heritage for the community, please contact the Churchwarden.

January 2022
Community Garden

Plans are underway to begin developing a community garden with wheelchair access on the south side of the church. Work clearing the site will begin during the Spring and the project will mainly be developed and run by volunteers. Supporters and volunteers are always welcome. Please contact the Churchwarden to find out how you could help.

November 2021
Toilet and Kitchen Facilities

We have now raised the funds and gained permission to build a mini-kitchen and a toilet with wheelchair and disabled access in the south aisle. It is hoped to start the work in Spring 2022.

April 2018
Chancel Roof

On 31 May 2017 there was a bad storm. The church roof leaked and water poured into the chancel and the south aisle near the Peace window. Then, in July 2017, part of the ceiling came down in the chancel. In August, thieves stole almost all the lead off the chancel roof causing even more damage. 


Repairs to the roof were delayed as an insurance claim went through and planning permission was gained to change the roofing material from lead to terne coated stainless steel. The church could not risk lead being stolen again. Planning permission was finally granted in January 2018 and the new roof completed in April 2018. The new roof and internal repair and decoration cost £60,000. 

If you would like to make a donation or would like more information about the plans, please get in touch with the Churchwarden.

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