Plants for Sale

Pam Coop is selling plants, the proceeds of which will go towards the Restoration fund.

If you would like to purchase any plants please call her on 01926 427636, or visit her at 78 Southam Road, Radford Semele.

If Pam has any plants left she will bring them to the Radford Rendezvous, which starts at 10:30am, on June 11th at the community hall.

Bulletin No 4

Dear Friends,

The first phase of the work at the church is drawing to an end. The bells have been removed and all the debris within the building has now been cleared, sorted, and the few bits with any future use have been stored. The final process in the phase is the external scaffolding of the entire building with a covering roof, and protective sides. We shall be left with what probably looks like a cocoon, which will come off at the end of the project, hopefully like a butterfly emerging! This first phase has gone extremely well, and the contractors have been superb.

However, as part of this work, we discovered evidence which suggests that the fire might not have been caused accidentally. On the day after the fire, when it was safe to go into the fenced compound, I discovered that one of the cremation plot stones was missing. Well about 10 days ago, it was discovered underneath one of the main windows inside the church, underneath the debris. This, sadly, means that it went through the window before the fire started, and certainly on the night of the fire as people were in church the afternoon before. The police are still investigating, but I am afraid that it is now fairly likely that the fire will have been started deliberately.

I am sure this will be a major blow to many of us, and we may have all kinds of questions and feelings surrounding something so wrong as this. We have set up a small Pastoral Prayer Team of people from church who you can talk to, or pray with, if you feel you need to. They will be at the Radford Rendezvous coffee mornings, and we have arranged a time with our friends at the Baptist church when their hall will be open to meet and pray – the first Thursday of every month from 7.30 -8.30pm, starting on June 5th.

Members of the team are also available to visit you at home, and if you would like to meet one of them, do call Helen Robertson or Anne Wilson and they will make the arrangements. Please do use this team to help with the anger and sadness that we will be feeling at this time.

I would also like to say a huge thank you to those who have given so generously to the Restoration fund. We have now raised just over £10,000 !

I know some of you have been waiting to find out how much we will need to restore the church before making your gift. At the moment we do not know how much this will be as the cost of repair work to the stone walls and the design and building of the new interior have not been assessed yet. Once the building is safe, there will be a thorough survey which will begin to give us some indication of the final state of the walls (stone is still fracturing and falling off!). The Church is insured, but nearly 10% of the cover has already been spent in this first phase of work. It looks likely that we shall need to raise some more, and at that time, we shall be setting up a small fund-raising group who will oversee some events and activities that we can all be part of. So please think of creative ideas … I am sure they will be very useful !

Alan Jones is also going to make a DVD diary of the event and rebuild, so if you have any pictures or video footage, please contact him on 334443.

Thank you again for your support and prayers – we are getting there, slowly but surely!

Upcoming Fund Raising Events

There are two upcoming fund raising events.

The first is a Piano Recital by Elizabeth Tebby on Saturday May 31st at 8.00pm at the Unitarian Chapel, Warwick.

Tickets on sale at the door will be in aid of the St Nicholas Church Restoration Fund. For further details please contatct Elizabeth Tebby on 01926 311099 .

The second fund raising event is on Thursday 29th May at 7.45 p.m. It is a concert at St Peter’s Church, Barford, in aid of the St. Nicholas Church Restoration Fund. It will be music by Corelli, Bach & Handel, performed by James Hewitt (violin), Mark Dupere (cello), both from the Royal Conservatoire, The Haguen and Chris Farr (organ).

Tickets are £8.00 (includes a glass of wine) and are available from: Chris & Alex Farr on 01926 620117 or at the door.

Bulletin No. 3

Dear Friends

It has been good to see the work continuing apace in the clear up process. There is a very clever cherry-picker on site which can get through doorways and then extend out and up … I know one or two people have been very impressed with it! We are beginning to collect a few mouldings from inside the church – just fragments sadly – but they will be useful in the redesign work.

You may also have noticed that the contractors are allowing our Churchyard team into the perimeter of the churchyard, to keep it looking as tidy and well-cared for as usual. This is such a bonus, as it means that those who are currently unable to visit graves of loved-ones will at least be reassured to know that the churchyard is still being tended. I am very grateful to Linford’s for their understanding and their supervision.

The bell-ringing team are still keeping their hand in, and have been welcomed at Offchurch in the interim, for which we are very grateful.

I have had some lovely cards and letters from people in the last few weeks; one particular note stands out from a young boy who doesn’t live in the village, but passed the church on his way into Leamington and wrote to me, saying how sorry he was about the church and offering the use of the digger and lifting equipment they have on their farm!
Plans are also being made for some Fund Raising events and John Taylor’s Funeral Service are running a Garage Sale this coming weekend – see below.

Barford Church are having a choir concert towards the end of May – more details to follow.

We are also in the process of setting up a website, which will help everyone who likes keeping up with information online. The address will be www.stnicholasrestoration.com and there’s a test page up online.

One disappointing note to all this has been the letters that have appeared raising questions about the church’s honesty, and linking the Restoration Fund with the old school building. I understand that the sale of the old school was a difficult issue for the village, but it seems that there is a certain amount of wrong information that has grown up around it.

So I can assure everyone that the church has not benefited from a single penny from the sale of the old school. The agreement was always that the money from the sale (and the interest accruing) would go directly to the school to pay for much needed new classrooms, and other refurbishments as the Governors see fit. The money is therefore not church money at all, and is certainly not available for the Restoration Fund. It is solely for the use of the school, to benefit the children of our village, and is being used for that purpose alone under the direction of the school’s Governing Body.

So the work continues, and once again, “Thank you” to everyone for your continued support. The next major event there should be the bells being removed, and that will be a very interesting day !