Project Details

Client : Holy Trinity Parochial  Church Council

Value : Circa £60k

Contractor : Boden and Ward Ltd

Consultant Architect, and English Heritage Funded : Michael Potter AABC, in association with Vagdia and Holmes Architects, E H Consultant Mr Nick Reading.


Project Description

The Church is a Grade II Listed building, and is a local landmark within the village of Churchover.  The Church dates back to 1086. The tower is Norman, although much of what can be seen today is the result of substantial rebuilding in 1896-97.

Following an inspection report from English Heritage and a grant from English Heritage, Vagdia and Holmes were commissioned to carry out the required repairs to the Church. This comprised of three aspects: repairs and restoration to the tower masonry; restoration of the stained glass and lead to the east Chancel window; and the replacement of rainwater goods. The overall scope of the works consists of 80% masonry, and 20% window and guttering.

Vagdia and Holmes prepared the drawings and a Specification of Works and invited competitive tenders from specialist contractors. Our proposal aspired to carefully restore the Tower ensuring all replacement stone matched the existing. Following the receipt of the tenders, specialist masons Boden and Ward Ltd were appointed to carry out the works.

The masonry to parts of the Tower were perilously unsafe, and in danger of falling.  It was so friable in places that working on the lime mortar joints was challenging, even to experienced masons, as the blue lias stone broke away.  By skilful craftsmanship and diligence of working, the masonry was restored to a sound condition.  By careful project management the budget was maintained.

The repairs and restoration to the tower masonry involved defrassing and re-pointing. There was also some indented stone and ashlar, surface decay and general mortar decay which was in need of major repair. The work to the west wall of the Tower consisted of stopping the continued deterioration of the existing ashlar stone band and destabilized rubble walling.

The recommendation was to carefully cut out indented rubble walling that was likely to cause destabilisation of the outer stone skin, and replace with similar material, cut to form a flush surface with the wall face. This was bedded with full depth hydraulic lime mortar which consisted of three parts sharp sand, and one part lime. Great care and attention was taken to ensure the new mortar complemented the old. A decision was made to use Northamptonshire sharp sand to achieve this, agreed with English Heritage.

The work undertaken on the east Chancel stained glass window consisted of re-glazing the existing stained glass. The window had bowed over time due to lead fatigue. The window has now been reinstated in the Church, under Master conservation glazier Mr Paul Gregory.

Part of the works also involved careful dismantling of the existing rainwater goods and the safe disposal of all asbestos components. Following this, the rain water goods were replaced with pre- finished Saint-Gobain cast iron rainwater goods.

All are pleased with the high quality of craftsmanship undertaken by Boden and Ward Ltd under the control of Moira Morris and mason Mark Crouch. The Church reached their objective which was to carefully preserve the existing structure. The Church now continues to be a visual focus for the local community for many years to come.

Further to this work, the Church are now considering internal improvements, including a new toilet facility.


Awards and Publications

Constructing Excellence Awards 2014   |   Winner in the Heritage Category (Event Brochure)


Client Testimonial

“It was fantastic to feel so supported by a company whose main business is Churches. Ken was brilliant at helping us, not just with the technical aspects, but also with relationships with sub contractors. We couldn’t have done it without him and the Church looks beautiful.” Kate Mulkern, Director of Heart of England Community Foundation, 2010