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The major project of re-roofing the roof of the church at Forncett End is drawing to a close. Members of the Friends of St Edmund’s committee were impressed by the work carried out mainly by Gary Ludkin (seen setting in place the last ridge tile) and his assistant Neil and retired builder Barry Bradford. Additional invaluable help from some twenty volunteers – and a blessed period of fine weather - enabled the project to be completed within a short time frame and below budget.
The project was monitored by our architect, Terry Hickman-Smith, whose input and expertise has been highly valued and appreciated. The general state of the roof timbers was by and large very good; very little major repair work was required. This has enabled additional remedial work to be undertaken on the deteriorating east end – the unfinished chancel. This happened because of shortage of funds – an old story.
Research by the Forncett Archive shows the church was built by ancestors of Keith Humphreys (seen in the photograph with Gary and Barry). Keith had been invited to view the work and throw more light on the history; however, he was unable to supply any extra information and was in fact most interested to learn from me details of the costings in 1905 on the account drawn up for James and Chellis Humphreys. (NB A detailed history of Forncett St Edmund church is at the planning stage.)
St Edmund’s will still be out of commission for a while, probably until late July; some internal decoration needs doing. Volunteers will again be helping. Our Friends Group continues to support the programme of fundraising – especially for the Summer Fête, now in its third year - but as a priority needs now to be formalized as a legal body with elected officers, so that applications for funding can be put forward to help with ‘Phase Two’ of the grand plan.
What is that, you may ask. We hope this will be publicized in the coming months. The positive assistance we have had from members of the community as volunteers so far has been most encouraging. I speak on behalf of Churchwarden Margaret and the whole of the ‘ad hoc’ committee, when I say, we hope more will step forward to help form a corporate body of the ‘Friends of St Edmund’s’ as soon as possible.