Appeal day a great success

April 29th, 2008 David

Appeal DayThe sun came out on Saturday for Rev Beverley’s Church Restoration Appeal Day.

“We are delighted with the result,” reported Beverely. “Clare and I had people to chat to for the whole six hours!

“The fund now stands at £3970, plus about £875 in reclaimed tax,” explained Beverley.

“I’m now trying to get the churchyard tidied for a wedding on Saturday. On Friday the inside of the church is being cleaned and polished.”

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YouTube video of scaffolders at work

April 26th, 2008 David

YouTube video part 1With the scaffolding now nearing the top of the spire, I asked Scott, one of the scaffolders who’s been here since they first started some three weeks ago, if he would take some video, giving us a close-up of the work, as well as some panoramic views of the village.

Unfortunately, no sooner had he agreed than the clouds darkened and the heavens opened, and it turned into a typically grey and showery April afternoon.

I’ve just posted the video on YouTube, and although both Scott’s and my shaky camera work leave a lot to be desired (at least Scott has a good excuse :o ), and the weather was fairly grim, I hope you’ll agree that it provides a fascinating record of the work in progess.

Simply click on the image on the right to view the seven-minute video clip.

Photo slideshow 2

Scott also took the photographs on our Slideshow 2. These were taken earlier in the week – on Tuesday 22 April, when the weather was kinder. They include some stunning photos of the village and surrounding countryside, as well as some great close-ups of the gargoyles. Click here to view them.

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Old photos added to the site

April 16th, 2008 David

Waltham ChurchWe’ve just added some old photographs of Waltham and the Church to the site. Click here to view them. Clicking on any image should display a larger photograph (try clicking on the photo on the right).

Framed prints are available on any of the images. With all profits going to the Church Restoration Fund.

We’d like to create a wide collection of these images for everyone to enjoy. Please get in touch if you have any old photos you can add. And also let us know if you can add any dates or captions.

We understand that some people may be reluctant to let us copy their photos. But we will take great care of them, and return them as soon as they’re scanned. They wouldn’t be copied or sold without your permission. And the size they appear on this site means they couldn’t be printed without loosing a lot of quality.

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Notes from public meeting

April 12th, 2008 David

Notes of Public Meeting on 7th April at Waltham Village Hall – Harry Hunt Room
Re The Future of Waltham Church – Set in Stone?

Beverley opened the meeting by giving some background information on the church and advised that the problem with the spire has highlighted our dual problem of:

Repairs to the ancient building competing for time, efforts and finance.

Our desire to improve the church to suit the 21st Century ie.

1: It needs to be warm, welcoming & useful whilst keeping its ancient beauty.

2: It needs to be flexible for worship as well as for other uses. (A building that has lots of money spent on it needs to be used as often as possible.)

Beverley concluded by stating that our hope is that those who love our ancient church will help organise and support an appeal to repair and improve St Mary Magdalene church for the future.

A presentation was then shown and talked through by Shuna George, details of which can be supplied.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Work starts…

April 3rd, 2008 David

ScaffoldingThe scaffolders finally arrived yesterday – Wednesday 2nd April.

The latest estimate for how long it’s likely to take to finish the scaffolding is three and a half weeks.

There will be four separate towers at each corner of the church. There will also be scaffolding inside the tower. But it doesn’t seem as though there will be any need for scaffolding inside the church itself.

We’re planning to put a banner high up on the scaffolding showing our website address –

We’re hoping people may see this and visit the site. And may even be tempted to make a donation to the church repair fund.

Although the cracked spire is covered by insurance, we still need to raise more than £35,000 for other repairs. So perhaps the publicity created by the earthquake damage might help us raise awareness. And help save one of Leicestershire’s most historic buildings.

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Public meeting: all invited

March 27th, 2008 David

PosterThere’s a public meeting on the future of Waltham’s Parish Church at 8pm on Monday 7th April. Details as follows:

Monday 7 April: 8pm

Public meeting: Set in Stone? The Future of Waltham Parish Church

Come and join the debate. Waltham Village Hall (H Hunt Room)

For further info: Tel 01664 464115. Or email

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Rev. Beverley’s update

March 18th, 2008 David

Dear residents of Waltham and friends of Waltham Church,

First of all I would like to say a big thank you for all the encouragement and concern that has come the way of the church, its congregation and its leaders. Your kindness has kept us going!

Of course there is a lot of shared anxiety too and I am sorry that due to the weather and the processing of the insurance claim it has taken so long to start work on securing the spire and starting the long rebuild. The latest I have heard is that scaffolding will start on Wednesday.

Read the rest of this entry »

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The case of the missing louvre

March 11th, 2008 David

Missing louvre windowWe hope this isn’t a sign that things are beginning to deteriorate on the spire. But one of the top-most wooden louvres has suddenly fallen out (see right). No-one’s sure whether it’s fallen inside the spire, or been blown out onto the roof.

I’m no expert, but I’d have thought that such a wide opening to the winds and rain could further weaken the structure.

Thanks, Alan, for the photo.

14 March: Village Heritage Warden Richard Snodin writes: “I was walking down High Street yesterday afternoon, when I noticed that you can now see daylight through the spire! – just a small gap… but noticeable.

“No doubt it is through the crack and the missing louvre window.”

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Scaffolding due this week

March 10th, 2008 David

I’ve just spoken to Rev. Beverley. Here’s the current situation;

The whole project is likely to cost over £100,000 and take around six months, during which time the church and grounds will continue to be closed off. Workmen will start erecting scaffolding later this week – weather permitting. This is going to be a very difficult project as the ground slopes away, and they will have to be careful not to damage any of the grave-stones. The scaffolding will sit on a wooden platform and completely encase the church tower. It’s likely to take two weeks to erect.

The church’s insurance policy had only recently been renewed. And Beverly says they were fortunate to negotiate very good renewal terms with a £500 excess on any single claim. They’ve already had three other claims since the policy was renewed: for lightening damage, stones thrown through the porch windows, and lead stolen from the roof.

With the earthquake damage, that amounts to £2000 in insurance excess payments. But a recent five-year inspection found other problems, including damage to the stone-lined chancel roof, all of which will cost £37,500 to repair.

Beverly and her team of helpers are already planning a series of fund-raising events to try and meet these costs. We’re also hoping to put a donation button on this site soon for anyone wanting to help.

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Cherry picker fails in heavy winds

March 8th, 2008 David

Cherry pickerWaltham High Street was cut off for most of Saturday as workmen used a £2,000-a-day mobile inspection platform – known as a ‘cherry-picker’ – to try and get close enough to wrap protective canvas bands around the the cracked spire.

Unfortunately the high winds meant that it was only possible to take photographs. A frustrating day for everyone – except the press photographers who were able to take some great aerial shots.

We’ll try and get hold of some of the photos to post on this website.

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