In September 2016, a key part of our Church Hall, the Breukelman Room, suffered a flood. Several months later, mercifully just before work was beginning on its redecoration, it experienced a second one. A more secure redesign of its flat roof was clearly necessary. In parallel, we received professional advice that the old cedar shingles on the pitched roof of the main hall also needed replacing as their thirty year life had been exceeded. Some apparent damage to them was clearly identified and we were recommended to replace them within three years. Accordingly in the summer of 2017, an appeal was launched. By August, it had achieved a significant response, but it has never been closed, primarily because although the total estimated cost was covered by outright gifts and by interest free loans, it was felt that we still needed to minimise the drain on our funds which future staged reimbursement of these loans will necessitate.
Currently we have received donations which, including Gift Aid, amount to some 60% of the likely cost, including a contingency, with five year loan pledges covering the remainder. We have also received some loans which are helping us to fund the temporary cost of VAT which we hope to recover from a government grant scheme available to us as a listed place of worship.
Avonside, our contractor, started work in November 2017. Inevitably further problems cannot be ruled out, but we hope that the work on the roofs will be completed by the end of February 2018, which will then enable the refit of the Breukelman Room to proceed.
We very much regret the inconvenience this work may be causing, particularly due to the loss of the steps and walkway from the car park. However the hall remains in full use with the exception still of the Breukelman Room. The appeal for outright gifts remains open and the details can be found in the attached Leaflet & Response Form.