It seems a while since the roof collapsed at St Helen’s church. The better news the repairs might be finally started in early February 2022.
The various official fences have been jumped, ravines crossed and tunnels travelled. In the grand ecclesiastical maze of rules, regulations and committees approval is very close to completion both in design and finance.
St Helen’s achieved an almost perfect ‘awkward’ score in gaining project approval and finance clearance. As a grade I listed building the guys from English Heritage needed a say, as did Historical Britain. And there’s more, being a church the diocese needed a look and because it is an operational church currently without an official vicar the regional financial committee had to put a tick in the right box to start.
The whole process estimated to cost circa £140,000 was also akin to a formula 1 racing car start. Every car car in the race has to be officially scrutinised before leaving for the starting grid. Every car had to be in the right – and precise location. The race officials have to clear everything on their check list for the starter and a series of five lights appear in sequence across the rack. Then rather weirdly as if to prove that even such a technical event has its foibles – the race starts when the lights go out!
St Helen’s roof repair is on the start line. The five red lights are on and the engines are reving. We just probably now need to wait until February 2022 for the starter to switch the lights ‘out’ and the roof repair can get underway. Even the contractor is anxiously awaiting the start and by May the church may, could, should reopen its doors.