Churchwardens’ Annual Fabric Report

This annual report is that which the Wardens, in consultation with the priest-in-charge, must make to the PCC at the meeting before the Annual General Meeting and then, with any amendments agreed by the PCC, to the Annual Meeting to comply with the provisions of the Care of Churches and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure of 1991. Its required content has been set out in previous reports and need not therefore be repeated in full, but it should have regard to an inspection undertaken or arranged by the Wardens and include any action taken or proposed, to implement the recommendations of the church’s Inspection Architect as a result of his Quinquennial Report. 

Sue Mellor retired as a Churchwarden, in April 2016. There is currently one churchwarden. Consequently, a Fabric Committee, a sub-committee of the PCC, was established under the chairmanship of the Warden. It has completed a baseline survey of the fabric of the church and churchyard, which will form the basis for an on-going maintenance plan.  St Peter’s has joined a Kent Estuary Maintenance Co-operative, under the guidance of the SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) Maintenance Co-operative project, which will seek to share resources and expertise across the KE. We have care of the kit box which was supplied free of charge.

Storm Desmond in December 2015 caused some damage to the clock motor and water found its way in through the louvres in the tower, which flooded the ringing chamber. A scheme to prevent water blowing in through the louvres has been designed in conjunction with the Church Architect and it is planned that the work will be carried out in early 2017.

Quinquennial Report

The latest quinquennial inspection was undertaken in 2015 and the report received in the autumn of 2015.  The PCC has been addressing the recommendations for repair/renovation.  The most urgent of these was the replacement of the lead on the south aisle roof.  The PCC applied for a grant to cover this work but was unsuccessful.  The Church Architect recommended that the roof be patched as a temporary measure and this work has been completed by Shaun Atkinson.

The PCC is considering other works which have been recommended, including the north side gutters and rainwater pipes, replacing cement mortar on the north and south-east side and seeking funding for the complete project.  This may include any work to improve access for people with disabilities. 

Other Building Related Works undertaken in the year.

North Aisle

The building work was undertaken by Cox and Allen.

The joinery work was completed by Chris Hutchinson, who also made the step for the eagle lectern.

The carpet was fitted by Kendal Quality Carpets.

Levens Chapel

The blue carpet, which was a cast-off from Levens Hall, was replaced to match the carpet in the north aisle.


The motor of the clock was damaged as a result of Storm Desmond in December 2015. It was repaired by Cumbria Clocks and serviced at the same time.

The Old School

Refurbishment of the Old School began in 2016, under the leadership of Celia Wilkinson. 

Repairs and Restoration

The Eagle lectern was made safe and refurbished by Jeremy Hall of Staveley, thanks to a generous donation by a member of the congregation. It is now used regularly for readings and prayers.

The AV system has been adjusted so that connecting the leads is much easier and it is possible to use an iPad from the area of the High Altar.

Churchyard Related Works

There have been two organised working parties throughout the year which have again focussed on clearing the ivy from the walls of the church and the perimeter walls of the churchyard. 

Martin Tyson carried out the refurbishment of the paths round the church and table tombs, as recommended in the Quinquennial Report.  We received a grant from The Leasgill Quarry Trust for the materials.

The churchyard mowing/tidying has been undertaken by Marcus Knipe and Martin Tyson.

Clearing of the gutters and downspouts has been undertaken by George Handley and Martin Tyson.

Service Reports and Inspections

The Churchwarden, assisted by George Handley, ensures a regular review of equipment and machinery within the church and the implementation of routine service requirements. In the last year, this has included:

  • Boiler and Pump: serviced by Les Chaplow of Milnthorpe
  • Organ: tuned twice this year by Derek Matthews
  • Piano: tuned by Simon Wroe
  • Bells: having considered the extensive report on the condition of the bell frame the PCC has taken the advice of the Tower Captain and will pursue this when circumstances allow.

Safety Reports

  • Fire Extinguishers: have been checked and the certificate of inspection issued. 
  • Lightning Conductor: serviced by Lightning Protection Service.
  • Font: The restrictions on lifting remain. The only people to lift the cover are Pat Radcliffe (for flowers), George Handley, Martin Fletcher and the Warden.

In Conclusion

In addition to the preparation and presentation of this report, the Wardens are also required to maintain a full terrier of all the lands belonging to the church and a full inventory of all the articles belonging to it as well as a log book noting all the alterations, additions and repairs. As previously reported, following the re-writing and updating of these documents in 2002, the final text was produced on computer and recorded on disc to assist with the keeping of these documents up-to-date. A hard copy is kept and can be made available for inspection by the PCC if required. So far as the Warden is aware, the contents of these documents are accurate.

To the best of our knowledge, this report is an up-to-date assessment of St Peter’s Church and its churchyard.

The Warden should like to record her thanks to all who have given of their time so generously to help maintain the fabric of the building and its environs. She would also like to express her gratitude to all the past Wardens and Sidespeople who have assisted her at services and to the bell ringers who call us to worship so joyously.  All this forms part of our work and witness in the community.

Sue Mellor (April 2016) and Jill Shaw