St Sylvester’s Church Repair Project
Although we have been severely hampered by Covid-19 we have also been hampered by the bats.
However, in the last few months there has been some general preparation for the contractors, Southwest Stonemasons Ltd, prior to their start on 4 January 2021.
We have started a St Sylvester’s Blog, the latest instalment of which is now live. This consists of photographs of the various actions:
- Removing the pews from the back of the Church
- Bringing mains water into the Church
- The pre-start meeting with Le Page Architects and the contractors Westcountry Stonemasons
Removing the pews
It is not permissible to remove anything from the Church without a ‘Faculty’ from the Exeter Diocese. We had to receive this before we applied for the Round 2 application to the Lottery.
Now that we have permission to start and the Architect and contractors will start work on 4 January, removing the pews became a very important action. Roger, Edward and Mark set to work. More photographs are on the blog.
Mains water to the Church
To install mains water into the Church took considerable enterprise – on behalf of Roger Tucker and Andrew Wakeham. They located the water main coming down the field on the right hand side as you go down towards the Church, and then laid a pipe from there round the top of the Church and down the west side and brought it in from the west of the Church towards the tower.
St Sylvester’s Church Repair Project
Usually members of the National Heritage Lottery Fund would visit a site to which they were proposing to offer a grant. However, as a result of Covid-19 this was not possible. We therefore had to create a presentation for the National Heritage Lottery Fund. We also had a video made by Mark Bolton. See both of these towards the end of this page.
Now that we have been successful in being offered the grant to restore St Sylvester’s Church, Chivelstone, we are continuing to be thwarted by the virus. It has been impossible to create any of the activities we proposed to do during our Round 2 phase.
The only thing that has been possible is the online Bat Chat Talk. This took place on Wednesday 23 September with Nigel Mortimer, the AONB bat expert, giving us a delightful talk with wonderful photographs – and giving us a much greater understanding of the life of bats. The session finished with Mark Jennings explaining about the needs for the repair of St Sylvester’s.
The Bat Chat talk can be found on the South Devon AONB’s YouTube.
You can also fill in the survey for us, if you will, at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/StSylvesters/.
On 17 June 2020 we were awarded a lottery grant to start restoring the Church, including cleaning the medieval pulpit (carved from a single piece of oak). We will also clear a few pews from the back of the Church, and install a toilet under the tower, to enable us to hold all the community events planned for the future. These will include more concerts, open days, bird and bat walks, a regular Mummers’ play and young people’s events.
Really important, we now have a car park funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Our partners in this project include the South Devon AONB, the South West Maritime Archaeological Group and the East Prawle History Society.
We shall be continuing to raise funds in support of the restoration. We would like to be able to reveal all the wall paintings and preserve them for the future.
Click the links below to the video created by Mark Bolton and the presentation created by the PSC.
Chivelstone Church video for the Lottery meeting Mark Bolton’s video: press the back arrow at the top left of the screen to return to this page.
Presentation for the Lottery Zoom meeting Again press the back arrow at the top left of the screen to return to this page.
You can see the individual photographs of the damage existing to the church at Damage to the Church.
If you are interested in finding out more about the work the Project Steering Committee needed to create the Activity Plan please click here. For general information regarding the Development Phase of Round 2 of our grant please click here.