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Page created 21 June 2017

St Denis East Hatley:
the next chapter

The Friends of Friendless Churches (FoFC), the new owners of St Denis' church, East Hatley, has made a planning application to replace the windows in the nave, replace the north door and make internal (including the floor) and external repairs (see our Planning page).

At the Hatley Parish Council's AGM on 16 May 2017, FoFC's Richard Halsey thanked all who have been involved with the transfer, including the key holder, those who have contributed financially and those who help to maintain the grounds.

He said the surveyor's reports have been completed, the restoration work is out for tender and the Trustees will review the tender responses at their next meeting in June.

The main aim is to make the nave usable.  Proposed work includes reglazing the windows in the nave with diamond-shaped glazing similar to those in Waresley church.

A floor will be laid but the section of the old floor timber will be retained as it originates from the church's mediaeval roof.  There will be a new door to the vestry but no further work is planned for the vestry at this time; measurements are to be taken and designs made for the chancel floor and the east window, matching William Butterfield's original design of around 1870.

The stained glass of the same date has been identified in The London Stained Glass Repository.  This could be used for an east window in the second phase of the renovation.

The question of public access and types of events that might be held will be considered in due course.

The FoFC would like to display the history of the church to include explanations of how it was built, keeping an area of the wall exposed to illustrate this.  There is a list of documents in Downing College about the history which could be shown.

A new lock is needed for the south door, which will once again become the main door.  No power will be installed – candles or a generator would be used when necessary.

They hope to complete the renovation work by the end of this summer, but will have to wait until the bats have vacated before works can start.

Richard confirmed the Trustees are seeking financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, although its scheme ends this summer.  The FoFC can also approach the Big Lottery Fund but welcomes other suggestions on how funds might be raised.

He was asked whether FoFC owns and maintains only the building or also the grounds – he confirmed it is just the building; the grounds and graveyard are owned by the Gamlingay Parochial Church Council.

He was also asked whether pews and other church furniture might be introduced – he said two rows of pews may be introduced of the Butterfield design as seen in the churches of Waresley and Tadlow.

Questions were raised regarding visitors to the site.  He said it is possible the church will be open to the public on set days and for specific events.  FoFC can provide guidance regarding access and parking details on their website to ensure minimal impact on residents.

The date for a handover ceremony will be discussed at the Trustees' meeting in June and the Parish Council will be contacted.

Click on the pictures below for larger images.

St Denis, East Hatley, Cambridgeshire.

▲  St Denis' church, East Hatley, Cambridgeshire, early October 2011.

St Denis, East Hatley, Cambridgeshire - in 2003 beore the ivy was removed and building made into a safe shell.

▲  St Denis' in 2003 before the ivy was removed and the building made into a safe shell in 2005 / 2006.

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