Hopefully, by the time you read this, the scaffolding is up at St Thomas's. This is a small victory. Our Victorian ancestors, in their great wisdom, decided to install some highly ornate cast-iron guttering to the church – the kind that warms the hearts of Victoriana aficionados, but leaves the PCC in a state of despair. You see, replacing the guttering like-for-like would cost a fortune. And replacing it is our priority – for years the church has been suffering from moisture in the north wall.
The good news is that, after much to-ing and fro-ing, we have now received permission to install new guttering in much more sensible plain black aluminium. Hence the scaffolding.
St Thomas's church dates back to the 12th century. I do wonder: What if those walls could talk? So many generations of Osbaldwick residents have prayed, celebrated, mourned and worshipped here. And the doors are still open, every day of the year. All are welcome. We are only custodians of what we have received. Our dear ancestors did all they could to keep their church open. God blessed their efforts.
It now falls on us to preserve the fabric of the church. We do so to honour those who came before us, to serve our community today, and to bless those who come will after us.
Once the walls have dried out properly, we will begin extensive re-decorating work. To future-proof the building, we are also considering installing solar PV panels and low-carbon heating. And no, none of this is cheap. We are very grateful for funds received from the Ward Committee and the John Straker’s Charity to help with the guttering. The rest of the money is provided solely by the generosity of our parishioners.
Come and join our meeting on Monday 23rd January and watch this space for our restoration appeal later this year - all help will be gratefully received!
Love and prayers