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Gradients and Gravel

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Week 8 – report of work for disabled access, toilet and kitchen 25th April – 29th April

Progress was made both inside and outside of the church this week. The following has been achieved during the five working days of the week:

✔ Having now repositioned the front steps it was clear that all of the stone slabs leading from the gates to the porch will need to be lifted and re-laid higher to accommodate the new landing level by the gate posts and incline slightly up to the porch such that there will be no step to negotiate when entering the porch.

Jon and Doug carefully lifted each stone slab, marked them with a letter and a plan made of their positions so that they could be re-laid in exactly the same order.

Jon and Doug barrowed Type 1 stone chippings from a delivery by the roadside and laid to form a slight gradient up to the porch threshold. A laser was used to confirm the incline angle. The gravel was finally compressed with a vibrating plate before the slabs will be relaid next week.

✔ The remainder of the gravel was deposited on the ramp and again compacted ready for the slabs to be laid on top.

✔ Meanwhile, inside the church, Will inserted a damp proof membrane in the lift well before the sub floor was laid. A laser was used to confirm the precise depth such that reclaimed tiles could be laid to match the existing floor level, on top of a lime screed. A plastic conduit was first positioned adjacent to the existing church wall to carry the electric cables that are necessary for the lift and to take power to the lights on the ramp outside.

Once the mix had cured, Will laid new concrete blocks to form the retaining walls around
the lift enclosure.

✔ Armoured electric cable was threaded through a small, drilled hole in the stone wall adjacent to the steps up to the parvis room, to take the wire through the porch to the outside. The cable will be hidden in a groove cut into the bottom of the wall in the porch and then secured in place with lime mortar. At the same time, the flaking render on the lower walls of the porch will be removed and re-skimmed with lime mortar.

Although not in the original specification, this is one of the additional jobs that will make a tremendous improvement to the fabric and aesthetics of the church. Similar additional work will be undertaken in the kitchen area where the walls are in very poor condition.

Discussions were had regarding the plumbing and supply of hot water to both the kitchen sink and hand basin in the toilet. Derek has kindly agreed to source all the plumbing fittings and we hope to begin the installation next week. The main water heater was fixed in position ready for enclosing in one of the kitchen cupboards that are to be delivered on Tuesday next week.

Jacko, the plasterer who lives in the village, came on Thursday to inspect the plasterboard that Derek and myself had fixed onto the interior of the toilet cubicle stud work. Not being builders by trade, we were both relieved to hear him comment that he had ‘seen much worse’!

Jacko hopes to skim the walls and ceilings next Saturday, after which, the final electrical fix can take place that will include securing the switches, sockets, alarm cord, ventilator and water heater over the basin.

Access to the church will continue to be closed during the week while internal work continues, but evensong will still take place on Sunday.

John Pinch
29 April 2022

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