St. Cuthbert's Roof Appeal
The Church Roof Report
The church roof was found to be in need of major refurbishment following the architect's Quinquennial report in 2013. Patch repairs were carried out to halt the ingress of water through the roof and these have, fortunately, held up well, reducing some of our initial urgency. And this is just as well, because we could not embark on a major capital project (£200,000) without the money to pay for it.
We approached many grant award bodies, chiefly the Heritage Lottery Fund, but have not been successful in gaining any significant help. This is disappointing on many levels. We are a vibrant church and currently bucking the trend of dwindling congregations. Year on year, we are maintaining the various congregations and have been able to welcome new families and individuals to church and are pleased that they have become regular attenders. The secular use of the buildings is also being maintained. And there seems to lie the problem. It has been suggested that we are too successful! This is nonsense. Even with a full church, and a full event diary, we cannot raise the money required and if the roof is to be replaced, we need the grant bodies to look more favourably upon the church of St Cuthbert’s in Carlisle.
For our part, we have not been idle. The congregation has supported many social events, local businesses have helped and the Crown Court hosted an event which alone raise over £7,500. The effort of many thus far has raised nearly £50,000. But still we cannot contract for a new roof unless we are sure of a substantial grant.
We will be applying, for the second time, for a grant from the Church Roof and Gutters fund, established by the church and the government and managed by the Heritage Lottery Fund. This application will be made in November 2015, but it will be Spring 2016 before a result is known. In the meantime we will continue to manage the leaks and slow down as best we can the ingress of water. A particularly vulnerable area above the North side gallery is now drying out and it is hoped that the ceiling, which had become very wet, will not need replacing. The roof timber is also under attack from the water and we are doing what we can to seal leaks and try to prevent wood rot. However, at best, these efforts are only delaying the inevitable total failure of the roof. So, let us hope, and pray for a permanent solution. A new roof for such a valuable, historic building, is surely worth heritage funding.
You can help by supporting all of our fund raising efforts. or, buy a slate. For £5, you will get a certificate of (nominal!) ownership. Please telephone Nigel for details (012278 520190) or pick up a form in church.