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  • Writer's pictureRuth

Topping Good Show!

Stoke Lacy church renovation
Rev. Clive Evans, Vernon Amor and Mike Gammon show off to the community

Not even Storm Freya could blow the smiles off these faces at Stoke Lacy’s Church Topping Out ceremony last week. Parishioners donned their warmest layers to celebrate at the ceremony for the completion of the renovation work on the spire of St Peter’s and St Paul’s Church.

Vernon Amor, MD of Wye Valley Brewery, was the guest of honour thanks to the brewery’s generous donation towards the regilding of the weather-vane. Vernon toured the site to inspect the great work on the new beautifully shingled spire and to see the improvements inside the bell tower.

stoke lacy church renovation of weathervane and spire
Janet Ivison, Vernon Amor and Daphne Montandon admire the regilding work

While only the Reverend Clive Evans and Stoke Lacy Heritage Lead, John Davies, were brave (foolhardy) enough to go all the way up, parishioners joined them on the first stage of the scaffolding. Among the brave first base mountaineers were Janet Parker (83 years) and Colin Simmonds (78 years). Previously the village’s own Daphne Montandon (80 years) went all the way up with a couple of very impressed builders.

Stoke Lacy PCC up the church tower
Stoke Lacy PCC go to first base

Clive and John were well supported by Mike Gammon and his building team to ensure the camera, the bird and the extra, but essential, step ladder got to the top safely. Not sure if it was the weather conditions but some very special glue was needed to ensure the bird didn’t get blown away before the final important photograph.

Weathervane refurbishment Stoke Lacy church renovation
Reverend Clive Evans Tops Out

It was an amazing moment for the SLHP team. Twelve months ago a broken church. Now, one HLF grant and a hugely successful fund-raising effort later, a brand new refurbished spire and tower. John Davies said “We are ecstatic that this first phase of the project has gone so smoothly and so quickly”. Reverend Clive praised Mike Gammon and his team for being so efficient and for being such great fun to work with. He said, “The getting up was fine, it was the staying up(right) which was the problem! Cold Mad March gales were blowing but four of us, Mike and Malcolm our builders, John Davies and I managed to do the biz. The cockerel looks fantastic and not surprisingly, once in position, immediately swung into action: Strong winds from the SW! It was a fitting way to crown all the excellent work which Mike and his team have been doing: a wonderful job! Well done and thank you.”

Despite the shiny new weather-vane and smart shingles the project is nowhere near completion as the second phase on the North roof commences next week. Look out for details of the next big fundraiser the Morgan 110th festival on 6th July.

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