In February 2020 the London Diocese announced it had received funding of getting on for half a million pounds from Historic England to carry out urgent repairs to the church, starting with the aisle roofs.  You can read the announcement on the Diocese website, here.  Of course this is far from the estimated £6 million for a complete restoration, but additional funding is being sought from other sources, in particular the National Lottery Fund, and the Diocese sound fairly confident that this will materialise.

Kevin Rogers, Head of London Diocese Parish Property Support, is quoted as saying:

"We are hugely encouraged by Historic England's financial and technical support for the initial phase of critical repair.  This is the first key step to bringing Sir Charles Barry's magnificent building back into public benefit."

Danny Burns on Roof CroppedShortly afterwards. residents of the Square were delighted to receive this letter from Danny Burns (pictured) Site Manager with Fullers Builders Ltd, announcing that Fullers had been awarded the contract to carry out the repairs.


Fullers LogoFullers Awards


Fullers is a specialist building company established in 1872 and managed by the same Fullers family throughout their 150 year history.  They "specialise in the conservation, repair and restoration of buildings of historic interest" and have a reputation for "sympathetic repairs and high quality building conservation and repair." - sounds like just what we need!  Check out their website, here - its very encouraging, with beautiful artwork (puts our website to shame!).  The pictures of past projects are particularly interesting.  Danny has worked on a couple of churches - St Michaels and All Angels, Blackheath, and especially St Michaels, Highgate - whose interiors look just like how Holy Trinity must have been in its heyday - see below.


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Sure enough, scaffolding started going up at the end of February and within a few days the whole of the South aisle was enscased in sheeting, shuttering and a temporary roof.  Apparently the South aisle was on the point of collapse due to rain damage.  This will be tackled first, then the North aisle, then the West turrets, over an 18 week period according to Danny's letter (but see below!).  Residents were for a couple of days baffled to observe vast quantities of timber being delivered to the church but it transpired that this was nothing to do with the repairs - apparently the church is being used as a temporary depot for supplies to other churches in the area.

Then Coronavirus struck!!

The first sign was that painting of the shuttering (in an attractive shade of blue) stopped half way through.  Then all work ceased at the beginning of March.  Just before it did, we took up Danny's kind offer to contact him and he explained briefly what was going on and reiterated his willingness to keep us informed of progress if and when the work resumes (and he's been true to his word as you'll see in the next blog post!).  However, the need to maintain social distancing on the site means that the work will take longer than expected - Danny reckons two months for the South aisle alone,

The letter from Fullers stated "we will make every endeavour to avoid disrupting daily life in the Square".  Based on what we saw before lockdown, I (Nick) have been impressed with what I've seen of their work - as promised, there has been minimal disruption for residents and the site has remained very neat and tidy.  But feel free to add your own comments, questions or observations via "Add Comments" below.