Groundworks at St Mary’s Church, Sutterton
We knew, before they even started, the first major work to be undertaken would be to install the drains from the north side of the church (the new kitchen) and from where the new lavatories are to be in the south transept. This meant laying waste pipes and water supply around the outside of the chancel and then down the south side of the building to the road and through it to the main sewer which is deep under far side of the road outside the Church. For it all to work properly there has to be a fall over the whole length of the installation. The point where the new drains meet the sewer the connection is almost 3 metres under the surface.
There have been difficulties. The route of the trench has had to be changed on a couple of times. As a result, from time to time the Church yard has resembled a battlefield, with trenches and all. Inevitably, some very old burials have been disturbed, but where this has happened the rules that govern these things have been followed carefully and respectfully.
Now we are happy to report that the foul drain is completely laid and ready for the completion of the facilities inside the building. Unfortunately, there is a little more disruption to be expected when Anglian Water connect the water supply; we don’t know when.
The new spaces within the south transept are taking shape with all the associated electrics and plumbing. We have already had a glimpse of the high quality finish that will, in time, mellow to compliment the oak that surrounds the organ.
Now they have been cleaned the three effigies are positioned in the Chancel resting on individual oak stands so they are about a foot above the floor. In fact, nothing will be fixed to the floor so they will be movable, so we will be able to change their positions if there is a need. The stands have been ordered.
So far this has been the re-pointing of the clerestory walls on the north side. As this is being written this is being completed and they are about to move to the south side. This re-pointing is necessary because before it was done, wind driven rain finds its way into the core of the wall and the water runs down through the wall, over the aisle rafters, into the building.
The impressive array of scaffolding is likely to be with us for most of the period of the project. The major work, on the north transept, is due to take place in September and October. This is to avoid disturbing the bat population. Please remember we have no choice over this; it is illegal to disrupt bats.