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700 year-old resident in surprisingly good health

Despite being built back in the 14th century, St Helena's Church has recently completed a comprehensive "health check” (official name Quinquennial Inspection Report) and it suggests that despite her age, she is in surprisingly good condition.

The inspection was overseen by expert chartered surveyor, Mark Goodwill-Hodgson and his recently-issued report details urgent actions, through to desirable actions, giving a clear set of priorities for the church which benefitted from major renovations in 1878.

Thankfully, the “urgent actions” are few and minor – ranging from clearing weeds from the guttering, parapets and gullies, to replacing broken window-panes and tightening a loose handrail.

The list of “necessary actions” is far lengthier but hopefully just as achievable. A number of roof tiles need replacing, corroded ironworks, conservation of the sundial, eroded stonework repairs, damp in the kitchen and boiler-room along with minor decorations, along with asbestos, fire-risk and lightning conductor tests all making the list.

The “desirable list” includes maintenance of the boundary wall, attending to stonework defects and attention to a number of floor tiles.

All-in-all, this seems to suggest that St Helena’s is in reasonably good condition, especially for her age. Work has been instigated and significant progress has already been made.

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