The chancel repair project has proved to be particularly difficult to undertake due to the impracticality of determining the extent of the decay in the roof timbers and the fragility of the top of the east wall until high level access was provided. There was insufficient funding arranged to cover the cost of the necessary additional repairs so the project had to be halted at a safe intermediate stage with the roof and east wall structurally sound and watertight and the priority work on the east window completed. The treatment of the exterior of the chancel walls has only been partly executed, the interior work is still to be done and equipment to be installed to monitor any future movements in the walls. The chancel is not currently in use and remains separated from the crossing by the temporary screen.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has now made us a further major grant towards the cost of completing this project. If all goes to plan it should be just possible to finish the work in 2017.
The substantial assistance provided to St Mary’s by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Friends of St Mary’s is noted with gratitude. Since 2007 the HLF (partly through English Heritage) will have granted us about £600,000 for the repairs to the roofs and chancel, and the Friends will have raised over £250,000 for these projects together with the 2007 reordering and the new chairs. We also gratefully acknowledge receiving more than £50,000 from Buckinghamshire Historic Churches Trust and other smaller charities.
Previous repair projects include:
2007-2009 Redecoration and installation of servery and toilet
2010-2012 Repair of south aisle and transept roofs
2012 Replacement of nave chairs
2013-2015 Repair of nave and north transept roofs
2013-2015 Remodelling of west entrance and nave dais installation
2013-2016 Repair of chancel roof and walls/window Part I