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A key aim of the Friends of Hamsey is the restoration of the church itself. An inspection of the church highlighted a growing damp problem due to a number of causes, which we have been addressing in a phased manner.

In 2017, as Phase 1, we tackled the most urgent need to re-slate the Horsham Stone and clay tile roof of the Nave. Those works also revealed serious failures in the roof structure itself, which were rectified.  Costs for all works were some £63,000, half of which was covered by a grant from the government LPOW Roof Repair Fund and the rest from donations and funds raised by the Friends.

Last year, in Phase 2, we replaced the render on the south walls of the church.  This had come ‘off key’ in many places, while in others it had been repaired with non-breathable cement, leading to water ingress which could not then escape naturally.  The new render now matches the composition of that on the north walls, which was in much better condition. Several leaking windows were also reglazed, and two east end buttresses repointed where necessary. Our Phase 2 costs were some £43,000 (excl. VAT which was recoverable), £15,000 from donations and funds raised by the Friends, and the rest from a generous grant from a local family trust.

We are now raising funds for Phase 3 – Tower Repointing and Stonework Repairs, and Internal Redecorating. The tower suffers both from failed pointing and again from replacement pointing made of non-breathable cement mortar, rather than the necessary lime mortar, as originally used; this must be replaced and some stonework repaired. When the damp issues have been addressed it will be possible to go ahead with internal redecorating. This, too, will need to be tightly controlled so as not to disturb fragments of wall paintings. Phase 3 costs are expected to be some £50,000 (excl. VAT) and these funds must be secured before we can start the work.

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