The best way to avoid having to raise large sums of money for repairs to your building is to ensure that routine maintenance is properly carried out. Many major problems, particularly those caused by water penetration, can be avoided if gutters are kept clear and minor repairs are identified and dealt with promptly. And because damp walls take longer to warm up, keeping your building dry can help to reduce fuel bills.
Specific Concerns for Maintenance and Repair
Fire prevention advice Following the tragic incident at St Andrews Church in Thursby, where suspected arsonists caused significant damage to the church, a briefingnote on church fire prevention has been provided by Craig Drinkald, Fire Protection Manager of Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service. He is contactable for faith communities on 01228 815344 or 07901 573893.
Floods Historic buildings also need time to recover as they need to dry out slowly and have plenty of ventilation in order to avoid damage to their fabric. For more information, please look at English Heritage's guidance on Flooding and Historic Buildings.
Lightning Conductors If you are considering installing a lightning conductor, you must carry out a risk assessment. Ecclesiastical Insurance Group do not ask that a church has a conductor. If a church has been there for centuries and hasn't been hit by lightning; you need to consider what, if anything has changed that makes you think it is more likely to be struct. When testing for resistance, the varying conditions of the ground can change the results, eg the wetter the ground, the lower the resistance will be, therefore lightning conductor tests should take place every 11 or 13 months so that the seasons change over time. See English Heritage's Guidance on Lightning Conductors. And the presentation given by English Heritage's advisor on lightning conductors at the Cumbria Church Architects and Surveyors Network event, July 2011.
Lighting English Heritage has guidance on external lighting and guidance on their conservation principles. Further advice on lighting can be obtained from English Heritage’s regional office: 0161 242 1400. Their Senior Buildings Services Engineer, Geraldine O'Farrell, spoke about lighting at the July 2011 Cumbrian Church Architects and Surveyor's network meeting. An overview of her talk can be found here.
Organs Information can be found here about how to care for and repair your organ including dealing with asbestos and heating, where to find specialist advice and funds and disposing of organs.
Graveyard Monuments English Heritage's guidance 'Caring for Historic Graveyard and Cemetary Monuments' gives advice on recording the condition of gravestones and memorials, advice on safety and legislation as well as practical technical guidance.
Scaffolding safety Contract managers are responsible for safety of scaffold. CTfC via the Cumbria Church Architects and Surveyors Network has downloadable HSE guidance and advice. See notes of the December 2011 meeting within professional help.