The project is now complete. Visit us to see the details and architecture.
Our church at Baldersby has a grade 1 listing and is on Heritage England’s list of ” buildings at risk” hence we are eligible for funding for renovations.
As you drive past St James you will see that it is clothed in scaffolding as work is now underway.  Starting at floor level and working up, the new soakaways and associated drainage have been installed. This was carried out very tidily and the grass relaid. The Chancel and Nave gutters and downpipes have been taken away for repairs and the carpenters are repairing the woodwork that supports the gutters.  Our lottery funding  covers the two high roofs the chancel and nave and associated rainwater goods.  Work will commence on Monday 16th January to remove the 24,000 tiles on both these roofs and replace them with handcut tiles as were originally installed by Butterfield ( the two roofs had been retiled in the 50/60’s to a lower specification).
As part of this scheme the chancel window has been removed for repairs to the stained glass and surrounding stonework. The excellent scaffolding has allowed a close inspection of other windows and areas of stonework which have been photographed and noted (that is a story for another day!)

We are developing our website and church guide book as part of our required activity plan and Peter Farmer, a professional photographer, has photographed the interior of the church.  These photos were taken over three days and are a revelation, with professional lighting, the interior looks stunning. They will be appearing on our website in due course and will be a resource for many years for publicity and when applying for funding.
To date the work is on time and budget. Construction work is due to finish on 30th April, 2017 and completed in all aspects by 30th June, 2017.  If you wondered why this work is being carried out in winter it is to avoid disturbing any bats who may choose to nest in the roof during the late spring and summer.
When I read this through it all sounds very organised and efficient.  It is our first application to the Heritage Lottery for funding and as complete rookies it has required much dedication, bewilderment at the information required and hard work by members of the PCC to get this far and we should be proud of our efforts.

Position on 29th November 2016.

Great news! After three years of hard work we have been granted funding to replace the Nave and Chancel roofs on the church and also the rainwater gutters and soakaways. Our grant is £184,200 and work is commencing. The soakaways will be renewed before Christmas and a start made on the roof in the New Year. Hopefully it will all be finished by June 2017.  We are grateful to all lottery players who are helping to restore our unique building.  This is Phase 2 of ongoing work on the church, Phase1 being the Restoration of the Tower, several years ago.  Phase 3 will be the lower roof as and when funding becomes available and Phase 4 will be interior works.

Ensuring St James Church is in good condition is vital so that it will remain a community asset for use by future generations.  The PCC is determined in the short term that the exterior is waterproof and therefore protects the beautiful interior.

As well as work on the roof a small part of the grant is to be spent on Interpretation Boards and Leaflets for visitors to the church.  It is open every day and attracts many tourists so these are very important.

We are also required to involve the local community and in particular our local schools in projects discovering the history of the church building and tracing the history of brave members of the forces who are remembered on our war memorial. Next year this research will be on display in church so that everyone can appreciate the heritage of our special building.

Our thanks go to everyone who is involved. It is no mean feat, as a small community, attempting to restore one of the North of England’s finest Victorian churches.

New information and pictures will be added as work progresses.

Update for 17th March.

After the difficulties with Lowery Roofing who went unexpectedly into liquidation, Ranson Roofing has “stepped up to the plate”. The nave roof will be completed by the end of next week, 24 March, and work, on present planning, will begin on the Chancel Roof the following Monday.

The skyline of the church has been improved with the erection of a new finial cross on the nave roof .
The old cross had partially disintegrated and was removed some five years ago as it constituted a health and safety hazard. The new cross , the handiwork of Gary Chapman, GPM (Ripon) was put in place on 14 March.




Gary Chapman and his Cross.


Gary Chapman discussing the way forward

with the Church Architect , Sebastian Rowe.






Work in progress on the Nave Roof,  North Side.







Rotting Rafters                                                                   Pew Protection                                                                  Beware falling Masonry





Unloading tiles in Wide Howe Lane             Gary Chapman pointing the West Window      The GPM(Ripon) Team, Matt , Gary                                                                                                                                                                      Payne  and  Gary Chapman.





The start of the repair and conservation work on the church roofs began on 20 November 2016.   Some 26 Weeks, 30,000 tiles ,60,000 nails and several hundred yards of roof laths later, the repair and conservation work , supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has now been completed. On 12 May, the PCC took its church back, which had been  closed  for Health and Safety reasons on 10 February 2017, a period of 85 days. Such a course of action was unexpected and research of the church records indicate that the church has never before been closed for services since it was built in 1857.

The project is not over, and the Activity Plan continues with further work required on the guide book, interpretation boards, and the War Memorial project. The project completion date is on 31 July 2017, some four years after the PCC first applied  for a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant.

This is about the duration  of the First World War – a war raging 100 years ago in which ten young men in the Parish gave their lives.