Bainton St. Mary Church Spire

Residents and passers-by in Bainton might have noticed the scaffolding and ladders clinging to the top of St. Mary’s Church spire.  These have been put there by steeplejacks who are taking down and rebuilding the spire and restoring the historic weathervane.  The damage to the spire was caused by the weathervane becoming rusty and ceasing to rotate in the wind.  In fact in a high wind it would rock to and fro acting as a lever on top of the spire dislodging stone carvings and other masonry causing damage to chancel roof. 

This problem was pointed out to the Parochial Church Council (PCC) by their architect Julian Limintani after carrying out the Quinquennial inspection in 2015 and it was estimated to cost up to £25,000 to put right.  St.Mary’s is an important Grade 1 listed building, parts of which date back to mid 13th century and the PCC has a duty of care to maintain the fabric of the building.  Faced with this considerable cost many applications for grants were submitted earlier this year.  So far £16,000 funding has been obtained and it is hoped that this might reach up to £20,000 when all applications have been considered. About £6,000 has already been paid last year from PCC funds to make the spire safe.

The restoration is being carried out by Cedar Steeplejacks (Midlands) Ltd based in Grantham.  Work started in early September and it is hoped that it will be finished before the winter weather sets in.

Bainton St Mary PCC acknowledge the most generous support from the charities and trusts whose grants have enabled the work on the spire to commence.  Grant have so far been received from the following sources:

•    The Wolfson Foundation in association with Church Care
•    Cambridge Historic Churches Trust (CHCT)
•    The Jack Patson Charitable Trust
•    All Churches Trust

The CHCT’s main source of income is from sponsorship raised by their annual “Ride, Drive and Stride” and for many years the late Mary Birkbeck could be seen each year peddling through the region on her bicycle in support of the CHTC.  Mary B would have been delighted to know that the church she attended for over 50 years is now a beneficiary! “Palma non sine pulvere” – no reward without effort!

Ancient churches such as ours are a crucial part of our English heritage and the financial support provided by these charities enable the fabric of these marvellous buildings to be maintained for the use of our communities today and for future generations.

John Wreford : Churchwarden :  St Mary’s, Bainton