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 The Leaking Tower of St George
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Fr John
Advanced Member

349 Posts

Posted - 29/02/2012 :  12:14:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
St George's Church was built in 1836 and has served the people of this town faithfully from that day to this. I can't imagine there is anyone in Tredegar who doesn't know someone who's been baptised, married or burried from here. We are a focal point for the community, raising money for charities, and being used by community choirs, youth groups, pensioners and young families, as well as being a place of Worship.

I have been Vicar of St George for twelve years and I love serving the people of this town.

Some of you may have noticed the scaffolding round the tower at St George's Church. Like many buildings in Tredegar the church has suffered from severe winter frosts over the last couple of years.

The stonework around some of the church tower arches is dangerous. We have had to scaffold the tower to make the entrance to the church safe.

Repair works will begin in March, and the church is facing an estimated bill of 30,000 just to make the tower safe.

This repair work is likely to be phase one of a much bigger restoration appeal to try and improve the building. At the moment our priority is to make the buiding safe.

So.......

If you'd like to support your local church, here's some things you can do:

  • Think imaginatively about how you could be involved in helping us raise the 30,000 needed.
  • Make a donation to St George's Church Restoration Appeal.
  • Tell your friends and family about the Appeal we have launched.
  • Get involved with the life and the community of St George's Church.

I'm an eternal optimist, and I know how much St George's is valued by many people in our town. If you'd like to be involved in fundraising for this appeal you can contact me via this forum.

I'll post updates on the fundraising as we make progress. Here's the first:

So far we've raised 1100 (and we only launched the appeal last week.)

1100 down - 28900 to go.



GOM
Super Member

United Kingdom
3786 Posts

Posted - 29/02/2012 :  15:08:12 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I can guess this comment will go down like a led balloon with most people but it never ceases to amaze me how one of the richest institutes in the land largest land owners and property owners can plead such poverty.

Sorry if this offends anyone its just my opinion.

I hope you raise the money to save to building, as I do not like to see any good worth while building go to ruin no matter what its used for.


the

G.O.M.

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Fr John
Advanced Member

349 Posts

Posted - 29/02/2012 :  17:33:52 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good to see you're true to form GOM - and no, your comment hasn't gone down like a lead balloon. I understand that an open forum will attract all sorts of responses. Some positive - some negative. I'm OK with that.

For information purposes: St George's belongs to the Church in Wales not the Church of England. The Church in Wales publishes accounts which are freely available on thier website.

Edited by - Fr John on 29/02/2012 17:34:22
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GOM
Super Member

United Kingdom
3786 Posts

Posted - 29/02/2012 :  18:54:26 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for your reply.

Im sure (just having had a very quick look at some of the accounts) that there are many private companies that would be quite happy if there accounts looked simalar.




The

G.O.M.

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fredd
Super Member

6216 Posts

Posted - 29/02/2012 :  20:43:26 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What about the Charity shop Donations .. ? , Apparently they were Very Successful ..?
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Fr John
Advanced Member

349 Posts

Posted - 29/02/2012 :  21:27:24 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If only it were that easy.

We have to pay electricity, gas, rates, insurance, the quota (which goes towards my salary), ongoing maintenance and repairs, etc...and the bills add up to almost 35,000 a year. We do manage to raise this ourselves. Unfortunately the tower repairs have to be found on top of that - hence the need to launch this appeal.

We will be running another charity shop in town soon, but if we use the money we raise from this to repair the tower, we won't be able to pay the gas bill!!!

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morris1975
Super Member

United Kingdom
1286 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2012 :  00:08:49 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Do what Del Boy did in an episode of Only Fools and Horses and declare that a leak from the roof that has caused a statue of the Virgin Mary to shed tears, is a miracle.
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Samstan
Super Member

828 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2012 :  07:27:52 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good grief! I've just gone through the 2010 accounts for the Church in Wales (http://www.churchinwales.org.uk/publications/downloads/sharedassets/rbar/rbar10-en.pdf). I'm sorry but when people are struggling financially its obscene that an organisation such as a Church holds that sort of money and then has the cheek to ask for people to dig into their pockets to pay repair bills on an asset owned by the organisation! I realise Fr John that you need to do what you need to do and policy is set by your superiors. However, has the Church in wales beend asked to contribute?
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Fr John
Advanced Member

349 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2012 :  08:40:58 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes - I applied for a grant yesterday. The problem we have is that the repairs are needed now, and grant applications take time. As a listed building I hope that we will qualify for all sorts of grants, when we have the luxury of time, can prepare a job specification and obtain estimates from builders and architects. In fact someone who read my first post has already offered to help with the grant application process.

Unfortunately the damage is right over the entrance to the church doors, so we can't wait. We fix the tower now, or we close. I'm not saying I agree with how much the church, or any other charity, has to hold in its reserves. As you rightly say I don't get to set policy. I'm simply letting people know what's happening at the local level, and inviting those who want to, to help out. Thank you to those who have already offered thier support.

Edited by - Fr John on 01/03/2012 08:43:42
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GOM
Super Member

United Kingdom
3786 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2012 :  08:55:15 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Why is it that this problem has only just come to light surly it has been going down hill for some time, so why was a grant not requested before it has got this bad?

As a listed building the owners should be responsible for the repairs just like private owners of listed buildings. Why should the church not pay for the repairs.

When people in the real world have to go into a home they have to sell there house to pay for it we cant plead poverty to the people and get them to pay for our needs until were flat broke.


The


G.O.M.

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Fr John
Advanced Member

349 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2012 :  09:12:30 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Fair point GOM - the last thing I want is for this to get surly.

I'd love CADW (who listed the building) to take it over - or the church (who owns the building) to take over its maintenance and repairs. Sadly thats not what heppens.

We only noticed the problem in November when a piece of stone from the tower fell on to my car roof! Thankfully no one was hurt. When problems occur on a building 60m above ground, you don't always notice them at ground level.

Scaffolding was errected immediately, and we're now trying to put the problem right.
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djholly
Super Member

927 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2012 :  12:38:02 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
as an atheist (i offer no appologies for this), i look at the church's financial situation rather cynically and with confusion. Looking at the facts, father john is in essence a tennant in the church (on the basis he can be replaced and has no ownership on the property). He has to meet a quota (which can be interpreted as a rent) if not i fear he would be replaced, unfortunately, sad but probably true. When has a tennant ever been given a property, then told they are responsible for the upkeep, maintenance and major repairs?. I cant think of one, when that property becomes a church then we have to accept it. When, on top of that the building is 'listed', we as a community have to dig deep and help out, how many other listed buildings are there in tredegar?. And who owns them?, cant remember any donations being sought to finance repairs for them. I understand the comfort and happiness people find within a church, but ultimately its a franchise. I'm under no illusions that if this was a church in cardiff (more profitable) all manner of workmen would be camped there undertaking repairs. Again, i respect the services provided within a local church, also the father's devotion and commitment to the community. But, this has to be a church issue and as such should be financed from the church of wales organisation. Sorry if my opinions upset people.
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welshprincess
Full Member

100 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2012 :  13:43:54 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
could you noy hold a car boot of sorts, and charge for people who are selling, maybe 5 per car etc, i know this wont amount to the money neede but as tesco say, every little helps?
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GOM
Super Member

United Kingdom
3786 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2012 :  14:13:45 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just like any other big business make the people pay not the share holders.

Sorry if that offends anyone but why should the church not pay for the upkeep of its buildings like the local garages, shops and private house owners do. Or can we all go out on the streets with the begging bowl.


The

G.O.M.

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llanover
Super Member

Australia
1095 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2012 :  21:39:51 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Having seen what CADW did to St. Sannan's, I wouldn't let them near my chook house!
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cupcake
Super Member

5369 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2012 :  22:14:57 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by welshprincess

could you noy hold a car boot of sorts, and charge for people who are selling, maybe 5 per car etc, i know this wont amount to the money neede but as tesco say, every little helps?

Good idea ....can it be arranged Fr John ?
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ClaireDG
Full Member

Greece
19 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2012 :  23:46:58 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was married (the first time) in St. George's but only in memory of my mother who was C. of E. I have been opposed to organised religions for many years now on the grounds that they do oppress and extort from the masses and this, to me, seems like one more example of it. The CofE and the Catholic church and those idiots who call themselves followers of Mohammed all wish to exploit and control anyone they can. They are so wealthy it's obscene!! On the other hand, St. George's is a Tredegar landmark, despite it's religious overtones. If Tredegar people wish to keep their heretage, it should be maintained, though perhaps not as a place of christian worship but as a place that the people of Tredegar can put to practical use - such as for town meetings or for keeping up other traditions such as the town choir or band.

CDG
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pierre
Webmaster

United Kingdom
13893 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2012 :  19:58:52 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
An historic building needs repairs. Just because its owned by a Church (or anybody else) makes no difference does it ?

Would anybody prefer to see it in a sad state of repair, of course not...

If you would like to help, please do.

Simplez......
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milkman
Super Member

United Kingdom
1624 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2012 :  21:19:04 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think the vicar looks only for small individual donations. He knows things are pretty tight in Tred.
However, he was optimistic that we could come up with some ideas.
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Fr John
Advanced Member

349 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2012 :  14:43:05 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Cupcake/Welshprincess.

We tried a few car boot sales last year, but there was very little uptake from sellers, and not many people came to buy. But you're right, every little helps, and if there is enough interest it is an easy one to organize, and an easy way of raising funds.

Edited by - Fr John on 11/03/2012 14:45:59
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Fr John
Advanced Member

349 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2012 :  14:44:13 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

The repairs to the tower begin tomorrow.



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cupcake
Super Member

5369 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2012 :  21:46:13 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Fr John and glad to hear repairs are starting tomorrow .
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Fr John
Advanced Member

349 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2012 :  15:51:49 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Total raised so far: 5100.
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pierre
Webmaster

United Kingdom
13893 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2012 :  18:55:03 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Many thanks to Fr John for sending in this picture taken at the top of St George Tower. A amazing photo :o)

More panoramic pictures of the town can be seen here





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Samstan
Super Member

828 Posts

Posted - 04/04/2012 :  07:23:19 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Fr John, if there's access out the top to take pics like that how about an open day where people pay to go up and look at the view/ take pics? My OH is from Bridgwater and St Marys church does that occassionally. As they only do it rarely they get plenty of takers who all pay a 1 or 2 to go up.
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djholly
Super Member

927 Posts

Posted - 04/04/2012 :  08:57:31 Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
how much insurance cover does the church have?, guaranteed someone will have a 'slip'. Then a claim will be slapped on the church, nice idea but open to abuse from the 'no win no fee' culture we live in.
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