St Julian’s was consecrated on Mayday 1372 and is showing the effects of being exposed to the elements. The prime responsibilities of The Friends are to ensure that it is preserved, maintained and improved where necessary so it will survive for another 6oo years or so.
The Friends is a group of enthusiastic amateurs not expert in church maintenance but its members have many skills and talents, and it is guided in its activities by a church architect. One of the responsibilities of the architect is the production of a five yearly Quinquennial Report. This describes the results of a full survey of the building and highlights items requiring attention and is the base from which The Friends plan their maintenance activities.
Recent projects include remedial work to all of the church windows. Our Victorian forefathers installed iron bars into the window mullions to which the glass is fixed but with the passage of time, these have deteriorated causing the surrounding stonework to split. The Friends are replacing them with a non-corrodible metal. Another project, repointing to the north wall, replacing cement with lime mortar, was successfully completed in 2014. The Friends have also been involved in the latter stages of the project to replace the lead, stolen from the south aisle in 2011, with steel. A temporary car park has also been established.
As with any building of this age, there is always something to do much of which is costly, both of money and effort. With this in mind, but with the aim of making St Julian’s the “venue of choice” in the locality for both secular and church events, the Friends Committee is discussing how to improve its facilities. Projects include:
- Provision of toilet facilities
- Provision of some form of catering facilities
- Examination of alternative heating sources
- Creating an outside event facility together with a wild flower meadow
- Provision of solar panels on the roof to generate both electricity for our own use and an income to contribute to ongoing costs of maintenance and development.
This wish list has been passed to the relevant Diocesan authorities who have the final say of what will be allowable.
This is merely the start of what will be a long journey. Even if we get the agreement of the Diocese, there will be other hurdles to after overcome. St Julian’s sits within the Cotswolds Conservation Area, a designated Green Belt and a local Planning Authority Conservation Area. No doubt there will be much discussion with the Planning Authority before we can proceed, but nevertheless we have started on the journey.
If you are interested in joining us, have any skill you think might be useful, please get in touch. We will always be more than happy to talk to you.