We have now launched our appeal for the restoration of our beautiful building. Not many churches can boast of being 'hung' in the National Gallery. St. Bartholomew's can. We are Grade 2* listed, and celebrated by Camille Pissarro (often called the Father of Impressionism) in his painting The Avenue, Sydenham in 1871. Our church, a local landmark since 1832, contains many wonderful - sometimes almost unique - features and now we need help to restore it.
Buildings don't tend to collapse all of a sudden. They crumble away into small pieces and that is happening to the church from top to bottom. For example:
We are now deep in the process of applying for grants and drawing up a proposed schedule of works so everyone can understand each phase of the work and how the money we raise will be put to use. We have now raised sufficient funds to restore the vestry and sacristy roofs with associated drainage and hope to undertake this work sometime in the Spring/early Summer.
We are also working towards our next proposed phase of work - that of restoring the church tower. We have already raised a good sum of money towards this and are applying for more. As part of this project we hope to undertake the first part of our long term aim - that of re-instating the beautiful pinnacles, designed by Vulliamy and shown in the famous Pissarro painting.
NB Also: It is hoped to repair our South Porch, which was put out of action last year, this Spring. A different process for this one but, also very lengthy!
The Vulliamy clock faces had become dangerously fragile and were taken down last year for safety reasons. These will be restored as part of the overall tower restoration - see above.
We need to make this safe before we can do anything else and we expect this element of the restoration to cost around £17-18,000.
Over the next few months we will continue consulting with relevant representatives and gathering the required information needed in order to approach a number of major funds.
NB: Finance available for grant funding is, like so much else, extremely stretched. Since we started planning this project the process and outlook has changed considerably. Much of what we are now expected to do in return for funding is extremely positive but it is extremely time consuming and the outcomes of each grant application far less ensured. Because of this we anticipate the church restoration taking considerably longer than at first hoped, so be patient with us - we are working hard!
Grant bodies all give stringent conditions for giving grants. They require definite and particular outcomes such as increased accessibility to heritage, increased use of facilities, even the boosting of the local economy. They all require match funding and a considerable amount of planning and preparation - hardly surprising given the amount of money needed. So bear with us while we pull everything together. It's a lot of work and we want to get it right!
Once the clock and tower is safe we want to offer access (as well as to other parts of the church of course) to interested groups. We would like to offer the opportunity to local Media Studies students to make a film about the church and its restoration.
We want to hear from people who care about this building, or are interested in aspects of its heritage and restoration. We want ideas, not just about how to stop it from falling down, but how to improve it, to enhance it, to make it YOUR church. For example:
What are your ideas?
So, keep watching this space and, if you would like to be kept up-to-date through our e-newsletter (sent out every few weeks), click Here or use the link on the right.
St. Bartholomew's is a building where worship, prayer and the nurturing of spiritual life has been a strong focus for over 180 years. We believe it is a place of significance and service to the local and wider community and - as part of the necessary restoration process (see below) - we intend to deepen and enhance those links. We will consult with and involve our community. We intend to improve accessibility, provide more facilities and offer opportunities for research and education, throughout this process.
St. Bartholomew's is a building of real historical, architectural and cultural importance. We are in the process of developing a section of this site to the art and architecture associated with this building, but a summary of some of its features is awe-inspiring:
We even have a tree planted by the future Emperor Frederick III of Germany and his wife, Queen Victoria's eldest daughter!
Obviously, you can send us money - we will love you for ever if you do - but there will be lots of other ways you can get involved over the next few months and even years. For example you could:
Call the Rev Michael Kingston on 020 8778 5290
Call the Vicar
020 8778 5290
or Contact Us
through this page
Reached so far
At least 3 years
Vestry & Sacristy Roofs
Tower and Clock
Further restoring the Tower
Repointing and brickwork throughout
Identification and eradication of dry rot
Masonry/Stonework repairs throughout
Renewal of buttresses
Re-roof Choir Vestry
Replace toilets, with improved accessibility
Safer access to roofs for easier maintenance
New facilities for the community eg lift to restored Crypt, re-instated gallery within church
Restoration of elements of heritage