St Peter’s Church Windows In State of Disrepair

Over £100,000 needed for restoration

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Rust, corrosion, cracks, gaps in the window frames of St Peter’s Church are testament to the fact that the windows’ original ironwork frames from 1827, cunningly set into oak timber surrounds which were almost certainly the work of local ship builders, finally show wear and tear. These structures have survived two World Wars, nearly two centuries of sun, ice, wind and rain, and, more recently, the polluting onslaught of the Great West Road.

Most of the glass panes are misted because the windows were blown out four times during the London Blitz and the parishioners replaced them with coarser utility glass. The circular windows on the sides of the tower, inside and out, are now in a very poor state indeed and will probably not survive much longer without repair.

The church’s architects Carden & Godfrey have helped put together a project to restore all the St Peter’s windows.

The church has been in dialogue with specialist contractors, as well as the Georgian Group and English Heritage. One window on the south side has now been successfully restored as a Phase One trial project and the cost of that, £10,000, was paid for by a generous donor.  Using all the information that the contractors got from the trial window the same team has started work on the remaining nine main windows and four circular windows which will continue over the summer holidays.

The windows are of an unusual construction in that the iron glazing bars are set directly into the oak frame without a surrounding iron frame.  Experts did not think it possible to remove each window to do the work in a workshop so all the windows will be repaired in position.  Each individual pane will be removed, the timber surrounds stripped and repaired, and the surrounding stonework made good. The metal frames and glazing bars will have their many layers of old crusted paint stripped off and all the rust will be removed.

A specialist paint analysis was carried out during Phase One  and it revealed that the original colour of the Georgian window frames was off white. Four coats of industrial paint (as used on oil rigs) of precisely matched colour will be applied to fend off the elements in the years to come. The replacement panes will be of sparkling clear horticultural glass and each pane will have to be individually hand cut to fit the refurbished glazing bars.

The total cost for the second phase of £110,000 + VAT (although the VAT is recoverable).

The church is seeking corporate and individual donors. The nine remaining arched windows can benefit from a donation of  £10,000 each;  the four circular windows at £5,000 each;  smaller donations of £50 will cover the cost of a single pane. All donations will be available for Gift Aid so the cost of a main window to an eligible donor is £7,750 and a higher rate donor can recover £1,312 making the cost of their donation under £6,500.

To make a donation http://www.stpetersw6.org/St_Peters_Hammersmith/Windows_Appeal.html

July 19, 2010

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