The Shefford branch of the Royal British Legion have donated a splendid bench to the people of Shefford.

The bench has been in existance for some time, but our Tower restoration project, and its scaffolding has prevented it from being installed.

The scaffold started to be dismantled on 27th March, and within a few days the bench was in place, proudly bearing the words 'Lest we forget'.

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Photographs: Patricia Goulding
Author: Stephen Lines
Published: 29/03/2019
Christian AidHi all,
 
Amazing, brilliant, fantastic!!  The 6th and last Lent Lunch (including extra envelopes given by people unable to attend) achieved £335.60 for Christian Aid.  This takes our overall total to £1300.60, not including the additional amounts to be claimed through Gift Aid.
 
This achievement is a reflection of all the hard work and commitment given to the Lent Lunches by each of the four churches in our Churches Together; as we rejoice in being able to give generously to those in need in God's world, I hope we can also rejoice in the strength of our fellowship in Christ in this place, and continue to live and grow God's Kingdom.
 
Many, many thanks to all.
 
Jenny Dann
 
Source: Jenny Dann
Published: Saturday 13th April 2019

HLF FundedThe external restoration of our Historic Tower is now complete, but the scaffolding and Monarflex sheeting was hiding the finished product from view. Until now...

Wednesday 27th March (two days ahead of the official schedule) saw the start of the scaffolding being dismantled to reveal the restoration work in all its glory. It took several days to remove everything, but as the bulk of the work had been done on the top third of the tower, the inquisitive residents of Shefford were able to see the results of this highly ambitious project by the end of the first day.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, All Churches Trust, the Beds & Herts Historic Churches Trust, the Francis Coales Charitable Foundation, and the Steel Charitable Trust.

So, here are some photos of the 'Big Reveal':

Top of the tower revealed

Scaffolding Coming Down; 27th March 2019

Scaffolding coming down; 27/03/2019

Scaffolding coming down 27th March 2019

Scaffolding coming down; 27/03/2019

Scaffolding coming down; 27/03/2019

Scaffolding coming down; 27/03/2019

Simply beautiful, and having been privileged to see the work close-up from the scaffolding in February, I am confident that this restoration will secure the fabric of this beautiful tower for many generations to come.

Photographs: Nick Rogers ,Patricia Goulding, Stephen Lines

Author: Stephen Lines

Date: 27th March 2019

HLF Funded
As our Historic Tower restoration nears completion, a few last finishing touches are being added before the scaffolding comes down for the 'big reveal' towards the end of March.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, All Churches Trust, the Beds & Herts Historic Churches Trust, the Francis Coales Charitable Foundation, and the Steel Charitable Trust.


New Window Louvres
So, here are a couple of photographs of the new window louvres being installed this week, kindly sent to me by Patricia Goulding, our Churchwarden.

New Window Louvres II

Photograph: Patricia Goulding

Author: Stephen Lines

Date: 9th March 2019

Heritage Lottery Fund Lottery FundedUnlocking the church for the 8.30 Holy Communion service this morning, I was greeted by some significant changes.

We now have lighting again (Yay!!!), though only the high level ones and the new emergency lighting are connected at the moment - all wired to a small and discreet switch panel just inside the new lobby (all the new lights are LED and dimmable, so we can do 'mood' lighting for special events).

My last news item on the re-modelling of the entrance lobby left things on a bit of a cliff-hanger "what is the new lobby going to look like? You'll just have to wait and see...".

Well now you can!

New Lobby Main Structure 03 03 2019

This is the 'solid' bit of the new lobby, which cleverly incorporates some extremely slim cupboards to house the electrics, and is so hot off the press that the plaster is not even dry yet.

It already feels more open and spacious, and I love the way that the new lobby highlights the curved hood over the door - I'd never even noticed it before. Ticks the 'welcoming' box for me so far.

You can also see the new 'tiny but clever' light switch panel on the left.

Patricia Goulding, our amazing Churchwarden informs me that the opening has been measured for the 'new glass' this week, so there's the next cliff hanger...

We WILL have to wait and see, but judging by everything I've seen so far on this mega-project, it will definately be worth waiting for!

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, All Churches Trust, the Beds & Herts Historic Churches Trust, the Francis Coales Charitable Foundation, and the Steel Charitable Trust.

So, once again, a sincere 'thank you' to all of the funding bodies and people who have made this project turn from a dream into a plan, then into a reality that will benefit Shefford for generations to come.

Author/Photographer: Stephen Lines

Published: 3rd March 2019

You may remember reading about the removal of our clock so that it could be taken away for a full restoration by A.James of Saffron Walden. I've just been informed that the restoration work is finished, and that the clock face and hands have now been re-fitted on the tower.

The first photograph below shows the clock face and hands back in place on our (almost fully restored) tower - brilliant timing as the scaffolding is due to come down in a few days time.

Face and Hands Back In Place

Observant readers will notice that the clock face is now black, with gold lettering (when it was removed, the face was blue). Research has discovered that black was the original colour, so as this is part of a Heritage driven restoration project, the opportunity was taken to restore the clock to it's original 'look'.

The main part of any clock is the mechanism - the bit that very few people ever see. This has also undergone a full restoration and is safely stored in the church, waiting for the clock chamber to be ready for its re-installation.

Clock Mechanism Waiting to Move Back Home

Once the scaffold is down, and the bell (still being restored) is re-installed, the clock can finally start telling and chiming the time for the people of Shefford again.

Author: Stephen Lines

Photos: Patricia Goulding

Published: 2nd March 2019