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Update on the Development Project

The main contractor has finished work in the church itself. The new underfloor heating, lighting... read more

Report on the Church Fete - Monday 26th August

We were extraordinarily lucky, given the mixed weather of the preceding weeks, that the run up to... read more

The Organ is being re-installed

The process of installing the renovated organ in the North aisle of St. Andrew’s Church has... read more

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Newsletter 26 - 12 August 2019, with exciting developments!

Posted on 11th August, 2019

Other recent news

  • Update on the Development Project

    The main contractor has finished work in the church itself. The new underfloor heating, lighting and sound systems are operational. The new radiators have been fitted with child-safe covers. A new platform has been made for the organ. The new limestone floor has had four coats of protective sealant. The new oak screen at the junction of the Tower and Chancel has been fitted.

    Members of the congregation have twice given the church a good clean, waxed the furniture and polished up the brass.

    The next step is for the main contractor to finish work on the new extension. We will then have a disabled wc with baby-changing facilities, a well-equipped kitchen, large storage cupboards and the spacious Parish Room-cum-Vestry. All of the new furnishings and almost all of the furniture will be delivered and installed by 12th October.

    Work on the graveyard will be starting as soon as possible. The PCC’s plan for the churchyard as a place of rural peace and quiet will take two years or more to come to fruition. In addition to grassed areas, a wild flower meadow with cut paths and a couple of benches are planned.

    Update on the Development Appeal

    Thanks to a generous grant from a charitable trust, the PCC now has the funding to be able to complete the Development Project. There are a small number of items which still require funding so the Friends will continue to run fundraising activities for the time being.

    The Village Produce Stall will remain open until the end of October.

    The next event will be the annual Quiz Supper, held for the first time in St Andrew’s Church. For details about this popular occasion, please see the separate advertisement on the SACDA website.

    Update on the Chair Appeal

    So far, 50 of the 70 additional chairs have been funded by villagers, former villagers and other supporters. Each of the beautiful oak chairs will have a plaque on it which explains the purpose of the gift of the chair. This may be In Memoriam, to mark a birth or anniversary or simply a recognition of being part of the church and village community.

    If anyone would like to fund one of the remaining chairs, please contact the Friends’ Honorary Treasurer, Danuta Tagg, on 828106 for more details about how to do this and how Gift Aid may be applicable.

    Some bad news

    In early September thieves stole the lead off the roof of the south aisle of the church. This is the aisle closest to St Bartholomew’s Street. With thanks to Natalie Massenet, her building contractors at Donhead House immediately covered up the wooden roof timbers; so far rain has not penetrated into the re-furbished church.

    The PCC took immediate steps to get the roof re-surfaced with zinc and contacted the Diocesan Advisory Committee and the church’s insurance company.

    The Re-opening of St Andrew’s Church

    Because of the number of villagers and former villagers who have been involved in the Development Project and the Appeal and the number of other guests who should be invited (representatives of the Trusts and Foundations which have supported us, the craftspeople and professional advisers involved, Diocesan officials and clergy and many others who have helped in so many ways) the PCC has decided to hold two services. One will be on Saturday 12th October and one on Sunday 13th October.

    Because of the capacity of the church and in order to plan the catering effectively, invitations with an RSVP for both services have already gone out, including one to every member of the Donhead St Andrew village community.

    The old noticeboard alongside St Bartholomew’s Street fell apart during the winter months. A new noticeboard has been commissioned.

    Forthcoming Services at St Andrew’s Church

    From Monday 14th October, there will be services in the church on Sundays and during the week.

    Remembrance Sunday – 10th November – 10.45 am
    The Service begins in the Cemetery in Lower Street and continues in church
    A collection will be taken to support our Armed Forces

    Carol Service – 22nd December – 4.30 pm
    The Festival of Nine Lessons with Carols with choir and organ
    For all members of the family
    A collection will be taken to support a local hospice
    Followed by mulled wine and mince pies


  • Report on the Church Fete - Monday 26th August

    We were extraordinarily lucky, given the mixed weather of the preceding weeks, that the run up to the Fete was increasingly sunny. The set-up from the Thursday to the Saturday beforehand was completed without a drop of rain. At 8.00 am on the Bank Holiday Monday a mist hung over the Chase; it looked so beautiful. That soon cleared and the sun shone as the helpers’ cars poured onto Stoney Hills Field.

    All was ready by 12 o’clock for the village team photograph around the flagpole. There was just time to eat a burger and grab a coffee. At 1.00 pm we had a fly past of five aircraft from Compton Abbas airfield, the Bell Street Jazz Band struck up and the large queue of visitors that had been building up since soon after 12 o’clock sped towards their favourite attractions.

    The villagers had excelled themselves. The food stalls were groaning with good things – cakes, biscuits, preserves and chutneys. The ever-popular Bric a Brac, Clothes & Shoes, Toys & Games, Plants, Books and Picture stalls did a roaring trade.

    The catering area had queues throughout the Fete. The BBQ, selling Buttlings delicious burgers and hotdogs, sold out as did the Tea Tent in spite of a huge supply of homemade cakes, cream teas and savouries. The Beer Tent was even more popular than usual given the temperature, selling two Ringwood beers, Donhead Apple cider and Cobra Beer. The Soft Drinks Stall did very well too.

    The usual amusements were kept very busy. The Bottle Tombola did a brisk trade as did the energetic team of young Raffle Ticket sellers. The Silent Auction had some fabulous lots and the Live Auction of four lots of logs, donated by the Jeffery Family, was as popular as usual.

    This year, the Classic Car and Bike Show had more vehicles than ever before. The Dog Show, watched by a large crowd, concluded the afternoon with much hilarity.

    We raised about £18,000 in total which meant that, after deducting expenses, there was about £15,000 to be distributed. This year the Church Fete is supporting Wiltshire Air Ambulance, Semley School’s project for a new sports surface, Tisbus and the Happy Gathering Club in addition to the work and mission of St Andrew’s Church.

    Our particular thanks to the Jeffery Family for allowing us to use Stoney Hills Field once again. It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful or suitable spot for a fete.

    The Fete Committee has so many people and companies to thank for their support.

    Village sponsors: David and Jenny Hammersley, Tim and Linda Reeve, Michael Jodrell, John and Sarah Reynolds, Michael and Vashti Noel-Clarke, Peter and Elizabeth Dawson, Robert and Rebecca Johnston, Dame Natalie Massenet and Michael and Elizabeth Hockney.
    Commercial Sponsors: Natural Woodflooring, Natural High Safaris, Sans Farm Kennels, Proctor Watts Cole Rutter, Compton Smith, Ludwell Village Stores, Richmond Bell, Shean & Hare, David Peacock, Buttlings, Farnfields, Andrews & Palmer, Wren Classics, Hawes Arborists, The Great Big Tree Climbing Company, Rob Beale, Carol Buttling, Middle England Estates, Walton House Antiques, Ringwood Brewery, Donhead Apple Cider and Rural View.

    Donors of prizes: Ringwood Brewery, Shaftesbury Co-operative Funeral Care, Hall & Woodhouse, Ted Martin Flowers, Graham Waterton, the Jeffery Family, Rising Sun Coffee Tavern, Gerald and Danuta Tagg, Grove Arms, Michael and Elizabeth Hockney.

    Valley News and The Blackmore Vale Magazine gave the Fete excellent editorial coverage.

    The Committee’s final thanks is to the members of the village community who put in so much effort and contributed so much to make the St Andrew’s Church Fete such a happy community occasion.

    The Church Patronal Festival – Sunday 25th August 2019

    Because St Andrew’s Church was closed, the service took place once again in one of the big marquees on the Fete field. The celebrant was the Rector and the Assistant Curate, Kevin Martin, preached. An electronic keyboard was used, hooked up to the generator supplied for the Fete.

    From next year onwards, we will be back in St Andrew’s Church for this important service.


  • The Organ is being re-installed

    The process of installing the renovated organ in the North aisle of St. Andrew’s Church has been started, and should be complete in time for our re-opening celebrations on 12th and 13th of October. This instrument has been used in at least three other churches in the past, and is thought to be nearly 200 years old, so a complete renovation was timely. Hopefully the old problem of keys sticking owing to the damp conditions in the church will have been finally solved.
    Michael Hockney has written a brief document describing the organ and its history that you can view by clicking here.


  • Newsletter 25 - June 2019

    Our Newsletter edition 25 has been released.
    The full text can be seen by clicking here.


  • Progress on the Chair Appeal

    The appeal for the funding of additional chairs for the church has continued well, and the first orders have now been sent to the makers.
    So far 48 of the original 70 additional chairs have been funded by villagers, and there are 22 to go, so the opportunity is still there for chairs to be funded, and dedications on plaques added in memory of a loved one or happy event.
    Full details describing the chairs chosen and how you can order one, are given here, and a form to place an order here.


  • Sir John Stuttard's talk raises £1000

    Sir John Stuttard, the former Lord Mayor of the City of London and a current resident of Shaftesbury, gave a fascinating talk with superb photography on Saturday 22nd June 2019 to a large and appreciative audience of over 80 villagers and visitors from further afield, on his amazing journey from Peking to Paris in his own 1934 Rolls Royce. It took place at the New Remembrance Hall in Charlton (as St Andrew’s church is closed), where Sir John parked the car for all to see. £1,0000 was raised towards the Development Appeal.


  • Report to the PCC on the St.Andrew's Fete 2018

    Although the annual Donhead St.Andrew’s Fete (see the upcoming Event for this year’s occasion) is not directly organised by the Friends, our Chairman Michael Hockney was pleased to present his report to the PCC’s AGM on Sunday the 9th April describing the success of the 2018 event. It can be viewed here.


  • Chairman's Report and Financial position presented to the AGM

    At the Friends’ Annual General Meeting which took place on Saturday 16th March, the
    Friends’ Chairman Michael Hockney presented his report, the full text of which can be viewed here.

    The Treasurer Danuta Tagg further displayed a number of slides showing the Financial position up to 28th February 2019.
    To view the presentation, click here.


  • Newsletter 24 - 6th February 2019

    Our Newsletter edition 24 has been released.
    The full text can be seen by clicking here.


  • Update on the Development Appeal - 18th November 2018

    As a result of the extra costs involved in dealing with the asbestos, we are re-doubling our fundraising efforts.

    Funds for the Appeal have grown by over £3,000 since the middle of the year. The magnificent sum of £1,160 came from the Village Produce Stall, run by Chris York with help from Ian Robertson from March to October of this year. Our thanks to them both for running this and to the many villagers who supplied and bought the good things on the stall.

    The very good news is that we have just received a second grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund; this time for £32,000. The PCC would like to express its thanks to the heritage Lottery Fund South West and to the Lottery customers who have made this second grant possible.

    This takes the total raised this year up to 16th November 2018 to £85,193.

    But, we still need more so any further contributions to defray the rest of the cost of dealing with the asbestos and to enable the completion of the new extension containing the kitchen and wc would be much appreciated.


  • SACDA Newsletter No.23 - 12 November 2018

    Newsletter 23 is a STOP PRESS edition to alert Friends that yet more asbestos has been discovered in St.Andrew’s Church. This is in a chamber below the old boiler room, containing an even earlier boiler, and the most toxic form – blue asbestos – has been used. Read the Newsletter here.


  • Results of the Donhead St.Andrew Fete - 5th October

    At a village meeting on 5th October Michael Hockney presented the results of the St.Andrew’s Church Fete, revealing that it had been another highly successful event.
    The details are contained in the slides, which you can see by clicking here.


  • SACDA Newsletter No.22 - 6th October

    Newsletter 22 was distributed to all the houses in the Village and describes the progress so far with the works on the Church, and the status to date with the funding. A further item is the launch of our ‘Give a Chair’ Appeal where members of the community can donate additional chairs, extra to those already planned for the project. They can carry an engraved brass plaque as a dedication or in celebration of an event.

    To read the Newsletter click here.


  • The Project Progress - blow by blow - 18th November 20181

    Mid November 2018 – Good progress but yet more asbestos
    The replacement of the roof is now complete. Cracked and eroded roof tiles have been replaced and the gutters and downpipes repaired. New insulation has been fitted to replace the faulty insulation, which was holding moisture against the roof timbers. Inside the church, the discovery of widespread asbestos has been dealt with and a new sub-floor laid. The cabling for the new heating, lighting and sound systems is being fitted at the moment. The faulty interior wall plaster, which held moisture against the stonework, has been removed and the builders are at work re-plastering the interior of the church with breathable lime plaster. The asbestos in the old boiler house flue has been removed and the building then demolished. The vestry has been taken down and all the stone conserved for re-use in building the new extension.
    All of that is good progress.
    Now for the bad news. A chamber has been discovered beneath the floor of the vestry and boiler house site. It contains an older boiler, which is riddled with highly toxic blue asbestos. This will be dealt with by the specialists as soon as possible so that work can start on building the new extension.
    We are waiting for a final quotation for the work but the sum involved could be £20,000. In total, the cost of dealing with the asbestos found in the church and associated costs is heading towards £50,000. But, of course, there is no question but that the work has to be done.

    Late September 2018 – work is well under way
    Everyone will now be aware that building work is under way and is making good progress. The contractors have been working on the roof; the new insulation is now in place and the re-tiling of the roof is almost complete. In the coming weeks the contractors will be working inside the church as well as starting to prepare the groundworks for the new extension.
    The preparation for the new heated floor is also well under way.
    The organ is away being cleaned and renovated. Soon, work will start on constructing the new west end screen and the new communion kneeling rail. The first order of interlocking oak chairs will be placed very soon.
    Fundraising continues, with the annual Quiz Supper on 1st December 2018, with Michael York in the chair as Quiz Master. See the forthcoming events elsewhere on this site for details.

    August/Early September 2018 – more asbestos found, but work continues
    Work is ongoing on the church roof, taking off all the roof tiles and checking them for wear and cracking. The faulty insulation has been removed and replaced with fit-for-purpose effective insulation, which will better maintain temperatures and reduce heating bills. The undamaged tiles will then be re-used.
    The asbestos experts have found more extensive asbestos than was expected after their initial investigations before building work commenced. There has been a delay whilst consultations took place as to how best to deal with the newly-discovered asbestos. A solution was agreed and all the asbestos then dealt with. The church has been certified as safe to enter, so the building contractors can now begin work on the inside.
    The additional cost of removing the asbestos is significant and has added to the total cost of the project. However, the PCC is in no doubt that the recommended course of action had to be implemented.
    The Friends’ Committee will now set about trying to raise the additional sum.

    April 2018 – work starts in earnest
    During April we cleared the church of all removable items that would hinder the building operations, and many thanks are due to the group of helpers with this heavy work.
    The smaller pews were sold to villagers or former villagers, while the larger pews and the radiators were sold for reclamation. Other items, like the pulpit, altar and chairs were taken to secure storage in three lorry-loads.
    All this work revealed the sorry state of the flooring and the timbers below, which were rotten and dangerous in parts. The leaking roof had also taken its toll, while the vestry walls were running with damp following the recent cold weather.
    The asbestos removal team began their work on April 23rd, marking the real start to the implementation of all the plans prepared since this project began.
    A second Village Appeal was launched at the beginning of the month.


  • SACDA Newsletter 21 - March 2018

    This newsletter was delivered to every household in Donhead St. Andrew and describes the March financial situation and the decisions taken by the PCC to go ahead with the Project – at last!

    The Newsletter itself can be seen by clicking here.


  • St. Andrew's Friends Annual General Meeting

    The Friends’ Annual General Meeting took place on 10th March 2018, and reviewed the considerable progress with the Appeal during 2017.

    All the existing members on the committee were re-elected. The full list can be found on our Contacts page.

    The main focus of the AGM lay on the remarkable acheivements in fundraising during 2017, and what lies ahead in 2018. The Treasurer’s summary report for the year can be seen here, and graphical representations of the income sources over the duration of the appeal is shown here.

    The Chairman of the Development Committee reported that the Parochial Church Council have authorised the work on St. Andrew’s Church to begin, and the full details of his report can be seen in our next news item, the Newsletter number 21.


  • SACDA Newsletter 20 - October 2017

    This last edition of the Newsletter for 2017 details the latest updates on the Development Project and announces the good news that the building work is set to commence early in the New Year.
    It has been circulated to all households in Donhead St.Andrew, but you can also read it by clicking here.


  • SACDA Newsletter 19 - June 2017

    This is the STOP PRESS edition, with news that the Development Project has been granted the Faculty by the Chancellor of the Diocese of Salisbury, meaning that the building work can start this year.

    Read all about it here.


  • SACDA Newsletter 18 - April 2017

    Issue 18 of the SACDA Newsletter has just been published. If you’re not on our distribution list, you can view it by clicking here.