Completed building work on Great Dalby Church


We had a special service on Sunday 7th August 2022 at 3pm, followed by tea and cakes.

With the closing and sale of the Methodist Church in Great Dalby, the Parish church are looking after some favourite artifacts.  It is felt that these items should be kept in the village of Great Dalby for the foreseeable future.  The central oak Cross (made from old Methodist church pews), the small carved oak baptismal font, and two framed tapestries made in the village.  One stitched by Ann Goodman in 1848 at the age of 12.  The Goodmans lived opposite the MC.  She was related to the Pick family, who were amongst the first villagers to set up the Methodist Church.  Ann's father John was a Cordwainer (shoemaker) and grocer.

August 2019 Dry and clean


Our new roof is up and running.  We have been so excited that we have had a bit of a clearout in the Vestry and purchased a new cupboard with the help of a  donation.  We must sincerely thank Darren Guess of Leadworks, based nearby in Burrough on the Hill.  Also  our Architect Peter McFarlane of Peter Rogan Architects, and  Zurich Insurance. You were all great to deal with and made our life a lot easier.  The plastic roof was on for over a year from the first theft.


Roof Thefts April/May 2017

We were devastated to find that a lot of our ancient lead had been stripped and stolen from the church roof, on two seperate episodes.  Luckily we were well insured with Zurich.  The building was very wet inside, as nobody had been in since the previous service and we had experienced a large amount of rain. Carpets were sodden, pews were wet, stone floors were soaked, and brick floors had collapsed.  Neverless a rescue team of villagers was summoned and we made the building good enough for a double christening to go ahead the next day.  Darren Guess of Leadworks in nearby Burrough on the hill responded very quickly, to put temporary protective sheeting over the roof timbers.  There began the work on a Faculty from the Diocese, inspection and plans from our Architect, and months of anxiety.  We were able to salvage some old lead from the porch with initials, dates and footprints from the 1700's.

Christmastime in the Church 2016


We would like to report on a Fantastic Christmastime in our church.  A Wartime Christmas with soup kitchen, local cheese and other goodies was fun, with re-enactment of an ARP  Warden by Jed Jaggard, in aid of the church building.  An auction at this event, of nylons (with seams), bananas, Stilton & Leicester cheeses, etc raised money for Help the Heroes. 

Our village school held 2 packed performances of their Nativity Play.

We had a joint Christmas Carol Service with our Methodist friends, and finally a packed church for the Crib Service on Christmas eve afternoon.

Thank you to a great team of helpers and supporters.

It is nice to see the old invoice for building the stone organ chamber at the church in 1908
Thank you Bill Johnson
 Denman for gd organ
Refurbishment and repainting/re gilding Church Clock
Following advice from Natural England, regarding our Bat population, work was brought forward on this project to avoid Bat hibernation time.  The church clock is now looking very smart.   Grant aid has been received from All Churches Trust, Jack Patston Trust, Leicestershire CC Historic Buildings Scheme and Leicestershire Historic Churches Trust, amounting to just over 50% of the cost.  newclockface
 This work was carried out at the end of July 2010 by Messrs Smith of Derby
 The clock was last painted and restored in 1987.  We are both lucky and 
 grateful that the clock is maintained by two experienced village volunteers.
Internal lighting -  December 2009
Due to an emergency situation where one of the old light fittings exploded, a new lighting system was quickly installed before the Christmas celebrations.  We are grateful to Hawthorn Lighting of Old Dalby who came to our rescue at a moment's notice.  Following discussion with the DAC we were able to use the church for 2 'packed' performances of the Great Dalby Primary School Christmas services, a service of Holy Communion on 20th December, and a very popular Crib Service on Christmas Eve.
The lighting was paid for from Church Funds, mainly due to the generosity of the village Funding Programme.
The church was decorated by the School Helpers and the PCC.
 Repairs to church roof/ gutterings/ flashings/ pew floors/ oak lintels.
Builders KG Wright of Thrapston started on Monday 23rd February 2009.  Some repairs are more involved than expected, but some are not, so all in all we are hoping to stay within the budget of around £12k (including Architects Fees).  A grant of £1500 has been gratefully received from the Jack Patston Trust, but our application to the National Churches Trust was not successful.  This grant application took up a lot of time - maybe better luck next time.
So,  without the very generous Funding  from our village & friends connected to the church, this work would not have been possible.  You know who you are - so we hope you can see how we are spending your money.  The old church is being kept watertight................ the first step to keeping it standing.  Bouncing on the pew floorboards will no longer be allowed.
To keep the church looking alive, quotes are being sought to repaint the church clockface, and replace the missing louvres in the tower.  A new churchyard mowing contract has been accepted, and so we should be looking quite smart once the better weather arrives!
Work completed  March 2009.
 2nd Funding Programme -
We've/You've done it!!!!  The target has been reached for the 2nd Funding Programme for our Church.  Thank you to all those Parishioners who gave so willingly........ and thank you to those who made our job easier by 'opting out' of the scheme.  By doing so, we all avoided  (possible) embarrassing encounters!
Plans are under way to use the money to fund urgent roofing and timber repairs - to keep the rain out.  As long as we can do this, we save ourselves so much time and money in the long run.  Be assured that Grants are sought for as much financial help as possible.
Several more dangerously leaning gravestones have been restored.  Watch this space.
Following a successful Wine, Cheese and Information evening in the church  where we were able to talk about the future and inform about the past  -  the Funding Visitors are now 'out and about' in the parish.  Firstly we are visiting existing funders, and then we will be contacting all those parishioners who have not 'opted out' of the scheme.  We completely understand that not everyone shares our passion to keep this building alive.  There are, after all, many other calls on our hard-earned wages!
Who put the GREAT in Dalby ??
 several meetings have now taken place and invitations and information has been sent out (hopefully) to all Parishioners, and previous funders.  We are now at the stage of training our faithful Funding Visitors.............  thanks to all of you for helping again.  It is a huge but rewarding challenge.  You and the funding parishioners/friends, put the GREAT in Dalby!
  thermometerfinalWe've done it!  Final result may be a little over the top !
 Restoration of Medieval South Door
This has been done, and is back in place.  Opening the door is now a very different experience.  The latch used to slide about 5 cm on its mooring in the old days, which partly caused the damage with the old hinges.  It has also received a coat of Linseed oil.  2 small grants were received.  One  from LCC via their Shires Grant, and another from the Leicestershire Historic Churches Trust.
  One of the cast iron hinges on our Medieval Church Door is  parting from the wood.  This requires the attention of Master Blacksmith and Joiner, and a Faculty to carry out the work.  It is hoped to get this project underway in the new year.  A Minor Works Faculty has been granted.  Work to start in the Spring.
Replacement motor for Organ
The poor old Organ was always running out of 'Puff'.  Not any longer!  Following a lengthy project to replace wiring and upgrade the motor, she is now all singing and even dancing if we let her!  (The organ .....that is)
The electric blower  motor within the organ is not really fit for purpose.  It loses power just at the wrong moment!  Another project is underway  to update with a more powerful motor and increased electricity supply.  Waiting for the motor to be installed into the improved electrical system!
Refurbishment of the Bells
Finally, on Tuesday 22nd May 2007, the Church Bells were all back in position and a 'test ring' took place.  Did you hear them???  A recording on the website would be nice to hear!  A lot of hard work has preceded the completion of this project.  Several skilled volunteers have helped throughout, both with man-hours and lending of equipment.  Our grateful thanks to the Churchwardens, who had the job of opening and closing the church, to coincide with the workmens' hours. Some 'before' and 'after' photos will help illustrate the size of the project.
Funding has been possible through the generosity of parishioners giving through our Funding Programme, a Legacy and several grants.
 Previously,............. 1/5/07 - so far, so good.  Messrs Haywood Mills of Radford, Notts arrived at lunchtime yesterday to begin the lengthy process of removing the bells from the tower.  With the help of 2 local skilled volunteers, 3 of the bells were down and on the tower floor by 4.30 pm.  Work continues, with lots of debris to be removed as well.  A very dirty, greasy job!  Our special thanks to the volunteers for helping out.  This sort of project only happens every 100 years or so - well in Great Dalby anyway - so their help will go down in history! 
       The Bells before refurbishment
The PCC has just received permission to go ahead with this project.  Although 'ringable' the bells need to be made easier to ring, both for the current bellringers and for those who follow on.
With this in mind, the bells will come down from the tower, make their way to Radford in Nottinghamshire, to be overhauled, and fitted with ball bearings.  The last restoration took place in 1899 - so a hundred years of ringing has taken it's toll.
    Ready for a makeover..........
The work is best done in the warmer weather, so watch this space for further news.  At the moment the Secretary is busy applying for grants, as the cost will be in the region of £7000 at least. To date 31/3/2007 we have received £3000 in grant aid. Further information available from The PCC Secretary.  Work is scheduled to start on Monday 30th April 2007.  Volunteers to help with the work should contact the  The PCC Secretary.
For those who are interested, the bells are as follows:
Treble cast by Thomas Hedderly II of Nottingham in 1784
2nd      cast by William Noone of Nottingham in 1684
3rd       cast by Hugh Watts of Leicester in 1598
4th       cast by Hugh Watts of Leicester in 1598?
Tenor  cast by Thomas Hedderly II of Nottingham in 1784
3 of the bells are listed in their own right.
Restored and ready to ring........
 The Clock strikes 'One'
In June 2005, The Parochial Church Council  finally decided to start the task of installing a Lightning Conductor to the church and to repair the leaning weathercock on the tower.
Both have needed doing for many years.  The saying that 'Lightning never strikes in the same place twice' was no longer impressing our Insurance Company.  When a house in Top End was recently struck, it was decided to take action.
This project is only possible due to the generosity of Great Dalby parishioners, who responded generously to a Funding Programme appeal some 18 months ago.  The cost of the project will be around the £5000 figure, providing the scaffolding hire does not go into weeks, rather than days.
It is impossible to estimate the state of the Finial Rod, which attaches the Weather Cock to the tower, without getting up there from the scaffolding.  In addition, the price of copper will undoubtedly be reflected in the final price.  Getting the scaffolding from the roadside, to the church involves more expense.   leancockoptim
The PCC Secretary has just received the Faculty to do these works (10/06/2006), after much form-filling and photograph taking.
29th September 2006
As you will have seen, the scaffolding is up.  The oak block holding the finial rod, attaching the weathercock was found to be rotten.  Three remaining screws were supporting everything.  Several people have commented that they will be sad to see this well-known 'lean' corrected.  Judging by the daily villagers and visitors who walk beneath it, we must be safe, rather than sorry.
  churchtower 011iop
  churchtower 012opi
 It all looks a bit scary - especially the Alien on the right!
 Scaffolding on the North Face of Tower
Not too good!
 Closer up................
When the dust has settled from this project, refurbishing of the Bells and their fixings is next on the agenda.
n.b. After many years of worry concerning the presence of Death Watch Beetle, it seems that they are not so threatening as first thought.  Treatment of the floors was done about 5 years ago, but no further treatments on the roof were deemed necessary, following inspection of the Chancel Loft.  This really came to light, when the cleaners reported never having swept up a Death Watch Beetle, which leads us to believe that any infestation must have been many years ago.  However, we are constantly aware of the situation.
Some previous diary events ............................
20/10/06 - The golden weathercock is restored and back in place. The copper lightning conductor is completed.  The scaffolding has been removed.  It is interesting to note, that the weathercock turns with the direction of the wind, as it sits on a small marble within the finial rod.  According to the repairer, it will last a very long time!
Previous Diary entries......................
Just heard today, Tuesday 4th September 2006, that work should be starting on the project on 20/21September........... this year!  First to arrive will be the scaffolding.  Somehow it has to be transported from the Church Approach - cobbled yard in front of Church Cottage, to the site.  The scaffolding is in fact the main expense involved in the project.  Take a digital photo if you can, for the record! (Thanks Roy and Phil!)
Friday 22nd September 2006...........
The scaffolding is up, and the weathercock is down.  He is spending the night in the kitchen of the steeplejack awaiting a thorough overhaul.  Some of the copper needs repairing, and he will then be painted gold again.  The finial rod, holding the weathercock was attached by only 3 remaining screws, and lifted free very easily.  The oak supporting the rod was wrotten.  Mainly due to insufficient/no lead being fitted last time it was repaired.  As well as a new oak block, a cloaking piece of steel will be put over the the new lead and oak, to duct any rainwater away.  Due to the construction of the capped tower, the rod is not very long, as it is fitted into the roof timbers, which are very high.  There will be a delay in further work until the weathercock is repaired and refitted, as the lightning conductor is actually fitted to the finial rod.  This will mean an extra week's hire charge for the scaffolding.  Once the weathercock is fitted it should only take about a day's work to put up the lightning conductor!  Any queries, ring Annie or email!