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Highlights of parish life in Houghton Regis
Major works of restoration to the fabric of All Saints’ Parish Church have begun last month and they are expected to last until December 2019. These works are essential for making the outer wall of the Grade I listed building weather-proof and thus ensuring the conservation of the unique heritage of All Saints’.
The striking checkered pattern of All Saints’ is going to be meticulously restored and repointed in many parts by resetting flints and replacing eroded stones with local Totternhoe clunch. Clunch is a type of chalk employed in construction in our area since Roman times, and it is the same type of material that was used in the middle-ages for the construction of Parish Church. Minor internal works will ensure that space at the back of the nave could be used more flexibly – a short length of heating pipes is going to be placed under the floor and the back pews will be relocated or removed.
The works are being carried out by Weldon Stone Enterprises of Weldon, Corby – an experienced firm which specializes in restoration and conservation of churches and historical buildings – under the directions of Matthew Stevens of Michael Dales Partnership – a local architects’ practice currently working with over 120 Churches across the diocese of St. Albans, Oxford & Peterborough.
The building site and church premises are alarmed, monitored by CCTV, and lit where necessary to deter antisocial behaviour and heritage crime in the churchyard whilst the works are carried out.
This is the first substantial project of this type which the Parochial Church Council (PCC) have embarked on since the restoration of the tower in the early 90s. It has been made possible thanks to the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund which is sponsoring most of the works. Other two charities are also contributing; the All Churches Trust, and Beds and Herts Historic Churches Trust. Houghton Regis Town Council was among the first bodies to donate towards this restoration when it was still being planned back in 2016.
Even though this project will total to over £250,000 the PCC is currently seeking further funding for other works linked to this project. For example, a new drainage system needs to be installed (£68,000), and glasswork is in needs of extensive renovation (£80,000).
Donations are always gratefully received as All Saints’ does not receive any money from government or the Church of England. There are many ways in which you can support our work and make a lasting difference in the preservation of the heritage of Houghton Regis. Visit our Giving Pages to find out more. Additionally, you can donate online, or send a cheque to
Restoration and Renewal,
FAO Fr Diego Galanzino SMMS,
The Clergy House,
Houghton Regis, LU5 5SJ