Repairs to St Cuthbert, PeterleeThe PCC of St Cuthbert, Peterlee
Revd Elaine Jones is the Vicar at St Cuthbert and wrote to thank David Ferguson, the builder. 'I wanted to send an email to say a very big thank you to you and your colleagues. Terry, Alan and the other gentleman, whose name I did not get, they have worked really hard to get the fleche finished in time for Christmas, it is very much appreciated and looks great. Please do pass on my thanks to them'
One of our favourite churches in the Durham Diocese is St Cuthbert’s at Peterlee. We carry out its Quinquennial Inspections and have been managing repairs.
It’s a lovely, modern church (designed by Donald McIntyre FRIBA whilst with the firm of Cordingley & McIntyre and built in 1957) and it’s a complete composition from the inclusive plan to the furnishings and it still retains its original features and colours. It represents, very well, the architectural and ecclesiastical movements of the time and it is one of the key buildings of the townscape of the New Town development of Peterlee. We think it should be Listed.
Whilst carrying out roof tile replacement to the nave we arranged for a quick look over the fleche. No one had looked at it for quite a while so the opportunity was taken. We are glad we did. Whilst all looks well from the outside, the principle ribs holding it all up were rotten at the foot and the louvre frames were twisting and split.
The fleche was in considerable danger of collapse. The damage it would if it fell was terrifying.
We arranged to extend the present scaffolding to hold up the fleche whilst we worked out what to do:
1. Repair in situ
2. Take it all down and repair it on the ground and put it back up
3. Take it all down permanently
After further surveying and review with the PCC and Diocese the conclusion was to repair it in situ. And that has proved to be the right decision. It would have been a massive task to bring it down and put it back up again. And no one wanted to see the loss of the spire as it is such an important part of the building visually and spiritually.
The repairs were carried out by David Ferguson Ltd, with assistance in the joinery department from Alan Coulson.