I am sure everyone
reading this has noticed the transformation of the Priest House. What
most will not know is the substantial amount of work that has gone into
Before the work began
This all started in
Autumn 2007 when we all agreed that it was vital to renovate a well
loved but very dilapidated building. An added complication is that it is
Grade 2 listed. Unfortunately the work required was not simple repair
and decoration, but substantial structural repair works. This of course
costs a lot of money.
Phase 1 works
which involved the replacement of the sole plates were carried
out during 2008. We were extremely fortunate and grateful for
substantial grants for this work which were received from
Dagwood Trust, Essex Environment Trust, Friends of All Saints,
Garfield Weston Foundation, and Romford
Methodist Circuit. These totalled in excess of £40,000. Although now
structurally secure, Priest House did not look any different to us all!
So plans for Phase 2 started.
A Doddinghurst Gift Aid
day raised the fantastic sum of nearly £22,000 and when the Parish
Council were able to give a grant of £40,000, phase 2 was not only able
to start, but additional items of work could now be done to increase the
benefit of Priest House for all of Doddinghurst. So besides all the
repair of windows, woodwork, decoration and replacement of the floor, a
Disabled WC has been installed as well as new lighting and a
significantly larger kitchen. A project of this scale is complex.
Planning and Listed Building consents have to be obtained, full detailed
drawing and specifications drawn up in order to obtain 3 quotations from
specialist Contractors, and at the end of that, the Electric Power to
the building has had to be upgraded. In addition we have agreed a new 20
year Lease for the building.
We have been very
fortunate to have had Terry Lockhart coordinate this project from start
to finish and who has worked tirelessly over the last 2 years. Thanks
also must be paid to Pickfords who did all the sole plate work, Deckanon
who did all the refurbishment works and to Howdens Joinery who supplied
the kitchen units free of charge. We are very grateful for all their
various contributions to this project.
Doddinghurst now has a
Priest House building that it can be justly proud of and it is be hoped
that many more people and organisations will make use of it. Many of you
contributed very generously during the fund-raising. To celebrate the
completion of the work, a celebratory event is being held on Saturday
26 June from 11am to 3pm with the ribbon being cut at 12 noon by
Councillor Debbie Dicker and we hope that as many of you as possible
will visit to see the transformation of this beautiful building.
Geoff Green. Chairman All Saints'
Further photographs of the restoration and the result of all this work
can be seen by