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June 2010

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 this project

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' Fabric Committee

Further photographs of the restoration and the result of all this work can be seen by clicking here.

Other Pictures of Priest House



Priest House, Doddinghurst
2010 - All Saints' Church, Doddinghurst