Working with lime based building materials

Volunteers developed skills to help them maintain their historic places of worship into the future without relying on professional contractors

The Grade II* listed St John the Baptist Church in Grafton Flyford, Worcestershire was on the heritage at risk register and needed large amounts of traditional repointing. Like many churches, they were reliant on professional contractors as no volunteers in the parish had skills using traditional lime mortar.

The diocese of Worcester used this repair as an opportunity to train 30 volunteers from across the region in how to make and use lime mortar. While contractors repaired the walls at high levels they mentored volunteers to carry out the simpler repairs and maintenance at ground level.

The project demonstrated the quality of repairs volunteers could carry out with the right training and support, and changed the attitudes of historic building professionals on the role volunteers could play.

Andrew Mottram Heritage Buildings and Community Development Officer, said “Using an experienced contractor with the ability to teach and enthuse people, we have demonstrated that volunteers can make a significant contribution to the on-going preventative maintenance of historic buildings.”

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