Work on the first phase of a £150,000 restoration of a Cradley Heath church, is well under way with a team of specialists on the site.
These images show specialist construction workers, undertaking the delicate restoration work at Cradley Baptist Church. The 180-year-old church in Corngreaves Road was awarded a £97,000 grant to carry out vital restoration works.
Now church leaders are trying to raise the remaining £56,000 needed for the revamp.
Work has included the removal of a number of floor boards inside which have been affected by dry rot. The replacement boards and joists have been specially made by hand to make sure they are sympathetic to the original building. The roof truss is also being replaced due to dry rot
Specialist stonemasons are also working on the building and are currently preparing the surfaces on the roof and building for the terracotta slabs. These ornate terracotta features were sent away to specialists in Blackburn to be restored as part of the work.
A team of bricklayers are currently working on the tower of the church. The brick work is being re-pointed, and new oak louvres are being fitted, and the spire will be also be re-leaded as part of this phase of construction work. They will also be preparing the spire for the weather vain, which is also being restored by specialist iron mongers.
Project manager Gordon Roberts said the work on the floorboards had delayed the project, which was due to be completed in April.
He said: “The work on the floor boards is going to cost an extra £10,000. We knew we had to do some work but had not realised the extent of the dry rot. Our completion date has now moved back to May.”
Church bosses applied to English Heritage for the grant in 2011 and initially received £15,000 to start the development work. Specialist teams of architects and designers assessed the building, and worked out the best way to restore it so it will last for generations to come.
Heritage bosses said the Grade II-listed Edwardian church was selected because of its outstanding historical significance.